6 warm, boozy cocktails from Barndiva, Grossman’s and more
When the weather outside is frightful, a warm, boozy beverage can be a delightful way to ward off the winter chill. We asked several popular Sonoma County restaurants, wineries and cocktail experts to share their favorite cold-weather sipper. And the results are delicious.
All recipes are for one serving unless otherwise noted.
Hot Spiced Cider, Barndiva, Healdsburg
At Barndiva in Healdsburg, beverage director and cocktail all-star Scott Beattie puts a twist on traditional hot apple cider with the addition of cognac and allspice dram, a sweet allspice liqueur frequently found in Tiki drinks.
For the apple cider base, Barndiva uses their own recipe, produced from the 16 heirloom apple varieties that grow on their Philo property.
“We’re fortunate to make our own unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider,” Beattie said. “The apple flavor is complex with sweet caramel and tart lemon components.”
At home, Beattie suggests using a quality, unfiltered apple cider for this recipe, as well Remy Martin 1738 cognac or any decent bourbon, aged rum or brandy. For the allspice dram, he prefers St. Elizabeth or Bitter Truth, as well as Fee Brothers Barrel-Aged Bitters, which provide notes of clove, allspice and cinnamon.
Hot Spiced Cider
1½ ounces cognac
½ ounce allspice dram
1 dash Fee Brothers Barrel-Aged Bitters (or Angostura)
5 ounces unfiltered apple cider
Cinnamon stick or star anise, to garnish
Add all ingredients to a small pot and heat until very hot to the touch, but not boiling. Pour into a preheated mug and garnish with a burnt cinnamon stick and/or star anise.
Mulled Wine, Ziggy Eschliman (Ziggy the Wine Gal)
Frequently recognized by her moniker, Ziggy the Wine Gal, Ziggy Eschliman is the vivacious host of “Wine Wednesday,” a weekly wine program on KRSH 95.9 FM (The Krush). An expert on wine, spirits and Wine Country lifestyle, Eschliman loves to entertain at her home year-round and is planning to launch a new lifestyle brand in the new year called ZigStyle.
“Having certain traditions during the holiday season warms my heart, and mulled wine is one,” she said. “As many things in my kitchen do, the recipe has evolved over the years. I add bourbon to pay homage to my relatives in the South and maple syrup to give a nod to Vermont, where my daughter went to college. I also love adding honey from the last place I traveled to before winter. This year, that was Italy.”
For the red wine, use blends for added complexity.
ZigStyle Mulled Wine
Makes about 8 servings
2 bottles red wine
½ cup bourbon
¼ cup Vermont maple syrup
¼ cup honey
Peel of 1 orange, pith removed
6-8 cloves, whole
2-3 allspice berries
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise, whole
Take half the orange peel and stud it with cloves. Set aside.
In a large pot or slow cooker, add the wine, bourbon, maple syrup and honey and stir well. Add clove-studded orange peel, plain orange peel, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks and star anise and stir well. Bring mixture to a high simmer (but not boiling), then reduce heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve. If using a slow cooker, heat on low for ½ hour, then turn down to “keep warm” setting until ready to serve.
Eschliman said she likes to use a vintage silver tray for garnishes, including ½ orange wheels studded with a few cloves, cinnamon sticks and fresh cranberries pierced onto long bamboo toothpicks. To serve, she uses mismatched antique tea cups and saucers, with a ladle placed on a vintage plate or tray.
The Hot Lebowski, Grossman’s Noshery & Bar, Santa Rosa
Located in downtown Santa Rosa, Grossman’s Noshery serves heaps of delicious Jewish and Eastern European-inspired fare, like house-cured meats and smoked fish, piles of pastrami, pelmeni, kreplach and potato leek latkes.
Grossman’s also has a full bar with a cocktail list that takes a punny swing at cocktail classics, like Aperol We’ve Been Through, Weekend at Bubbie’s and Divine Intervengin. And The Hot Lebowski.
“When we developed our beverage menu, I knew I wanted to create a drink based on the classic white Russian, but more focused on coffee than booze,” said Matt Stern, general manager. “We quickly dialed in the recipe for The Hot Lebowski, which references actor Jeff Bridges’ favorite drink in the Cohen brothers’ movie, ‘The Big Lebowski.’”
The Hot Lebowski
4-6 ounces freshly brewed coffee
1½ ounces Kahlua
¾ ounce vodka
Whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a warmed mug. Top with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.
La Canela, The Madrona, Healdsburg
At The Madrona in Healdsburg, Hannah’s Bar has a list of meticulously crafted cocktails developed by West Bev, a Bay Area beverage consultancy of notable mixologists. Often highlighting ingredients grown throughout the property, the cocktails are fresh, modern and inventive yet true to their classic roots.