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You need to try the most festive winter cocktails in every state (and DC)

  • Seasonal cheer...

    ...comes in many forms, and one of the most universal is the cocktail. Whether you're more apt to imbibe with a classic Old Fashioned or Irish coffee, with something hokey and holiday-themed or artisanal offerings proffered in hipster confines redolent of beard oil, we all love to raise a glass with friends and loved ones this time of year. So in the spirit of, well ... spirits, we've put together a list of lovely libations to warm your belly as the good company warms your heart.

    Photo courtesy of Randy P. Schmidt / Sippin' Santa Pop-Up

  • Spiced Hot Apple Cider - Alabama

    This homemade concoction is a seasonal favorite among patrons at Birmingham's Avondale Common House (your choice whether to infuse it with bourbon or spiced rum). A recent Facebook post by the bar noted that it sold out almost every night last year. Adds a little fire to the furnace for sure!

    Photo courtesy of Avondale Common House

  • Pointsettia - Alaska

    Amid Juneau's downtown artisanal cocktail haven, the Narrows Bar awaits. And a holiday favorite has just arrived back on their menu. Spiced cranberry syrup brings the Christmas color and flavor while Aperol, citrus, vodka and egg white bring the rest of the spirited heavy lifting to warm your wintry soul.

    Photo courtesy of The Narrows Bar

  • Black Market - Arizona

    The Black Market comes courtesy of mixologists at Flagstaff's Whisk and Whisky. Combining Templeton Rye, Alessio Chinato Vermouth, Averna amaro and a dash of chocolate bitters (and garnished with a Luxardo maraschino Cherry), this carefully crafted take on the classic Manhattan is poured from the tap and can be served up or over ice.

    Photo courtesy of Whisk and Whisky

  • Cider House - Arkansas

    Local Lime in Little Rock may be better known for Mexican spice than the holiday variety, but they really get into the spirit of the season. Check out this beautiful seasonal, featuring Olmeca Altos Reposado, Cocchi Americano, Pierre Fernando Dry Curaçao, apple cider syrup and lemon. 

    Photo courtesy of Local Lime

  • May 1968 - California

    Inspired by a Spanish Sangria, this seasonal creation from San Francisco's Whitechapel has a wine-driven fruitiness and warm winter spices with orangey citrus notes. They say it's the perfect sipper to ease you into the holiday season.

    Photo courtesy of Whitechapel

  • Pearsnick - Colorado

    At the CopperMuse Distillery in downtown Fort Collins, there's holiday magic afoot. At least, that's what regulars believe when this seasonal favorite goes back on the menu. Two house-made infusions – rosemary- and clove-infused vodka – lend a sleigh full of Christmas spice to this martini when paired with lemon, simple syrup and organic pear juice.

    Photo courtesy of CopperMuse Distillery

  • Jingle Balls Nog - Connecticut

    The Miracle Pop-Up Christmas-themed bar concept has been proliferating steadily since its New York debut in 2014. Four years later, there are 51 participating bars nationwide, including the Highland Brass Co. in Waterbury, where you'll find drinks like this one, featuring butterfat-washed cognac, Amontillado sherry and almond milk.

    Photo courtesy of Miracle/Melissa Hom

  • Hebrew Hammer - Delaware

    At Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna, they craft premium spirits in a 1940s-era movie theater, which lends itself to great names – like Silver Screen Vodka. But this wintry, warm-cocktail creation, which pairs the aforementioned with Manischewitz, apple, pomegranate, orange and an array of spices, has an even better moniker. 

    Photo courtesy of Painted Stave Distilling

  • Frohe Weihnachten - District of Columbia

    Why a German "Merry Christmas" from our own nation's capital? Must be the Zirbenz Pine Liqueur in this seasonal offering from McClellan's Retreat. Along with this Yuletide booze from the Alps that imbues the scent of pine into its flavor, Spring 44 Vodka, Menthe-Pastille, Q Ginger Beer and white cranberry (and an artfully dangled candy cane) do a great job of conjuring the spirit of Christmas present. And presents!

    Photo courtesy of McClellan's Retreat

  • Nitro Sangria - Florida

    Who says fruity adult beverages are a summer exclusive? Or that you even need to hit a bar to get one? At the Glass Knife, a bakery and cafe in Winter Park, wine-based cocktails round out the menu with seasonal color and spice. Case in point: this velvety concoction of Cabernet Sauvignon and floral blanc vermouth steeped with citrus, honey and cinnamon. Nitrogen creates a creamy texture that gives wintry weight to a traditionally summery sip.

