While you’re getting ready to celebrate the holidays, bars and restaurants are getting their winter menus together. The winter cocktails — not really holiday cocktails — usually feature darker liquors, baking spices, winter seasonal ingredients, and even the occasional drink served warm. We gathered a representative sample from around town that shows we’re in for a fantastic holiday season, at least as far as the drinks are concerned.
Teenage Dream from Burger Punk
This variation on an apple cider includes Larceny Bourbon and a smoky, local whiskey from OK Distilling that enhances the winter vibe; it’s rounded out by Licor 43 and house-made caramel.
The Bananarama at Scratch Norman
Bananas are popular this winter, and this drink that takes its inspiration from Brazil is the perfect place to showcase the flavor. A blend of cachaca (a spirit made from distilled sugar cane), orange juice, allspice dram, and Bittercube Blackstrap bitters, the cocktail is topped with a vanilla wafer and banana foam (with banana liqueur). Muscovado, an unrefined sugar with high molasses content, adds a dark, smoky undertone.
Banana Buttered Rum from Palo Santo
A variation on a seasonal favorite, Bailey Butler’s hot buttered rum uses creamy Plugra butter with viejo rum, brown sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon, and creme de banane to create an indulgent winter warmer.
Sweater Weather Sangria from Pizzeria Gusto
For the winter days that aren’t bone-chilling, Gusto has a take on sangria with house-made cinnamon whiskey, Cabernet Sauvignon, orange juice, lemon, and orange bitters.
Spill the Tea from The T Room at The Jones Assembly
A complex, layered warm cocktail that relies on spicy chai to bring the winter vibe. It’s chai-Infused Dewar’s Scotch, ruby port, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple cordial, lemon, and a cinnamon ceylon tincture.
Life by the Drop at Barkeep OKC
Coffee and Olmeca Altos reposado tequila actually blend beautifully for the kind of coffee you shouldn’t have first thing in the morning. Julia McLish adds cocoa-infused agave syrup, and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters, topped with cayenne whipped cream and served with Pocky sticks.
New World Fashioned at Jimmy B’s Culinary + Krafted
Michael Kraft’s personal favorite on the cocktail menu at the new Hal Smith concept in Automobile Alley, this riff on an old fashioned uses Hibiki Harmony Whisky, Ancho Reyes chile liquer, cinnamon simple and Aztec chocolate bitters.