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Don’t let the cold weather—or the holiday stress—stifle your fun this year. From boozy teas to slow-drinking libations to tropical sippers, these cocktails will keep you in good spirits all season long.
Tupelo Honey Cafe’s Cold Mountain Hot Toddy
Few things are more comforting than a hot herbal tea on a cold night. But when you add a generous serving of brandy, pumpkin spice-ginger syrup, fresh-pressed apple juice, and cinnamon, you get the perfect cold-weather libation. Tupelo Honey Cafe’s take on a hot toddy is steeped for two minutes in a French press with loose chamomile tea and served with an orange garnish. 1650 Wewatta St., 720-274-0650
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Bar Fausto’s Ramos Gin Fizz
Sometimes a traditional drink is made so well that it deserves year-round recognition. RiNo’s Bar Fausto serves a perfectly balanced, downright festive version of the notoriously hard-to-make Ramos Gin Fizz. The New Orleans classic is a blend of orange flower water, lemon, lime, cream, gin, and soda, but the key ingredient is the egg whites. The concoction is traditionally shaken for a full 12 minutes, leaving a meringue-like cloud atop the beverage. While it’s available year-round, the creamy orange drink feels particularly right on chilly evenings. 3126 Larimer St., 720-445-9691
Dio Mio’s R.I.P A.P
It turns out that Fernet Branca (an Italian digestif) and bourbon are a match made in booze heaven: the bourbon’s sweet, spicy notes practically melt into fernet’s minty, aromatic flavor. But Dio Mio’s R.I.P. A.P. brings a welcome sweet tang to the combo with its addition of maple syrup and lemon juice. The dark, strong beverage makes for a perfect cold-weather drink. Pair it with one of the handmade pastas for a blissful winter meal—we especially love this bold drink alongside the beautifully simple cacio e pepe. 3264 Larimer St., 303-562-1965
Bar Helix’s Side Piece
For those wintry nights when you’re craving a hint of something tropical, Bar Helix’s rum-based Side Piece will get the job done. The Don Q Añejo rum-based libation, which is made with orange cognac, blood orange, and lime, will transport you from chilly RiNo to the ocean-side bar on the beach of your dreams. 3440 Larimer St., 720-449-8587
Edge Restaurant & Bar’s American Pie
Any cocktail described as “apple pie in drink form” is a winner in our books. Made with Plantation Five-Year aged rum, Leopold Bros.’ apple liqueur, cinnamon, sugar, and lime, no drink is more on-brand for the holidays. Get it at Edge Restaurant & Bar, located in the downtown Four Seasons. 1111 14th St., 303-389-3343
Punch Bowl Social’s Mistletoe Punch
Two different whiskies, pear, cranberry, and mint tea combine to make this perfect-for-sharing punch. The cocktail (which is meant to serve four, so drink responsibly) is served with a Luxardo cherry and mint sprig garnish designed to mimic mistletoe. 65 S. Broadway, 303-765-2695; 3120 N. Uinta St., 720-500-3788