As the sky turns grey and the wind blows cold over Boston, the beer gardens are shuttered and the patio chairs are pulled from the city sidewalks. Though days of lolling about in the open air, cocktail in hand, are gone for the next few months, you shouldn’t let that roof over your head hamper your libation imagination and inspiration. With the winter weather comes the opportunity to battle the cold with hot cocktails from some of Boston’s best bars and restaurants. From green teas and spiked hot chocolate, classic hot toddies and Irish coffee, here are some of the best hot cocktails for winter-weather in Boston.
Down in South Boston’s Ink Block is one of the city’s finest locations for cocktails and upscale bar food. Though the warm lighting, pressed-tin ceiling, and leather chairs at Lion's Tail are sure to keep the cold outside the windows at bay, order the Big Mo from the bar and you’ll find yourself settled in till the spring thaw. Irish whiskey, brown butter, Demerara sugar and roasted pecans come together in a hot cup of locally roasted Jaho coffee; top with handmade whipped cream and be sure to leave your parka at the door.
Lower Mills Tavern
Down in the Lower Mills village of Dorchester, you’ll find a neighborhood tavern unlike any other across the city. Its wood planked façade and wide windows beckon the passerby in from the street, greeting them with gourmet bar food that sure makes visiting this remote Boston outpost a routine. If you head there this winter, warm up with The Proper Tea, a cocktail of hot green tea, honey, green chartreuse and Proper 12 Whiskey.
“America’s First Sports Bar” is an Irish city’s dream pub. Exposed brick, thick wooden tables and bar tops, buttoned leather booths, and plenty of Boston memorabilia lining the walls make this centralized Boylston Street pub a perfect hangout for a wintery afternoon and evening. Nothing better compliments a Bruins game on the big screen than the McG Irish Coffee with Jameson, amaretto and frangelico, topped with a shamrock of nutmeg.
Where once I-95 blasted through the cityscape, Ward 8 stands alongside the Rose Kennedy Greenway, the TD Garden, and rows of brand new high-rise apartment buildings. Ward 8 is a sleek bar, emblematic of the rapidly up-and-coming West End neighborhood. Though the river breeze may cut cold through the neighborhood, Ward 8’s hot cocktail “The Sapling,” with Medford Rum, Allspice Dram, ginger syrup, maple syrup and butter, is sure to heat you up.
Publico Street Bistro
Down in South Boston, contemporary meets classic at the Publico Street Bistro. Publico sports a tall order of hot cocktails, like the Spiked Hot Chocolate (Grey Goose, house-made cocoa and chocolate bitters), the Hot Buttered Rum (Bacardi 8 and house butter batter), or the Hot Toddy with Teeling Irish whiskey, pimento dram, honey and lemon.