Oh, the weather outside is frightful... Okay, so maybe not frightful, but it sure is cold in San Francisco this winter. The good news is that with frigid temperatures comes seasonal cocktails to warm your bones. Shake off the chill with one of these alcohol-fueled hot beverages that are definitely a step up from pouring whiskey into your coffee (though no one will judge you if you do).Read More
13 Hot Cocktails to Enjoy on Cold San Francisco Nights
When the temps drop, these warm boozy beverages will warm you right up.
1. Americano Restaurant & Bar
Grown-up hot chocolate should have two things: booze and a spicy kick. Americano’s Hot Scotch Chocolate delivers on both. It’s an indulgent concoction of Bruichladdich Scotch, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate, house-made whipped cream, and chili powder. Being an adult has never tasted so good.
2. Balboa Cafe
Skip dessert in lieu of Balboa’s Hot Apple Pie cocktail (Tuaca, hot apple cider, cinnamon) topped with whipped cream. This classic restaurant also offers two other classic winter cocktails: Hot Buttered Rum and a Warm Egg Nog… The only problem you'll have is deciding which one to order (first).
Mulled wine has been around since the second century, when the Romans incorporated it into their drinking rotation, but the mulled wine at Belga is brand new to the menu. A sachet of cloves, cinnamon sticks, and allspice berries add spice to the full bodied beverage which instantly warms your insides.
4. Bluestem Brasserie
When Karl the Fog rolls in, order his namesake cocktail from Bluestem Brasserie to keep you warm and cozy. It’s a cozy mix of brandy, Bénédictine, Frangelico, coffee liqueur, coffee, and, best of all, a toasted marshmallow meringue on top. You’ll also want to try the Hot Austrian Punsch (wine, sugar, Stroh’s Austrian Rum, orange, cloves, cinnamon, and spices), a recipe that husband-wife owners Stacy and Adam Jed brought to the restaurant after a trip to Vienna to visit family. Adam asked his aunt how everyone could be so happy in the freezing cold and she replied, “It’s the Punsch!” As it turns out, she was right.
5. Boxing Room
Nothing says "winter cocktail" like a hot toddy, but Boxing Room takes it a step further with its Spiced Apple Cider Hot Toddy. There's a warm kick of spiced apples and the Meyers’ Dark Rum gives it a smooth molasses finish. Order some Cajun-boiled peanuts to snack on while you sip and you’ve got yourself the perfect cold weather treat.
6. El Techo de Lolinda
You might think it's too cold to enjoy on of SF's best rooftop bars, but thanks to wind screens, heat lamps, and the Rosa Maria, a hot cocktail with Appleton Rum, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and ancho reyes, garnished with rosemary sprig, orange peel, grated cinnamon, there's no reason you can't sit back and enjoy the view in total comfort.
Elixir is bringing back the Tom and Jerry, a classic that dates back to the 1800s and signifies the beginning of the holiday season. A house-made batter of eggs, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla is stirred with hot frothed milk and served in a mug with a stirring spoon. You can also get a twist on hot buttered rum that features a house-made batter of brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon, mixed with Appleton Estate Gold Rum, spices, and served with vanilla ice cream.
Take off your hat and mittens and let the Locanda Cider warm you up. It's a new addition to the menu and includes your choice of rum or whiskey, Bates & Schmitt organic cider, capano antica, and allspice dram.
9. Myriad Gastropub
You might not be able to take an actual hayride this winter, but the The Hayride (Cardamaro Vino Amaro, Ramos Pinto White Port, apple cider, Degroff’s Pimento bitters, cranberry juice, cloves and cinnamon) at Myriad Gastropub is even better because there’s not actual hay involved and it’s a hot cocktail with tasty booze.
10. Presidio Social Club
Afternoon tea just got a whole lot better thanks to the Drunken Earl (Wild Turkey Rye, Drambuie, and earl grey tea) at Presidio Social Club. Or, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, try the Hot Mint Chocolate (Brancamenta & house made hot chocolate). Not a tea or hot chocolate drinker? No worries: the PSC House coffee with a secret blend of liquors and topped with whipped cream was made just for you.
11. Reverb Kitchen & Bar
This neighborhood spot is the perfect place for some delicious snacks and a new-to-the-menu John the Conqueror (Buttered El Dorado 5 year, pineapple gum, jerk spice, all spice dram, angostura bitters, nutmeg, lime zest, compound butter). Pair it with the donuts because one should never go to Reverb and not order the donuts.
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12. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
Be careful; the Smooth Killer at Tony's Pizza Napoletana is just that. Drink more than one of the wintery cocktail (Wild Turkey rye whisky, fresh lemon, honey, amaretto, hot infusion-siphon tea with cinnamon, vanilla, orange, jasmine, and cloves) and it might just knock you off your feet.
The Chai-Horchata at 1760 looks like a cappuccino, but surprise! It's actually a boozy mix of Cognac, Rum Chata, house chai blend and steamed milk. Though you'll have to wait until 5 p.m. to get it during the week, you should definitely order it instead of coffee at the weekend brunch.