Although Spaniards and Portuguese have been drinking sangria for centuries, the brandy-spiked drink didn’t make an official appearance in the United States until 1964, at the World’s Fair in New York City.
A hot toddy is basically a shot or two of any potent spirit added to a cup of hot water. Bartender Suzanne Bozarth puts a French spin on this warming drink with a slug of apple brandy, such as Calvados.
For parties, Kathy Casey premixes the first four ingredients in large batches (3 parts vodka to 1 part each liqueur, Lillet and lemon juice). When she’s ready to pour, she fills a shaker with ice and 3 ounces of the mixture, shakes, strains into a glass and tops with Champagne.
Master bartender Wayne Collins prefers using premium, naturally sweetened tonic water (sometimes called Indian tonic water) in this punch. Q Tonic, made with agave nectar, and Fever-Tree, sweetened with cane sugar, are both excellent brands.
To underscore the rich flavor of dark Sumatra coffee, Bryan Dayton mixes it with aged rum, spicy, saffron-based Strega and molasses-y raw sugar. He even spices up the whipped cream, with bittersweet Italian Averna.
Scotch-lover Father Cameron Ayers (a close friend of Duggan McDonnell’s) challenged the mixologist to come up with a Scotch-based cocktail that was bold and refreshing but stayed true to the whisky’s roots.
Ken Oringer preheats the Thermos he uses to transport his deliciously spiced cider by filling it with boiling water and letting it sit for a few minutes. Pouring the mulled cider into a Thermos that's already warm helps keep the drink hot.