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Ask A Boston Expert: Your Best Hot Winter Drink

Winter weather lovers are always the first to enjoy a hot spiked cider or an Irish coffee after a long day of skiing or snowshoeing. It is no wonder that Boston bars and restaurants offer some of the tastiest warm beverages in the country. Of course, warm drinks don't need to be limited to cider, coffee, tea or hot chocolate - they can actually be quite innovative and interesting drinks. Ashish Mitra, bar manager at the Russell House Taverns shares some unique, warm concoctions. Enjoy!
Ashish Mitra
Russell House Tavern
14 John F. Kennedy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 500-3055

The Russell House Tavern is a classic, rustic pub in the heart of Harvard Square. Everything about Russell House Tavern makes it a great winter destination for a drink or dinner. The dark, warmly lit space is decorated with gorgeous wood and instantly transports you to London or Ireland, where they know how to make a space warm and cozy. There is nothing better than stopping in on a cold evening for a warm drink.

Ashish Mitra is a cocktail genius and bar manager of Russell House Tavern. Not only is he a pro at cocktail and food pairings for some of Russell House Tavern's signature dinners and events, he also provides a top-notch winter bar menu for those that are looking for something a little bit different. Here, he describes two of his favorite warm winter drinks - both of which are delicious and hard to make at home. Definitely stop by Russell House Tavern sometime this winter to taste test the Up from Montauk and the Norman Holiday for yourself!

Up From Montauk (Courtesy of Russell House Tavern)

Up From Montauk

This unique drink is a variation of a Long Island Iced Tea that's been barrel aged and warmed to perfection. The name comes from a play on a Long Island Iced Tea with Montauk being the closest part of Long Island to Boston (by boat). A boat trip from Montauk to Boston in January is sure to be a bitterly cold voyage, so warm up with this specialty drink.

  • 2 oz. barrel aged Long Island Iced Tea base
    • Ayelsbury Duck Vodka
    • Ford's Gin
    • Cana Brava Rum
    • Cabezos Blanco Tequila
  • Drambuie 15 yr
  • .5 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. warm spice syrup
  • hot black tea
  • cola
  • whipped cream


  1. Thoroughly mix the barrel aged Long Island Iced Tea base, Drambie 15 yr, lemon juice and the warm spice syrup.
  2. Top with piping hot black tea and a splash of your house fountain cola.
  3. Garnish with a scoop of homemade whipped cream.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy responsibly.


Related: Best Up-And-Coming Boston Bands

Norman Holiday (Courtesy of Russell House Tavern)

Norman Holiday

The Norman Holiday is also a barrel aged cocktail but this one is a variation on a hot toddy but with an emphasis on apple flavors. The name Norman comes from the French roots of the spirits (Normandy) and the term "Holiday" refers to the coziness, warmth and comfort that the cocktail and the season share.


  • 2 oz. barrel aged Norman Toddy base
    • Blanche de Normandie (apple brandy made from cider)
    • Laird's Applejack
    • Pommeau du Normandie (rich Calvados mixed with apple juice)
  • .5 oz. lemon juice
  • .5 oz. honey syrup
  • hot water
  • apple
  • clove


  1. Thoroughly mix the barrel aged Normon Toddy base, the lemon juice and the honey syrup.
  2. Top with piping hot water.
  3. Garnish with an apple star, studded with a clove.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy responsibly.

Related: Best Bloggers Covering The Boston Arts Scene

Cameron Bruns is the founder of and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston's North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on


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