    Photo courtesy of The Glass Knife

  • Junkyard Nog - Georgia

    With a nod to their home-state Georgia Bulldogs, Ghost Coast Distillery's Junkyard Nog is a big holiday hit in beautiful Savannah. A treat that's complemented by the nine different spices in their Tiki-spiced Rum and the zing of their Ginger Whiskey (not to mention house-made pumpkin shrub), creator Sidney Lance says it's reminiscent of his grandma’s cooking, but "is definitely not your mother’s eggnog."

    Photo courtesy of Ghost Coast Distillery

  • The Naughty - Hawaii

    When is naughty nice? When it's your poolside cocktail in paradise. And for our purposes here, paradise is the Lehua Lounge of Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. The drink is crafted with rosemary-infused cranberry juice, fresh-squeezed lime juice, a hint of pomegranate, French orange liqueur and the property's very own Andaz Patron, for which the spirit is exclusively bottled.

    Photo courtesy of Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

  • Spiked Cider - Idaho

    Idaho's formidable winters call for fire – first beneath the simmering pot and soon after in the liver. Boise's Red Feather Lounge takes that seriously, offering a range of hot toddy-style offerings for the season, including their Spiked Cider. It showcases a double-dose of belly fire, melding house cider with both Don Q 151 and Buffalo Bourbon.

    Photo courtesy of Red Feather Lounge

  • Blitzen Gets Blitzed - Illinois

    Sailor Jerry rum and house-made oatmeal raisin syrup form the sturdy cervine backbone of Barrel + Rye's holiday offering. Blended with milk, cinnamon, vanilla and egg whites, mixologists at this Geneva tavern wanted to capture the warm, fun and seasonal essence of an oatmeal raisin cookie for this wintry libation.

    Photo courtesy of Barrel + Rye

  • Coffee Old Fashioned - Indiana

    If the pendulum-like moods of the season have you careening from amped up to slow and low, split the difference and even out in Indianapolis at the Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery. This offering melds their own whiskey with coffee liqueur and a dash of Angostura bitters. 

    Photo courtesy of Hotel Tango Artisan Distillery

  • Off the Record - Iowa

    Hello, Marjorie is located in the former Des Moines Register & Tribune building and so often names cocktails with a nod to that rich history. This cold-weather cocktail's trying hard to hang on to warmer days, a tough go when the average high in December is 37 degrees. At the front, guests get a 100-proof Knob Creek bourbon forward with walnut and cold-brew coffee notes. On the back, banana nectar and Falernum mix with pineapple for a mildly sweet, gingery accent. It cuts the bite, but you won't forget the bourbon is there.

    Photo courtesy of Hello, Marjorie

  • Grandpa's Cider - Kansas

    Created by Adam Lott of the Bourgeois Pig in Lawrence, Grandpa's Cider is a glowing hearth in a glass. A seasonal amalgam of Tempus Fugit Gran Classico, Old Grand Dad Bonded, Angostura bitters and Louisburg apple cider, it imbues the imbiber with Kansas comfort while delivering new-world cocktail appeal. Served in a snifter, it warms the hands as well as the heart. 

    Photo courtesy of The Bourgeois Pig

  • Mami Chula - Kentucky

    For many holiday imbibers, the wintry months signal the return of coquito, a traditional, coconut-based holiday drink in Puerto Rico (and sometimes referred to as "Puerto Rican eggnog"). They've got their own take at Louisville's Meta, made with banana-infused Don Q Rum Añejo, Fernet Branca Menta, coconut, condensed milk, egg yolk, cinnamon, black pepper and a mint leaf. 

    Photo courtesy of Meta

  • Kris Kringle Colada - Louisiana

    Tiki aficionados and those with a hankering for South Pacific fun often head to Beachbum Berry's Latitude 29 in New Orleans, but throughout December, they're hosting the Sippin' Santa, a tropical companion to the Miracle Pop-Up Bars! This cocktail features dark Jamaican rum, Cynar, allspice, lime & pineapple juice and cream of coconut.

    Photo courtesy of Sippin' Santa Pop-Up

  • Portland Manhattan - Maine

    Maine "enjoyed" its coldest Thanksgiving in over a century this year, but the patrons at Vena's Fizz House in Portland didn't need to huddle up to survive. The Portland Manhattan – with Split Rock Organic Bourbon, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, tobacco and persimmon bitters – did the job nicely, and can be counted upon until the spring thaw.

