Surviving the cold the old-fashioned way


The Maple Walnut Toddy at the Grill Room

They say the whole “alcohol makes you warmer” thing is a myth. They say it constricts the blood vessels inhibiting circulation. Well, you know what, they can just be cold and sober. With the recent snap of cold weather, there’s never been a better moment for a nice winter warmer cocktail, or four. I got in touch with a few of my favorite Portland bartenders to get recipes for some delicious drinks that will keep you toasty through these long nights.


Boozy Cocoa

1 ounce Torani raspberry syrup (pro tip: make your own with sugar, water and frozen raspberries)

2 ounces of rum

Add to hot cocoa

“About as simple as a winter cocktail gets. You can easily make your own raspberry syrup at home, but if you haven’t got the time, Torani will do. Just add that and the rum to your cocoa for what amounts to a chocolate-dipped raspberry rum ball.” — Terry Peterson, In’finiti


Mulled Wine

4 ounces red wine

Heat in sauce pan with cloves, orange peel and ¾ ounce of Tuaca liqueur

Strain cloves and serve hot with an orange peel and 2 dashes of orange bitters

“You’ve never really tasted anything like this. We’re used to our wines being served room temperature or chilled, but when you heat it up with some additional flavoring you get a very uniquely warming beverage.” -Jamie Colpoys, Sonny’s


The Laphroaig Project

1 ounce Green Chartreuse

1 ounce Lemon Juice

½ ounce Luxardo

½ ounce Laphroaig 10 year (Better if its the Quarter Cask Laphroaig)

¼ ounce Yellow Chartreuse

2 dashes Fee Brothers Peach Bitters

Shaken and strained in a rocks filled old fashioned glass, garnished with a lemon twist

“This cocktail is both smokey from the Green Chartreuse and Scotch but brightened by the lemon and peach bitters. Refreshing and warming, I just learned this cocktail and couldn’t be happier about it. Drink this paired with [reggae legend] Gregory Isaacs.” — Jeff Hodenberg, Bramhall


Maple Walnut Toddy

1 ¾ ounces makers mark (or maple bourbon)

½ ounce Saplings maple liqueur

¼ ounces lemon juice

Squeeze of honey

3 dashes Fee Brothers black walnut bitters


Add to 4 ounces hot water

Drop in a clove studded lemon

“The booziness of the bourbon is balanced by the sweet warming maple flavors and cut through by the lemon. The bitters add a depth of flavor and the clove studded lemon makes a handsome garnish.” — Peter Darby, The Grill Room


Mocha Oatie (or the Wild Bill)

2 ounces In’finiti white oat whiskey

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 ounce cold brew coffee


Finish in coffee mug with 2 ounces hot chocolate.

Top with whipped cream and shaved nutmeg

“Oaty notes on the front end with a chocolate finish. The oat flavor comes from the oat whiskey which is distilled from a mash of 65 percent rolled oats and 35 percent malted barley. The cinnamon and coffee supply the backbone. Traces of coffee and sparse tastes of cinnamon will hit you in the middle and enhance the hot chocolate.” — Bill Burke, In’Finiti



1 ½ ounces Bourbon (I like Buffalo Trace or Elijah Craig)

¾ ounce Carpano Antica

¾ ounces Campari

Stirred, and strained into a cocktail coupe, garnish with an orange twist

“Basically this is a Manhattan meets Negroni in all the sexiest ways. The floral, herbal notes of the Carpano meets the subtle warming sweetness of bourbon balanced by the orangey bitter flavors of Campari.” — Jeff Hodenberg, Bramhall

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