Hot Drinks

by Naren Young

If you work in a city where the mercury drops to near or below freezing, then it’s that time of year for us bar folks – at least it is in the northeastern USA – to start rolling out those hot drinks on your menu. Every bar needs at least one hot drink in my opinion, while I also get giddy at those bars that dedicate entire sections on their menu to such warming libations.

It could be something extravagant like the flaming Blue Blazer or the rarely seen New Orleans classic, Café Brulot. Or something as simple and iconic as an Irish Coffee or its many variations (check out the Calypso Coffee recipe below), or a rudimentary Hot Toddy with whiskey, lemon, cloves and honey (but again, try the killer version below), Mulled wine (also known as Glögg), a hot Port Sangaree or that classic of the high seas: the Hot Buttered Rum.

Mulled wine and spiced (and spiked) hot ciders, in particular, are really easy to execute, especially by heating them on an induction burner. If done inside a bar, the smell can be completely captivating, filling the room with rich aromas of hard spices. Plus they don’t take up a lot of room, they’re super easy to prepare and they can be served quickly to a busy bar.

One concept I’ve been working on is a series called ‘Hot Soup/Cold Soup,’ inspired by those European cafes where people sip big bowls of hot chocolate like they’re drinking a bowl of soup. I thought, “Why does a cocktail have to be served in a glass anyway?” The Hot Soup is served, obviously, during the cooler months and the Cold Soup is best enjoyed when the days are long and balmy.



METHOD: Pre-heat a Toddy glass

Add all ingredients and then the butter

Once dissolved, grate cinnamon on top and drop in glass

GLASS: Toddy

GARNISH: Cinnamon stick



  • 1.5 oz. chicory-infused bourbon
  • ½ oz. Galliano Ristretto 
  • ½ oz. white crème de cacao
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • Hot black coffee
  • Amaretto-infused whipped cream

METHOD: Pour into a pre-heated glass

Float cream on top

GLASS: Toddy

GARNISH: Grated cinnamon



  • 1 oz. Añejo tequila
  • ½ oz. Frangelico 
  • ½ oz. agave nectar
  • 6 drops of habanero chili tincture
  • 5 pieces of good quality dark chocolate
  • Hot frothed milk

METHOD: In a preheated coffee cup, add the chocolate and some of the hot milk

Stir until chocolate dissolves; add the other ingredients and more of the milk

GLASS: Coffee cup

GARNISH: Dust with powdered chocolate



  • 1.5 oz. Zubrowka vodka 
  • ½ oz. St Germain
  • ½ oz. pear liqueur
  • ½ oz. spiced honey syrup
  • Tiny dash of fresh ginger juice
  • 2 tbsp chamomile tea

METHOD: Add all ingredients to a teapot

Then add the chamomile tea

Fill very high and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes

Pour the first taste for the guest and then leave the pot on the table/bar

GLASS: Tea cup

GARNISH: Lemon wedge studded with 3 cloves



  • 12 oz. Pueblo Viejo Reposado 
  • 3 oz. amaretto
  • 3 oz. pear liqueur
  • 3 oz. apricot liqueur
  • 3 tbsp. apple butter
  • 2 litres of apple cider
  • Spices: vanilla, canela, nutmeg, star anise, clove, black pepper, arbol, guajillo, ancho, lemon peel (all wrapped in a cheesecloth)

METHOD: Add everything to a pot and gently heat

Ladle into bowls and garnish

GLASS: Bowl on a plate

GARNISH: Dehydrated apple wheel, vanilla pod, arbol chile, cardamom pod, star anise, canela stick, grated nutmeg, pomegranate seeds



  • 12 lemons – zested 
  • 250 grams white sugar 

Muddle until all citrus oils have been extracted 

Then add:

Strain all through a chinois 

Add 1 bottle of Irish whiskey

Grate in one full nutmeg 

Add to water bath and set the temperature to 73.5 degrees celsius.

Jack McGarry – The DeadRabbit, NYC


Read more from Cocktails.

Read more from Naren Knows.