Just as the holiday-party season kicks into high gear, most of the country is unfortunately plunged into a deep freeze. (Well, that is, unless you reside in sunny Southern California, in which case, we’re officially jealous.) So to help you warm up a houseful of guests, we turned to bartenders in frosty locales for hot drink recipes that serve a crowd.
Living in Minneapolis, Nick Kosevich and Ira Koplowitz are no strangers to sub-zero temperatures. Luckily, they’re also no strangers to mixology: They’re the co-creators of Bittercube Bitters and consult on menus across the Midwest. Their Queen Scheherazade, developed for Milwaukee watering hole The Hamilton, uses a base of rich, sweet chai, along with aged brandy, complex Bénédictine and a big dose of their own Cherry Bark Vanilla Bitters.
The London Toddy (pictured above) from Kevin Martin, bar manager at Boston’s beloved Eastern Standard, is a simple concoction, elevated by the addition of a cardamom- and vanilla-spiced syrup. It features gin as well, whose herbal flavors are intensified when it’s heated, making it an excellent choice for a toasty libation.
- 8 oz Water
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tbsp Ground cardamom
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, let cool and strain.
- .66 cup Loose chai tea blend (or about 10 chai teabags)
- .5 cup Loose Earl Grey tea (or about 8 Earl Grey teabags)
- 32 oz Hot water
- .75 cup Sugar
- 16 oz Half-and-half
Add both teas to the water and let steep for 10 minutes. Whisk in the sugar and half-and-half until the sugar dissolves. Strain, and use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
Dust off your party equipment. Start stocking the bar. Call—or text—your pals: It’s Party Season, the perfect time of year to show off your well-honed hosting skills and bring all your favorite people together.