‘Tis The Season: Hot Holiday Cocktails In Astoria and LIC

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Spiked ciders, hot toddies and mulled wines can help soothe the soul on long winter nights and during the hectic holiday hustle. Here are six tasty picks for thirsty tipplers on the hunt for delicious festive cocktails and other warming spirits in Astoria and Long Island City that pack a serious palatal punch this season.

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Image source: DiWine – their cozy interior with the semi private booths on the right

Nothing screams the holidays quite like boozy eggnog! Astoria date-night fave DiWine is classing up this seasonal staple by once again adding a creamy, nutmeg-infused Eggnog Martini to its specialty cocktail menu this month. The velvety smooth drink that’s made with spiced rum, bourbon, cinnamon and fresh eggnog is served in, you guessed it, a martini glass. It’s a yummy treat perfect for cozying up in one of their (semi) private booths. If rich ‘nog isn’t your thing, try the Bourbon Cherry Old Fashioned.

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The Astor Room is king when it comes to mixing up impressive cocktails and creating a cool 1930s atmosphere that makes you wish you were sipping alongside W.C. Fields. Its well-appointed bar and expert mixologists truly know their bitters and aromatics, which is why the drink list is always spot-on. While the cocktail menu tends to rotate with the seasons, you can always warm up with Some Like It Hot, a powerful rum-based concoction that incorporates house-made honey syrup, fresh mint, cardamaro and Hellfire Habanero Shrub bitters.

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There’s a lot of chatter about newcomer The Strand Smokehouse, which opened its doors in Astoria last month to mixed reviews. But one thing’s for sure: this countrified bar and barbecue joint doesn’t skimp on the whiskey (barrels of it are proudly displayed behind the bar) and the creative bourbon and rye drinks are no joke. Two beverages from the menu get our pick for winter’s best. The Liar’s Club is a deliciously sweet and smooth concoction that combines Larceny Bourbon, maple syrup and Brooklyn Soda Works hibiscus served in a mason jar with a cinnamon stick for extra kick. Shelter From The Storm, a hot spiced cider with Whitetail Caramel Whiskey and star anise, truly tastes like the holidays.

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Image source: Dutch Kills

The piping hot drinks at cozy LIC speakeasy Dutch Kills are always exceptional and made with painstaking precision by superior cocktail concoctionists. We’re talking beverages so strong that one sip will cure your winter-weather doldrums. The Hot Toddy, Irish Coffee and Hot Buttered Rum are classic must-haves, but the decadent A la Mode is what really stole our heart. Bourbon and mulled cider get a rich finish of whipped heavy cream and a dusting of fresh grated nutmeg for a lush, satisfying treat that’s so good you’ll forget about all those gifts you still have to wrap. The aptly named Bear Trap is so delicious it’s lethal. Bourbon, honey syrup and fresh apple cider are combined with a teaspoon of house-made spiced butter (oh, yes!) and an apple garnish. Yum.

For simpler winter warmers, Sparrow Tavern and Sweet Afton in Astoria offer tasty hot cider and Raven’s Head Public House‘s seasonal specialty is mulled wine.