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Where to Sip Hot Cocktails on Chilly Nights in Westchester

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Ice is nice, but when temps are down, turn up the heat with a hot cocktail in hand at any of these Westchester haunts and hangouts.

When it’s cold outside and the usual heartwarming pour of a neat dram isn’t cutting it, you need something that may not necessarily be higher in ABV, but something that’s higher in temperature.

The oldest known — and most quintessential — of the hot cocktails is a toddy. A hot toddy is usually served with hot water and citrus (typically lemon) or tea with a healthy glug of brown liquor, usually whiskey. And while there may not be any glühwein on this local list, there are a few tea toddies, spiked coffees, and boozed up hot chocolate that’ll warm you from your lips to your toes, and hopefully linger in your soul.

The Blind Pig of Westchester

174 Martine Ave, White Plains; 914.607.2686

There are a few debates out there about who really invented the Irish coffee. Was it Irish-born chef Joseph Sheridan, who was said to have created it in 1943 at the then Foynes Port to put a warming jolt into American travelers? Or was it thought up in the 1950s at The Buena Vista in San Francisco? While these might be the two more popular tales, there are several others that predate both. Google it. We’ll let you figure out which you’d like to believe.

What we do know is this: A warm, caffeinated, whiskey strong, slightly sweet, frothy cream-topped Irish coffee really hits the spot when your lips touch a good one.

And you’ll get the finest one at The Blind Pig, where James Brennan, Daniel Cahill, and their talented team of bartenders heat fresh-brewed coffee just enough so it’s not boiling hot. It’s sweetened with house-made demerara simple syrup and boozed up with Irish whiskey before heavy cream is fresh-shaken, then delicately spooned on top. Sit at the bar and sip your warm, now spiked coffee, right through the cold cream just as was intended to be enjoyed.

hot cocktails - hot toddy

Photo by Andrew Dominick

Divino Cucina Italiana

524 Warburton Ave, Hastings-on-Hudson; 914.274.8501

After you devour a plate-sized portion of chicken parm and a big bowl of homemade pasta, it’s always a good idea to head downstairs to Divino’s basement speakeasy for a nightcap. Sure, you can enjoy hot cocktails in the dining room, but why not switch up the scenery?

One of the bourbon drinks might do the trick on a chilly evening, but when it’s below freezing, you might need something warmer. The “Whistle Fig” plays off the citrusy, fragrant bergamot found in Earl Grey tea by adding a touch of orange juice to enhance it, along with a shot of sweet fig-flavored Figenza Vodka.

Divino isn’t done there. For coffee drinkers, “The BARista” combines vanilla vodka, hazelnut liqueur, Bailey’s, and winter-spiced simple syrup. Don’t let the sweetness deceive you. Take this one slow, folks.

The Greekish

273 Halstead Ave, Harrison; 914.732.3333

Known as the national drink of Turkey and several regions in Greece, rakı, made from distilled grapes and anise, makes an appearance in after-dinner hot cocktails at The Greekish. Rakomelo — as named and created by owner Constantine Kalandranis — is a recipe that blends the grappa with Greek honey, cinnamon sticks, thyme, orange, and ginger.

It won’t only warm you up, since it also acts as a digestif and has health benefits for the respiratory system.

hot cocktails

Photo by Andrew Dominick

Park 143 Bistro

143 Parkway Rd, Bronxville; 914.337.5100

Step aside, plain old powdered Swiss Miss! When Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Stoli Vanilla team up, it’s at Park 143. It’s boozy hot chocolate, friends, with free pours of all three spirits and a heap of whipped cream piped on top. We’ll drink our dessert, thanks.

 

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Whiskey River

38 N Division St, Peekskill; 914.293.7550

When thinking of cocktails served warm, apple cider in a slow-simmering vat with a ladle hanging out of it might be one of the first images that comes to mind. Well, it’s been spotted at Whiskey River, right there amid the burgers and wings.

Have a piping hot cup virgin (yawn), but preferably order it mixed with one of many bourbon or rye choices at this popular pub. If you’re not a whiskey fan, rum in your cider makes for a delicious duo.


Read More: 8 Spots to Sip Indulgent Hot Chocolate in Westchester County

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