Where to Warm Up with Hot Cocktails Around Boston
These bars and restaurants know that a warm, boozy drink is the best way to fight off the cold.
There are plenty of ways to fight the winter chill. The easiest way, of course, is to simply avoid going outside. (If only!) When that’s not a possibility (which is probably pretty often), you can always get to sipping on a warm cocktail. Hot toddies, Skrewball hot chocolates, and warm booze-filled ciders are among the options at Boston’s restaurants and bars this season, and most come complete with expertly punny names and a smattering of sweet toppings to boot. Many of these spots also boast fire pits and fireplaces, along with soul-warming meals. Stop by one or two—or stop by them all—for drinks that are guaranteed to stave off the winter blues.
This West End spot might be known for its Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning wine list, but the cocktails are just as enticing. This season, it’s the warm beverages, specifically, that steal the show. For a spiked take on a classic apple cider, try the Wassail—complete with Ferrand cognac and orange, and spiced with clove. For something chocolatey, the Marseillaise delivers with spiced cocoa, oat milk, and French Ricard Pastis de Marseille. To which we say: C’est parfait!
50 Lovejoy Wharf, Boston, 617-248-0050, alcoveboston.com.
The Bowery Bar
Why book it to the Bowery Bar? To start, the Lower Mills tavern has a menu fully stocked with comfort food, heated yurts for al fresco dining all winter long, and seasonal drinks that include a flurry of hot cocktails. There’s the Blizzard of ‘78, for instance, which combines hot chocolate with Skrewball peanut butter whiskey, as well as the Flannel Season, a cozy sipper crafted from vanilla vodka, pumpkin liqueur, and coffee, all topped with whipped cream. More of a traditionalist? No worries—the Bowery has classic Irish coffee and hot toddies, too.
2261 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-698-2261, bowery-bar.com.
City Tap House
Play mixologist at City Tap House, where the create-your-own-hot-cocktail option—dubbed the “Hand Warmers”—lets you craft a drink that perfectly suits your tastes. Choose from coffee, hot chocolate and apple cider bases, then add your choice of up to three (yes, up to three—if you really want the booziness to shine through) spirits. Maybe spike your cider with Captain Morgan or toss a little Bailey’s in your coffee. And of course, don’t forget about the toppings: mini marshmallows, crushed candy canes, chocolate curls…the list goes on.
10 Boston Wharf Rd., Boston, 617-904-2748, citytap.com/location/fort-point.
The Holiday Market at Snowport
The Seaport’s Holiday Market at Snowport features more than a few dozen local businesses—as well as food and drinks from Tuscan Kitchen. So while you’re stocking up on holiday presents for friends and family, you can also treat yourself to a little something, too: Specifically, a festive spirit-filled drink. Hop aboard the Espresso Train to the North Pole, a warm espresso martini gifted with vanilla gelato and gingerbread, or sip on the classic Christmas mulled wine. As for the Feliz Navidad hot chocolate, spiked with tequila and flavored with sea salt caramel and peppermint? Trust us, it’s a gift.
88 Seaport Blvd., Boston, bostonseaport.xyz/holidaymarket.
In addition to the Lookout Rooftop’s sparkling views of the Boston skyline, heated igloos, and private “Ice Boxes” with fire pits and couches, the Envoy Hotel’s lofty hangout has three hot drinks available for the tasting. If you love a good rhyme, the Feeling Frisky with Irish whiskey (see?), wine, orange and lemon might be for you. Cider-lovers should, however, go for the Snuggle Juice, complete with vodka, lemon, and ginger. Finally, chocolate fanatics can opt for the Ott Chocolate with tequila and chocolate almond milk, flavored with orange and vanilla.
The Envoy Hotel Boston, 70 Sleeper St., Boston, theenvoyhotel.com
Publico Street Bistro
When Publico’s apres-ski-inspired set up in its courtyard—aptly named “The Lodge at Publico”—gets decked out for the season in mid-December, so will the Southie restaurant’s cocktail menu. While sitting by the fire pits wrapped in a flannel blanket, you’ll be able to sip on one of three specialty drinks: a salted caramel hot chocolate with Stoli vanilla and Kahlua salted caramel, a hot toddy with Jameson and bitters, or the Peppermint Patty with Dr. McGillicuddy’s and hot chocolate. Drinking with friends? We recommend the large-format Kahlua- and Bailey-spiked hot chocolate that’s served in a custom French press carafe.
11 Dorchester St., Boston, 617-622-5700, publicoboston.com.
The Quiet Few
This hopping tavern in Eastie has a bar well-stocked with every spirit, but whiskey is a major focus (the place offers dozens and dozens of varieties). Naturally, its just-dropped menu of warm, wintry cocktails makes ample use of the stuff: Choose from the deliciously spicy TQF World Famous Hot Toddy, the Geri Halliwell made with ginger whiskey, and the Love, Slane O’er Me with Irish whiskey, Irish cream, coffee, and whipped cream. Whatever you pick, pair it with the food menu’s piled-high burgers and other hefty comfort fare.
331 Sumner St., East Boston, 617-561-1061, thequietfew.com.
Trina’s Starlight Lounge
If you’re looking for a warming buzz in Somerville, get glowing to Trina’s Starlite Lounge. Snack on fried chicken and waffles or a chili cheese dog, then wash it all down with a steaming spirited beverage. There’s the Gentleman, a snazzy combination of bourbon, Belle de Brillet, and lemon, as well as the Rockin’ Chair: Made with black tea-infused bourbon and ginger cognac, it will warm your soul better than ho-hum Earl Grey.
3 Beacon St., Somerville, 617-576-0006, trinastarlitelounge.com.