The Hot Nerds of Holiday Cocktails

The oft-dismissed category of winter cocktails are back, batter-buttered and hotter than ever.

Hot Toddy: A most traditional winter warmer. [Recipe]

Hot Buttered Rum: Is there anything sexier than a glass of melted butter mixed with rum? No. [Recipe]

Wassail: The world's most storied hand warmer. [Recipe]

Glogg: The bearded Nordic man's hot drink. [Recipe]

Bergamot Blazer: Andrew Bohrer’s tea-infused take on the flaming Blue Blazer. [Recipe]

Tom & Jerry: Andrew Bohrer's modern take on the Christmas classic. [Recipe]

Smoking Bishop: Victorian-era port punch, à la Charles Dickens. [Recipe]

Have you ever just wanted to melt stick of butter, swirl it into a cup of hot rum and then chug it?

Us too.

For most, the Hot Toddy is the singular hand warmer within the winter cocktail canon consumed with any regularity. But there is a big, bad underworld of hot drinks out there, with names that sound as if they were plucked from Middle Earth. While respected in certain circles, these drinks, like the Wassail and Glogg, have remained the nerdy teenagers of the craft cocktail world, their often idiosyncratic compositions—almonds, raisins and wine, egg batter, butter—dismissed and rejected. These are the drinks left to play Legend of Zelda late night.

However misunderstood and freakishly composed, many of them have storied histories and, when made properly, are among the most rewarding of holiday concoctions.

So, for those who answered yes to question number one (bless you), we’ve uncovered what we think is just about the best Hot Buttered Rum around. To that we’ve added a spiced-up Hot Toddy, an old-school Glogg, a sherry-based Wassail, the perfect Tom & Jerry from Andrew Bohrer (king of awkward drinks), his flaming Bergamot Blazer and a low-ABV port and orange-infused Smoking Bishop. All of them hot, all of them boozy enough to combat the holidays. In the words of the Old Man from Legend of Zelda, “It’s dangerous to go it alone. Take this these.”