While the holiday season has come and gone, the bitter cold, it seems, is here to stay. To stave off the chilly nights and the inevitable sniffles that will accompany this wacky weather, there’s nothing better than a boozy tea-like dram to sooth your throat and mind.
One of the best places in the city to head to for these spiced cocktails is German beer garden, Loreley (7 Rivington Street, 212-253-7077), on the Lower East Side. There, patrons can find restorative German mulled wines and a riff on the flu-antidote hot toddy.
Try the Glühwein, a mulled red wine made with cloves, cinnamon, brandy, and sugar. “All the German vendors sell it at Christmas markets,” Loreley General Manager Doug Jacobson says — and it’s now the bar’s number one winter tipple seller. The biergarten also tries out the white wine equivalent, Heisser Seehund — literally translated as “hot seal” — simmered with lemon, raisins and almonds. For the American hot toddy, Jacobson and the bar crew decided to incorporate Barenjäger Honey Liqueur and Jägermeister Spice to update the classic with a German twist. The Barenjäger Honey Liqueur is so good, Jacobson notes, that “some people just want a shot of that.”
Here we’ve provided a few recipes to either inspire you to go out and brave the cold, or enjoy a few spicy libations couch-side.
See the recipes on the next page.
1 bottle red wine
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup sugar
1 star anise
4 cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
Cut the lemon and orange in half and stick cloves into the skin. Add wine, cinnamon, star anise and fruit with cloves to a pot and bring to a boil; once it’s boiling reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and squeeze juice halves into wine mixture. Discard the fruit, cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Add sugar and brandy and stir until sugar dissolves. Garnish with cinnamon stick.
Heisser Seehund (“Hot Seal”)
1 liter dry white wine
2 centiliters spiced rum (20ml = 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon)
80 grams sugar (2 3/4 oz or scant half cup)
1 lemon (preferably organic), washed and cut in half
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon whole cloves
150 grams raisins (5 1/4 oz)
150 grams slivered almonds (5 1/4 oz)
spiced rum to marinate
Mix raisins and almonds in a separate bowl, cover with spiced rum and set aside to marinate (best overnight — the longer the better).
In a large pot heat 1/2 cup of white wine and add the sugar. Bring it to a quick boil to dissolve the sugar, then put it on medium low heat and add the lemon, cinnamon stick and cloves. Let simmer for about 5-8 minutes.
Meanwhile, equally distribute the raisin-almond mix between 4 heat resistant glasses.
Remove the lemon halves from the wine and squeeze the juices back into the pot. Stir and strain the wine into the glasses. Serve immediately.
Loreley’s Hot Toddy
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 ounces Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur
3/4 ounces Jägermeister Spice
Hot water infused with a blend of citrus & spices* (see below)
Cinnamon stick for garnish
Drizzle the bottom and sides of your glass with a tablespoon of honey. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass. Add the Bärenjäger Honey Liqueur and Jägermeister Spice to the glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with hot water with spices and citrus, and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
*Hot Water with Citrus & Spices
2 Whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Slice Lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup water
Place the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and let steep for a few minutes. Strain the spices before adding the water to the toddy. (Make sure you let the water cool off a bit before using — it should not be scalding hot.)