    Photo courtesy of Vena's Fizz House

  • Christmas Carol Barrel - Maryland

    Maryland's ONLY Miracle Pop-Up is going on through year's end at the Mutiny Pirate Bar & Island Grill in Pasadena. And since this creative offering is aged rum-based, it's a fine choice for the venue! Also included: aquavit, amaro, pumpkin pie, lemon, and Angostura bitters. Barkeeps here say it's a perfectly boozy twist on those famous (perhaps infamous) pumpkin spice flavors.

    Photo courtesy of Miracle/Melissa Hom

  • Cape Cod Cranberry Hot Toddy - Massachusetts

    When the cold weather comes storming into Hyannis, the drink options simply morph for the season. At emBargo, one option to consider is the Cape Cod Cranberry Hot Toddy, which barkeeps employ to stoke the inner fires of their happy patrons. Note that spicy rim and those plump, booze-laden berries...

    Photo courtesy of emBargo

  • The Esteemed - Michigan

    The current seasonal menu at the Sugar House in Detroit highlights the region's rich shipping history. This warm cocktail was inspired by the Walk-in-the-Water, the first steamship to operate on Lake Erie, named for a Wyandot Indian chief who was held in very high regard. Comprised of Old Grand Dad 114 Proof, honey syrup, sparrow tea and hot water, it is a blazer-style cocktail, created by passing the drink between two insulated tins while lit on fire. Great, say staffers, for a snowy winter evening.

    Photo courtesy of The Sugar House

  • And a Partridge in a Pear Tree - Minnesota

    This drink, say those in the know, is a bartender's challenge. The team at Lawless Distilling Company in Minneapolis must pour the beverage (Lawless Vodka, smoked pear syrup, cinnamon and brown sugar foam, lime, egg white, club soda, Bittercube Blackstrap, Bolivar Bitters) down a spoon to prevent a calamitous fizz-over while preserving its crispness. This method maintains the foam, preserving its body and texture.

    Photo courtesy of Lawless Distilling Company

  • Twisted Grinch - Mississippi

    They're offering several winter cocktails at Patio 44's Hattiesburg location but, say staffers, barkeep Delovitt Rogers' Twisted Grinch is the most festive by far. Godiva Milk Chocolate Liqueur, Frangelico and Absolut Vanilla make it as decadent as the season should be while crème de menthe gives it that green Grinchy hue.

    Photo courtesy of Patio 44

  • Mele Kalikimaka - Missouri

    Surprised to find a dose of Christmas aloha amid Springfield's frigid December temps? It comes courtesy of the Golden Girl Rum Club, another participant in the Sippin' Santa tropical-themed pop-up! Colorful and certainly reminiscent of warmer climes, this one features London Dry Gin, Grand Marnier, lime juice, cranberry syrup, allspice liqueur and Herbsaint.

    Photo courtesy of Golden Girl Rum Club

  • J.T.S. n' P - Montana

    It's an alphabet soup of a name for Plonk's Jalapeno Tequila Salt 'n' Pepper Martini, a heat-infused treat the folks in Bozeman no doubt employ to warm up on those 13-degree December nights. Jalapeno tequila, Cointreau, house-made ginger simple syrup and an ample mix of citrus, among other goodies, form a spicy pool on which a ground-pepper garnish is buoyed.

    Photo courtesy of Plonk Bozeman

  • Run, Run Rudolph - Nebraska

    At Omaha's Mercury, they're already in full swing with Miracle at Mercury and holiday revelers will love getting into the spirit of the season. This cocktail comprised of gin, mulled wine puree, lemon, cane syrup and Prosecco, will have you feeling bubbly in no time!

    Photo courtesy of Mercury

  • The Ava Gardner - Nevada

    Luck be a lady at Reno's St. James Infirmary with a glamorous cocktail that honors this Hollywood legend's steamy relationship with crooner extraordinaire Frank Sinatra. It's a magic elixir of Michter's American Whiskey, Cinzano Sweet Vermouth, Aperol and Pimm's No. 1 and is designed specifically to heat up a new encounter. 

    Photo courtesy of St. James Infirmary

  • Berry Como - New Hampshire

    This recent ruby-colored "Cocktail of the Week" at Portsmouth's Black Trumpet is a festive and jewel-toned holiday dream. Cognac and white wine-based with house-made candied cranberry-port purée, honey and cinnamon, it brings as much cheer as its inspiration's Christmas recordings, no doubt.

    Photo courtesy of Black Trumpet

  • Gingerbread Flip - New Jersey

    That Elf on the Shelf may find himself up to even more holiday shenanigans after a visit to Cowan's Public House in Nutley. They're among the many bars nationwide participating in the Miracle holiday pop-up, setting a cheery (and kitschy!) tone for the winter season with themed drinks like the Gingerbread Flip, a creamy elixir of Evan Williams White Label Bourbon, gingerbread syrup, a whole egg, Tiki Bitters and a gingersnap cookie crumb garnish.

