Locally Inspired Hot Drinks for Winter
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Winter Warmers: Locally Inspired Holiday Cocktails

This time of year it seems certain types of drinks come into fashion, and the most popular of course, are warm cocktails. Personally, I think when done well, a tasty winter warmer (even if cold by temperature) can be the perfect thing to warm up a chilly afternoon, a great start to the night, or a dreamy nightcap. Why don’t you consider one of these locally-inspired winter warmers on your next trip?

Farm-to-Bar Drinks by the Fire in Asheville

The Great Hall Bar at the historic Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is certainly one of Asheville’s top winter attractions. (See our previous Asheville trip report for a full list of ideas.) The bar features some fantastic “farm-to-bar” cocktails, which are perfect to enjoy while warming yourself in front of the hall’s massive 15 foot fireplace.

Be sure to ask for a concoction using Troy and Sons, the local moonshine, such as the If It Fitz (moonshine, coconut rum, amaretto, and the Inn’s own Great Gatsby Abbey Ale). Cheers to Asheville!

The Blackcomb Crush in Whistler

Whistler is one of the best places in the world for skiing. So, if you’re here enjoying the fantastic slopes, you’ll no doubt want to partake in some tasty warmers after a day on the show. I suggest you try the Blackcomb Crush, available at the Sidecut restaurant in Four Seasons Resort Whistler.

The Blackcomb Crush’s is made with blackberries, vanilla vodka, lemon, cane syrup and crushed ice. Those blackberries are a signature Whistler fruit, found all around the city.

A Ginger & Oatmeal Flip and the Boston Skyline

Should you decide to brave the cold to enjoy some sightseeing in Boston, be sure to wander over to the Royal Sonesta Hotel, where some wonderful seasonal treats are waiting. They have a yummy Ginger & Oatmeal Flip using local Oatmeal stout, snap, demrara syrup, and a local Organic Egg. Tasty!

You can also opt instead for a Barrel Aged White Manhattan, made with Bully Boy White Whiskey from Boston. The Sonesta is located on the riverfront, with a great view over the Charles River and Boston skyline, perfect after a day of sightseeing in Boston.

Maine-Inspired Warmers at the Camden Harbour Inn

Any visit to chilly Maine will definitely require a warmer to get you through the night. So, why not explore the award-winning beverages on offer at the Camden Harbour Inn. Two suggestions for this winter are the Maine Apple and the Stocking Stuff. The Main Apple features apple brandy, cranberry juice, Fiddler’s Reach Honey Wine from Bath Maine, and some Crown Royal Whiskey. The stocking stuffer has ruby red grape fruit, Maine Blueberry Honey Syrup (yum!), vodka, aperol, and a splash of tonic. Talk about tasty!

Idaho Alcohol, Idaho Cocktails

Should you find yourself enjoying the great outdoors in Idaho, then the Coeur d’Alene Resort has you covered. The resort serves up an Idaho corn vodka out of Boise named Revolution and an Idaho potato vodka out of Rigby named 44 North Huckleberry. (As I previously pointed out, Boise has it going on when it comes to food and beverage. The wine room at the Coeur d’Alene speaks for itself.)

In the summer you’ll get these beverages served up with fresh local huckleberries, and then local herbs in winter – although I think with a splash of soda these local brews taste fine on their own! Try a bloody mary if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Spicy Hot Chocolate in Tucson, Arizona

We are not strangers to the power of the American Southwest’s chile peppers, as evidenced in our 13 ways to eat a New Mexico chile pepper. And at the Pasco Kitchen and Lounge in Tucson, they know a thing or two as well. I was surprised to learn that winter in Arizona can result in chilly nights and snow in the mountains!

Pasco has the cure for those chilly nights with their famous spicy hot chocolate, made with locally-grown Anaheim green chiles from Marana, just north of Tucson. Their head chef Ramiro Scavo looks like he’s mastered the art of presentation as well.

Beermisu in Downtown Disney, Orlando

While Downtown Disney may inspire dreams of sweet treats and kid-friendly snacks, the adults haven’t been left off the menu, particularly at the Portobello Restaurant. While the guys will love this one, I think anybody can get behind a drink that merges beer and dessert. The result of that combo is biramisu, which uses a local organic porter from Orlando Brewing. The beer is warmed and reduced to a syrup, then egg, Marscapone, and sugar are added, and don’t forget the biscuit. How tasty!

A Travassa Mixology – Hana, Hawaii

I’m excited to experience the Travaasa Hana’s new “Art of the Cocktail” mixology seminar. You get to work with the on site food and beverage director to create your own specialty cocktail with the fruit available that day. You also get to name your drink (with the staff providing some advice on Hawaiian words that would suit). I’d like to that these drinks are healthy, but hey – you’re on vacation – so I guess it doesn’t matter.

A Colorado-Inspired Old Fashioned

In Colorado Springs, the Broadmoor is serving up a tasty Harvest Old Fashioned. It’s made with Leopold Bros. Apple Flavored Whiskey, made locally in nearby Denver, CO. It also include homemade cinnamon bitters (can you say wow?!), muddled grapes, and a splash of soda. This sounds perfect after a day of enjoying the great Colorado outdoors.

A New-Fashioned Hot Buttered Rum

Also in Colorado, you’ll find another new twist on an old fashioned cocktail, the hot buttered rum. Leading the charge on this wintery refresh are the fine folks at Montanya Distillery in Crested Butte, who recently opened a new tasting room and are serving up lots of great, award-winning beverages that will leave you with a new impression of rum, especially their gorgeous-looking hot buttered rum which looks too good to turn down.

What’s your favorite locally-inspired winter warmer?

All images are courtesy of the venue except Grove Park Inn (Flickr CC rodmanjr) and Camden Harbor (Patrick McQuigan).

Winter Warmers: Locally Inspired Holiday Cocktails

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