Spirits to Warm the Hearth
Chilly Central Florida nights call for fire pits, friends and hearty cocktails.
By Patricia Letakis
When temperatures turn cool, the lanai becomes the hot spot for entertaining. Sweater weather—as we like to call it—is the signal to head outdoors for fresh air sans humidity. It’s also a chance to indulge in drinks that call for stronger spirits, such as bourbon, whiskey and brandy, and ingredients that stir the soul. Here are some of our local bartenders’ favorites to enjoy at home—or when you’re out on the town.
The Texas Smash
The Woods, Downtown Orlando
2 ounces Bulleit Bourbon
5 mint leaves
1/8 of a lemon
1 ounce jalapeño
Splash of soda water
Jalapeño simple syrup:
Dissolve 1 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water. Drop heat to low, add 1 chopped jalapeño and cook for 10 minutes.
In a highball glass, muddle mint, lemon and jalapeño simple syrup. Add ice, bourbon and stir. Top with soda water.
Hot Irish Coffee
Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster, Orlando
2 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey
4 ounces freshly brewed coffee (Christner’s uses illy coffee)
Pour coffee and whiskey into a glass coffee mug and top with fresh whipped cream. Drizzle with crème de menthe and finish with a maraschino cherry.
Bösendorfer Lounge, Grand
Bohemian Hotel Orlando
2 ounces Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
½ ounce Carpano ”Antica Formula“ sweet vermouth
1.2 ounces Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur
2 dashes Fee Brothers
Aztec chocolate bitters
Blend all ingredients in a shaker with ice and stir for 60 seconds. Pour into a martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.