Time Out Melbourne

Winter is coming. So are warming cocktails

Forget investing in mammoth woolly jumpers, scarves and hats. Instead, put fire in your belly with one of these winter drinks, rustled up by three of our favourite watering holes. If you’re hibernating, don’t worry – recipes are included below, so if you're not scared of attempting home-made juniper tinctures or carrot shrubs, you can stay inside and still make merry.

If you like hot chocolate…

Try the Exhibitionist at Mr Wow’s Emporium

Bartender Addam Winkels says: “White chocolate and raspberries have long been one of my favourite combinations. This guilty pleasure inspired this boozy take on a hot chocolate, which features white chocolate, rum, fruit and cream.”

45ml Havana Club Añejo 3 Year Old Rum (Addam washes* his with white chocolate)
50g white chocolate (Addam’s is house-made)
10ml French vanilla
60ml half + half (milk + cream)

Preheat a hot plate to a medium heat. Add all the ingredients into a saucer and stir briskly. Heat until the mixture begins to boil, then remove from heat. Pour with care. Serve with a side of fresh raspberries and a slice of tempered dark chocolate.

*Addam says: "Fat washing is the process of infusing the flavour of a certain fat with a spirit. By melting the fat [in this case, chocolate], mixing it with the chosen spirit, freezing the mixture, skimming the fat and filtering out the rest of the particulates, you are left with a clear, wonderfully delicious spirit with all the flavour, and none of the greasiness of the fat."

If you like borscht…

Try the Trans-Siberian Tea Punch at Double Happiness

Bartender Sacha Leonard says: “The Trans-Siberian Tea Punch is inspired by two journeys. The first is the journey that Russian Tsar Peter the Great took to Holland in 1697, only six years after the founding of Ketel One's Nolet Distillery. Peter was enamoured of Amsterdam, and took what he learnt back to Russia to build Saint Petersburg and modernise the Russian Empire.

The second is the journey that Russian Caravan tea made from China to Europe on the backs of camels across Siberia. Although a southern sea route was faster, the overland journey through Russia was said to improve the tea, delicately infusing it with the flavours of the steppes and forests, as well as the nightly campfires of the caravan.

Accordingly, I combine the flora of the Siberian forests with black Russian Caravan tea to create a cocktail that is vegetal, smoky and sweet, brought together by Dutch Ketel One Citroen vodka in honour of Peter the Great's historical journey.”

30ml Ketel One Citroen Vodka
10ml Ketel One Citroen and Russian Caravan Tea Infusion
30ml mushroom broth
15ml beetroot juice
10ml lemon juice
5ml sugar syrup
10ml house-made blueberry vinegar
5ml house-made juniper tincture

Add all ingredients to shaker, add ice, shake and strain into a chilled rocks glass. Garnish with a fresh dill sprig.

If you like carrots…

Try 24 Carrots at Lily Blacks

Bartender Abraham Holder says: “This is a drink designed to refresh you in the winter months, using a centuries-old technique of infusing fresh ingredients into vinegar and sugar to preserve flavour and nutrition.”

50ml Havana Club Añejo Especial rum
30ml carrot shrub* (see recipe below)
20ml fresh mandarin juice
10ml fresh lemon juice
45ml soda water
Tall sprig of rosemary to garnish

Pour all the ingredients into a tall glass filled with lots of ice, adding the soda last. Rosemary is hearty; clap the herb in your hands to release the aromatic flavours. With a couple of straws, give the drink a swirl and serve.

*Bespoke carrot shrub
1 part sugar
1 part apple cider vinegar
1 part carrots, finely chopped
1 part carrots, juiced

Combine the first three ingredients and let sit in a cool dark place for one to two weeks. Add carrot juice and strain the whole mixture through cheesecloth. Store in the fridge for two to three months.

Updated on 22 Sep 2015.

Photos by Graham Denholm   |  
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