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Ask A Philadelphia Expert: Your Top Hot Winter Drink

The cold days and frosty nights of winter call for warm drinks from steaming mugs of spirit-infused coffees, teas and hot chocolates to soul-warming mulled wines and hot ciders. Philadelphia party and entertaining guru Renee Patrone is sharing some of her favorite recipes for hot winter drinks.

Renee Patrone
Party Host Helpers
120 Bloomingdale Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 688-3164

Renee Patrone of Party Host Helpers and Events by Renee lends her talents to providing stress-free events for her clients. From elaborate galas to intimate dinner parties, Patrone and her team handle every aspect of entertaining from set-up to clean-up and everything in between. Party mode often means prepping, mixing and serving up the beverages, two of which, Patrone shares, include her personal favorites when it comes to wintertime drinks -- mulled wine and Irish coffee.

For the mulled wine, Patrone combines the ingredients (apple cider, red wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, whole cloves and anise) and lets it simmer on the stove to make it easy for self-serve. Be sure to display it in pretty glass mugs, she suggests, for a crowd-pleasing concoction that warms the spirits while blanketing your kitchen in heavenly aromas.

For the Irish coffee, Patrone advises prepping in advance for easy self-service during your event. A playful display of Irish coffee mugs with rims garnished in brown sugar add the perfect touch. With the coffee already brewed and the Irish whiskey handy, Patrone says, you'll be good to go, but don't forget the whipped cream.

Festive drinks, heated to warm both body and soul, abound in The City of Brotherly Love during the winter months. This is the time, Patrone says, that she loves to drop in on two of her favorite Philadelphia hot spots when it comes to hot winter beverages. Nothing quite compares to the experience of sipping a traditional afternoon tea, she insists, or a specialty coffee beverage or an artisan hot-chocolate at one of Philadelphia's finest hotels.

Four Seasons Hotel
1 Logan Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 963-1500

The Four Seasons Hotel, located just steps from museums, restaurants and historic locations, is well appointed in French-inspired splendor. The Lounge at the Four Seasons is the perfect spot to while away the winter hours. The baby grande and large fireplace make for a cozy, yet elegant setting to meet with family or friends for afternoon tea, or for sipping on hot drinks and sampling desserts after a busy day on the town.

Related: Top Tea Houses In The Philadelphia Area

The Rittenhouse Hotel
210 W. Rittenhouse Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 546-9000

A time-honored tradition in Philadelphia for many families during the winter season is afternoon Tea at the Mary Cassatt Tea Room in the historic, grand, Rittenhouse Hotel. Served every day from 2 to 5 p.m., traditional afternoon tea is served up in style with fresh-baked scones and pastries to complement a variety of teas. During the holidays this hotel is known for its "Teddy Bear Tea," served up with a complimentary Teddy Bear and a specially-themed, child-friendly lunch menu.

Related: Top Honeymoon Suites In Philadelphia

Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on

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