    Photo courtesy of Cowan's Public House

  • Hot Buttered Rum - New Mexico

    It's getting cold in the Land of Enchantment, and local Albuquerque hang, Bar Uno, brings the friendly neighborhood vibe to warm you. But just in case, they're happy to back it up with a classic cold-weather libation that does the job with buttery rum, cider and cinnamon.

    Photo courtesy of Bar Uno

  • Marble + Rye Egg Nog - New York

    Buffalo is well known for its eggnog twist, the Tom & Jerry cocktail, so when Marble + Rye opened in 2015, staffers wanted to create a unique version thereof. Using Plato Dale Farm egg yolks and milk along with a plethora of spirits and spices, the mixture is assembled in early November, aged about a month and finished with a fluffy meringue. As it is Bar Manager Megan Lee’s creation, guests lovingly refer to it as "Meg Nog."

    Photo courtesy of Marble + Rye

  • Pecan Pie Martini - North Carolina

    This cold-weather cocktail doesn't just include RumChata, Crème De Cocoa, Bulleit Bourbon and a decadent topping of whipped cream, caramel, cinnamon and crushed pecans. It also comes with a smashing view of downtown Asheville from Pillar, a rooftop tavern atop the Hilton Garden Inn. Melding Southern tradition with holiday spirit, the barkeeps here hope you'll pop in and try one.

    Photo courtesy of Pillar

  • Linger - North Dakota

    Linger: it's what we often want to do this time of year, whether beside the fire or tree – or even beneath the mistletoe! This artful and intriguing libation, which features locally-made Minions Gin and aquavit, an oft underutilized spirit prized by Fargo locals for its strong Scandinavian roots, does indeed linger on the palate.   Enjoy it at The Toasted Frog.

    Photo courtesy of The Toasted Frog - Fargo

  • Give Me Sage or Give Me Death - Ohio

    How do the folks at Quintana's Speakeasy keep folks warm on cold nights in Cleveland Heights? With this popular take on an Old Fashioned, featuring hickory-smoked whiskey, arugula and peppercorn simple syrup, orange bitters and muddled grapefruit rind. Then they smoke it with dried sage! Beverage Director Kevin Patrick says that amazing aroma gets the whole room asking questions.

    Photo courtesy of Quintana's Speakeasy

  • Pepper Toddy - Oklahoma

    Winter nights in Oklahoma City are offset considerably by The Pump's ambitiously spicy take on this classic cold-weather cocktail which combines whiskey, cayenne pepper honey syrup, lemon juice and hot water. 

    Photo courtesy of The Pump

  • Dancers in a Plane - Oregon

    Cognac and warmth are practically synonymous, and mixologists at the Solo Club in Portland are ready to stoke your inner fires with this lovely libation, as warm in tone as in taste. Salignac cognac, absinthe, Fernet Menta, egg white and cream combine to get that Yule log burning bright.

    Photo courtesy of The Solo Club

  • Whiskey in a Teacup - Pennsylvania

    At Pittsburgh's Warren Bar & Burrow, bartender RaeLynn Gigler catapults patrons beyond gingerbread and eggnog with this marriage of whiskey sumac and winter spices. This special drink was crafted for local fundraising group Women & Whiskey, which formed to honor a young service-industry professional who succumbed to cancer in 2012. It takes its name from an old Southern phrase describing a certain caliber of woman: one with a delicate, elegant exterior – but who's tough as nails on the inside. 

    Photo courtesy of The Warren

  • Christmapolitan - Rhode Island

    Folks in Rhode Island can check out this year's Miracle Pop-Up at the Twin Rivers Casino Hotel in Lincoln where this herbaceous offering is among the leaded delights they'll be mixing. A spin on the ever popular, if decidedly summery, Cosmopolitan, this beverage features vodka, elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, lime, absinthe mist and a festive, fragrant sprig of rosemary. 

    Photo courtesy of Miracle/Melissa Hom

  • Irish Coffee - South Carolina

    Who among us imbibers hasn't inquired as to whether our coffee could be "Irish'ed up" during the winter months? And folks in the town of Travelers Rest get to do just that. Rocket Surgery's leveled-up version features Tullamore Dew, Six & Twenty Carolina Cream, demerara, Leopard Forrest coffee and house-made Green Chartreuse whipped cream with charred rosemary and nutmeg.

