For most of the year, booze and ice are buds. They mellow out in highballs, shake their stuff in martinis and chill in coolers. But come winter, liquor likes to crank up the heat. From Spanish coffees to hot toddys to buttered rums, nothing licks a winter chill like a steaming cup of hot hooch. In preparation for the pending frosty season we hit up some of Boise's best cocktail spots to find out what warm wonders are waiting to add a glow to cheeks this winter.
Modern Hotel and Bar, La Terraza
"A reposado tequila infused with toasted basmati rice and a steamed milk almond syrup and cinnamon. It's sort of like a horchata made hot, spiked with tequila, except actually using horchata doesn't taste as good hot. I think the fat content in the milk makes these better. ... It feels like something you'd sit out on the terrace drinking at the end of the night."
--Michael Bowers, head bartender at Modern Hotel and Bar
Bardenay Restaurant andDIstillery, Autumn Night
"The Autumn Night is definitely one of our more popular ones. The coffee we use is the Dawson Taylor European dark blend. It has Frangelico hazelnut liquor, Godiva chocolate liqueur and Bailey's Irish Creme. So we put that in there and top it off with the fresh roasted coffee and a float of house cream whipped up in-house here, it gives it a ... little extra sweetness to it, nice coolness. And the cinnamon stick looks cool in there, as it kind of sinks down, the drink can get a light hint of it, which is kind of nice. Not too overpowering."
--Craig West, day bartender at Bardenay Restaurant and Distillery downtown
13th Street Pub and Grill, S'more
"It's got Black Velvet toasted caramel, it's got marshmallow vodka, hot cocoa, whipped cream. And it's also got a graham cracker rim to it."
--Phil Compton, bartender at 13th Street Pub and Grill
Mai Thai, Hot Buttered Rum
"We want ours to kind of remind you of burnt sugar and pralines. We use a butter pecan ice cream. We actually burn our own sugar, so we do a caramelized burnt sugar. We toast our own spices that go in it--freshly ground spices. We use cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. We add heavy cream, we add our butter pecan ice cream, which is all natural, but we don't make it. ... Then we add our burnt sugar, dark brown sugar and a secret ingredient that goes into it that makes sure it's got kind of a butterscotch flavor to it. We combine it with Cruzan vanilla rum and unsweetened lightly whipped heavy cream."
--Michael Reed, head bartender at Mai Thai
Red Feather Lounge, Markazark II
"The liquid portion of it is just honey and bourbon and hot water, and the top is an egg-white foam made with lemon honey ginger and then some aromatic angostura bitters on top. ... It has all of the components of the original Markazark, except for it's separated out and it's kind of like an adult hot chocolate. It's got the foam that's a flavor component and then the liquor. So as you drink it, it's like a hot cocoa with whipped cream."
--Casey Tschikof, bartender at Red Feather Lounge