So if you're already headed down that road, you might as well make it a fun, fuzzy winter concoction that fits the times. And you might as well get your recipe from one of our Best Of gold-medal winners.
Besides being warm and tasty, all of these selections also are easy to make. Whether drinking at home or fleeing to the sanctuary of the bar, raise a glass and treat yourself.
Bar: Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse and Pub, 21 S. Tejon St., 385-0766, jackquinnspub.com
Bartender: Assistant general manager Martin Troy
Whipped cream or heavy whipping cream
Directions: In a heat-resistant glass, preferably one with a handle, pour coffee and add sugar to taste. Add roughly 1 to 1 oz. whiskey, and top with cream.
Reason: Though for many patrons, a Guinness is heavy enough to be considered a winter drink, Troy points to the Irish coffee as a cold-weather bestseller.
"It's also popular for us because of the whole ambience of being in an Irish bar and drinking an Irish coffee," Troy says. "And, of course, the taste is really nice."
TONY'S HOT TODDY
Bar: Tony's, 311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566
Bartender: Louise Ewing
1 shot of Jameson Irish whiskey
1 cup hot water
1 lemon wedge
1 teaspoon of honey
Directions: Pour the Jameson and hot water into a coffee mug. Stir in the honey. Squeeze the lemon wedge over the contents. "You just stir it all together, and the hot water melts the honey," Ewing says. "That's really it."
Reason: The hot toddy's the perfect drink to order after you've trekked to the bar, through the cold, for a nightcap or seven. On its own, Ewing says, the whiskey can handle warming up your insides if, that is, you can handle it on its own. "Jameson is kind of harsh," Ewing says. "It's a little better when it's diluted. The hot water and honey make it better."
MAGGIE'S HOT TODDY
Bar: Shuga's, 702 S. Cascade Ave., 328-1412
Bartender: Owner Alexius Weston
1 oz. Grand Marnier
12 oz. lemon-ginger tea
Directions: Steam the tea until hot, then add the Grand Marnier. Finish with the orange peel, honey and cinnamon.
Reason: Weston loves the versatility and healthiness of lemon-ginger tea. Shuga's has been brewing theirs heavy on the ginger since opening almost five years ago. "In summer, we serve it with vodka over ice," Weston says. "In the wintertime, this is a wonderful, cozy drink."
Compiled by Indy arts & entertainment editors