There are few greater wintertime pleasures than curling up by the fire with a delicious drink in hand. Here are ten of Indagare’s favorite winter cocktail spots, from the streets of Stockholm to the woods of Vermont, perfect for a cold-weather escape, and recipes for the festive libations they serve this season.
1. The Little Nell, Aspen
Xavier’s White Cosmopolitan
Aspen’s Little Nell boasts sleek rooms and an ideal slope-side location, plus a see-and-be-seen bar scene. Popular with a fashionable crowd, the Little Nell resembles a chic New York apartment, but with rustic touches such as ‘barn door’ closets and wrought iron hardware. Enjoy a wintery take on the classic cosmopolitan in the stylish living room lounge.
To make Xavier’s White Cosmopolitan, combine 2 oz. Woody Creek Distillers vodka, 1 oz. St. Germain, .25 oz. white cranberry juice and .25 oz. lime juice. Serve up with an ice sphere.
2. Twin Farms, Vermont
New England’s much-lauded Twin Farms offers the very best in discreet luxury. With its vaulted, beamed ceilings, walls of well-thumbed books, fascinating artwork and hand-picked antiques, Twin Farms was once a beloved private home and was transformed into an exquisite New England retreat. During the winter, cocktails, like the signature ‘Dunc’s Cider’ and s’mores are served by fireside by an outdoor pit.
To make Dunc’s Cider, combine 1.5 oz. Dunc’s Mill maple rum, 6 oz. hot mulled Vermont apple cider and garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange peel.
Related: The Top 10: Winter Weekends
3. Rosa Alpina, Italian Dolomites
Rosa Alpina Hot Toddy
Located in the heart of the Dolomites, Rosa Alpina is one of those wonderful European hideaways where tasteful design, fantastic cuisine and heartfelt hospitality come together to create an extraordinary place. Savor a coffee cocktail in the lobby bar, where Alpine style meets Italian chic.
To make the Rosa Alpina Hot Toddy, combine 2 oz. Galliano Liqour, 6 oz. freshly brewed coffee, 2 oz. heavy cream and sugar to taste. Add cinnamon to garnish.
4. Ballyfin, Irish Countryside
Lady Kildard Cocktail
An elegant countryside retreat just beyond Dublin, Ballyfin sits on a lush, 610-acre property that feels traditionally Irish. The Neoclassical castle evokes Old World visions of lavish balls, extravagant dinners, scenic walks and old-school hunts. Inside is all that you might expect from a hotel of this nature: gilded ceilings, imperial columns, domed skylights, silk-covered walls and dramatic artworks. Enjoy a sweet winter cocktail by the fireplace in the library, which boasts a collection of over 4,000 books.
To make the Lady Kildard Cocktail, combine 1.5 oz. Shortcross gin and .4 oz. mango syrup in shaker with ice. Then, pour in a champagne coup and top with Billecart Salmon Champagne and a skewered maraschino cherry.
5. Ett Hem, Stockholm
Ett Hem is Swedish for “A Home” and that’s what the place feels like: the building is a stunning 1910 townhouse in a chic residential quarter just outside the heart of town, which has been spectacularly refurbished. Stay cozy with a Christmas-inspired cocktail of apple and honey a Ett Hem’s lovely heated greenhouse, from which guests can watch the winter snowfall.
To make Ett Hem’s Christmas cider, warm 3 cups apple juice, 1 apple (cut into wedges), 1/5 lemon (cut into wedges), 1 tbsp. of honey, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 cardamom buds in a pot. When hot, remove from heat and add 3 1/3 oz. Calvados and 3 1/3 oz. Pommeau. Serves four.
Related: Next Stop: Where to Go Now
6. Ranch at Rock Creek, Montana
This lavish dude ranch exudes American West charm and offers rustic-chic accommodations. The property’s stunning 6,600 acres are pure Big Sky Montana, with soaring mountain and sloping hillsides, fairy-tale pine forests, seemingly endless meadows and, of course, a river that runs through it all and happens to be one of the premier sporting streams in the region. After a day of adventure in the Wild West, curl up fireside with a winter classic Yule Mule.
To make the Yule Mule, muddle two cranberries and 10 rosemary needles and top with a splash of cranberry juice. Mix in 1.5 oz. vodka and serve with ice in a copper mug. Top with ginger beer until full and garnish with a sprig of rosemary and three sugar-coated cranberries.
7. The Connaught, London
Winter Spicy Velvet
With an unmistakable sense of dignity and gravitas, the Connaught epitomizes English elegance. The hotel’s intimate Coburg Bar, a sophisticated watering hole that combines glamorous details with old world touches, is the perfect place to relax by the fire with this signature spicy cocktail made with Champagne and rum.
To make the Winter Spicy Velvet, combine .8 oz. rum, .5 oz. mandarin juice, .3 oz. honey water and 1 tbsp. Galliano l’ Autentico and top off with Champagne. Mix all the ingredients with ice, strain in a Champagne flute and fill to the top with bubbly. Garnish with nutmeg sugar and lemon aroma.
8. Les Fermes de Marie, Megève
To make the hotel’s mulled wine, combine 2 cups red wine, 1/3 cup Grand Marnier, 1/3 cup Cointreau, 1/3 cup Curaçao, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 clove, 1 orange slice and 1 lemon slice in a pot. Heat until the liquid begins to bubble and then serve immediately. Serves six.
9. The Lowell, New York City
The discreet Lowell Hotel provides a homey retreat from the festivities of New York City, especially during the busy holiday season. At this sophisticated Upper East Side property, all rooms are filled with well-chosen books, and the garden suites are some of the only rooms in the city with wood-burning fireplaces. Grab the hotel’s signature martini and find a spot by the blaze.
To make the Lowell Martini, muddle 6 strawberries in a shaker, add 3 oz. blood orange vodka and 1.5 oz. mango pureé and shake vigorously. Finish with a dash of Campari, lime and ice.
10. Zero George, Charleston
Smoke on the Water
Set in five historic buildings, Charleston’s quietly distinguished Zero George is within walking distance of the town’s best restaurants, sights and shopping, and allows guests to experience life as refined Southerners do. The charming candlelit lounge is the perfect place to unwind while nursing a smoky cocktail.
To make the Smoke on the Water, combine 1.5 oz. Larceny bourbon, .5 oz. Laird’s Apple brandy, 1 oz. Cocchi di Torino, 2 dashes black walnut bitters and 1 smoked ice cube in a mixing glass. To garnish, hold a lit match under an orange peel and squeeze peel over the match, causing oils to ignite and drip into drink.
Related: Next Stop: American South