    Photo courtesy of Rocket Surgery

  • Hot Buttered Rum - South Dakota

    They really embrace the winter cozies in Sioux Falls say staffers at the Carpenter Bar. In fact, on December 1, they embarked on a Christmas Cocktail Countdown featuring new and classic cold-weather favorites, including this beauty, which blends a special house-made concoction of grass-fed butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and love). Not to mention delicious aged rum!

    Photo courtesy of Carpenter Bar

  • Festive Fashion - Tennessee

    Intent on holiday festivity? Get the party started with this creation from Memphis outpost Alchemy. which features Weller Special Reserve and a holiday spice syrup, among other things. "We were looking to craft a cocktail that is reminiscent of Christmas dinner. The hints of cinnamon and nutmeg pair perfectly with the cranberry and the warmth of the bourbon that bring back memories of holidays by the fire," says the drink's creator, Justin Moser.

    Photo courtesy of Alchemy Memphis

  • Koala Lalala Lalalala - Texas

    Is this the best holiday-inspired name on this coast-to-coast roster? Subjective, of course, but it's definitely a contender and comes courtesy of Julep in Houston, which is presently amid its festive Miracle Pop-Up! Belly up for this Down Under-themed tipple featuring gin, pine, dry vermouth, eucalyptus (of course!), lime and orange bitters.

    Photo courtesy of Miracle/Melissa Hom

  • Snowed Inn - Utah

    This herbaceous delight is on the Signature Cocktail menu at Lake Effect in Salt Lake City. Comprised of Beehive Jackrabbit Gin, Coco Lopez, coconut water, rosemary and lime, one's interest in shoveling snow plummets exponentially as the libation is consumed. 

    Photo courtesy of Lake Effect

  • Winter Daiquiri - Vermont

    Rum is a specialty at Mad River Distillers, but they’ve had to come to terms with the fact that Burlington’s weather, largely, is not ideal for daiquiris, and so their winterized version was born. It doesn’t stray much from the classic, but employs spiced falernum as the sugaring element to imbue the bold flavors of ginger and warming spices like nutmeg, clove and allspice. Reinforced with a dash of Angostura bitters, customers call it "Christmas in a glass."

    Photo courtesy of Mad River Distillers

  • Rebel Without A Claus - Virginia

    Now amid its "'Tis The Session" Christmas Bar Takeover, Richmond's Rappahannock Restaurant has been getting raves over mixologist Ethan Goettsch's creamy creation, which features kettle corn-infused Rhum Barbancourt White, Frangelico, heavy cream and mole bitters with a house-made hazelnut brittle garnish. To Goettsch, whose youth included many a high-dive into a 5-gallon popcorn tin, nothing is more "Christmas" than popcorn and eggnog. It's an adult beverage spin on a warm childhood memory. 

    Photo courtesy of Rappahannock Restaurant

  • Snowball Old Fashioned - Washington

    Dillingers Cocktails & Kitchen is treating Olympia to a Miracle Pop-Up every day in December, with an array of fun holiday cocktails (you've seen a bunch already if you've made it this far!) including this one, with butterscotch rye, spiced brown sugar. wormwood bitters and orange zest! 

    Photo courtesy of Miracle/Melissa Hom

  • The Godfather - West Virginia

    Adventurers seeking warmth after exploring Canaan Valley's many outdoor options from hiking to XC skiing can thaw out at this hip, kitschy and hillbilly-fabulous Billy Motel bar with the simplicity and elegance of this scotch-amaretto cocktail. Smoky, with a hint of sweetness, it warms up a cold winter's day or night.

    Photo courtesy of The Billy Motel/Joshua Gambetta

  • Harvest - Wisconsin

    Folks who frequent Madison's Old Sugar Distillery love the Harvest cocktail so much at the bar, they decided to pre-mix and bottle it, as well! And while mixologists on site serve it over one giant ice cube with a cherry garnish, its proponents say it need not be super cold. Lightly sweetened and great for the season, it's comprised of Queen Jennie Sorghum Whiskey, local Wisconsin apple cider and tart cherry juice concentrate.

    Photo courtesy of Old Sugar Distillery

  • The Old Homestead - Wyoming

    Windy winter days in Cheyenne bring with them many hot toddy and Irish coffee requests at the Paramount Ballroom and helped inspire this hot cider creation. Ingredients include Kim Crawford chardonnay, honey and apple cider boiled with rosemary, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks and fresh-cut apples. It's made leaded with local tequila barrel-aged rum from Backwards Distilling. 

    Photo courtesy of Paramount Ballroom

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