Where to warm up with a mug of hot buttered rum, cider, hot chocolate and other seasonal beverages

click to enlarge Where to warm up with a mug of hot buttered rum, cider, hot chocolate and other seasonal beverages
Young Kwak photo
The Scoop offers many seasonal beverage treats.

Winter is here with frosty weather that has us craving the warm and nostalgic tastes of traditional, festive holiday drinks. Check out these recommendations for where to locally find your favorites, or get inspired to create your own.

1001 W. 25TH AVE. AND 1238 W. SUMMIT PKWY.

You'll find: Hot buttered rum, eggnog latte, chaider, hot chocolate, affogato

Hot buttered rum is traditionally a mixed drink containing rum, butter, hot water or cider, plus a sweetener and spices. Local ice cream shop the Scoop sells its own drink mix called Butter-My-Rum so customers can create their own versions of the holiday favorite at home.

The mix consists of vanilla ice cream, butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange rind.

"I chose to make the mix with citrus flavor to cut through some of the heaviness of all that butter and cream," says the Scoop owner Jennifer Davis.

"You can add a scoop to hot water, coffee, or apple cider," Davis continues. "My favorite variation is putting a scoop in with hot apple cider and a little bit of rum."

Popular with customers, Butter-My-Rum is usually available by the pint ($12) at both locations from Thanksgiving through December.

"Butter-My-Rum has the feel of a holiday drink, and it's something I definitely look forward to each year when the snow arrives," Davis says.

For the holidays, the Scoop also offers eggnog lattes, chaider — chai tea and apple cider — and, of course, hot chocolate. Customers can add any scoop of ice cream to their hot chocolate or coffee to create an affogato.

"An affogato is usually a coffee dessert, our version being a scoop of ice cream with two shots of espresso poured over it," says Davis. "So far we only offer coffee affogatos at our South Hill location as we don't yet have an espresso machine at the Kendall Yards shop."

Popular flavors to add to coffee include seasonal favorites like peppermint and eggnog, as well as salted caramel and vanilla.


You'll find: Peppermint hot cocoa, rum toddy

Perhaps one of the best-loved wintertime drinks is hot chocolate.

While simple enough to make in the comfort of home, when you're out and about this season, the Blind Buck offers a boozy — and minty! — version on its winter menu. The bar's peppermint hot cocoa contains Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps, crème de cacao, hot cocoa mix and chocolate bitters in a mug topped with whipped cream.

Nathan White, head mixologist and front of house manager at the Blind Buck, says the bar also offers a twist on hot buttered rum with its rum toddy, a mix of Bacardi Anejo rum, honey simple syrup, cinnamon and lemon.


You'll find: Chocolate eggnog

Eggnog is a rich, chilled and sweetened, dairy-based beverage that's traditionally made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped egg whites and egg yolks. While it's maybe not to everyone's taste, a good eggnog is certainly a holiday staple.

Downtown Spokane's Cease & Desist Book Club makes a can't-miss chocolate eggnog with cacao nib-infused cognac, vanilla liqueur, heavy cream, egg, chocolate bitters, cinnamon and nutmeg.

"We did these as kits last year, and they were extremely popular, so we're going to try it out as a regular item this year," says owner Bryan Harkey. "It can be made nonalcoholic, in that someone can buy just eggnog, but this particular drink is designed to be quite boozy."


You'll find: Chaider, peppermint mocha, boozy coffee, hot buttered rum, qishr

Another seasonal drink, apple cider is made from raw apple juice that hasn't undergone filtration to remove coarse particles of pulp or sediment. Some are made into "hard" ciders when they're fermented.

Jessica DeVore, front-of-house manager at Boots Bakery & Lounge, says a favorite among the shop's regulars is its chaider, a combination of apple cider and chai tea steamed with cinnamon and nutmeg, and cardamom sprinkled on top.

"This drink can also have an adult twist when bourbon and orange liqueur are steamed with the chai and cider to create a boozy chaider," she says. "Another holiday favorite is our peppermint mocha, which features our house-made vegan chocolate syrup, peppermint syrup, locally roasted Doma espresso and steamed milk of your choice."

DeVore says one of Boots' most popular alcoholic drinks during the holidays is its boozy coffee, made with chocolate vodka, coffee liqueur, espresso and steamed milk.

Boots is also known for making a vegan hot buttered rum, which features nondairy, soy-free butter with cinnamon, ginger, clove and cardamom. Dark rum rounds out this warming drink, garnished with orange zest and a cinnamon stick.

"Hot buttered rum is pretty popular during the holiday season as it pairs well with one of our most popular items: the pumpkin spice waffle!" DeVore says.

For those looking to try something new, she says Boots recently added a traditional Yemeni spiced coffee drink called qishr to its lineup.

click to enlarge Where to warm up with a mug of hot buttered rum, cider, hot chocolate and other seasonal beverages (2)
The "Merry and Bright" at Up North Distillery is a twist on traditional Christmas punch.


You'll find: Christmas punch cocktails, brandy eggnog, apple cider mule, buttered rum

Idaho's Up North Distillery makes a variety of craft spirits, including barrel-aged honey spirits, an apple brandy and hard cider (the latter is a combination of its apple brandy with fresh cider), plus a single malt whiskey and pine liqueur.

While Up North makes several fun twists on traditional holiday drinks, if you're set on Christmas punch — usually a combination of cranberries, oranges and pomegranates with vodka or rum — owner Hilary Mann suggests trying its Merry and Bright margarita ($10). The drink is served at Up North and its sister location, The Bee's Knees Whiskey Bar, in Hayden.

"For the Merry and Bright we combine our honey spirits, lime, simple syrup and pomegranate juice," Mann says. "Add ice cubes with cranberries and rosemary, and you'll have a nice punch for Christmas gatherings."

Other Up North holiday cocktail delights include brandy eggnog, buzzed buttered rum, apple pie mimosa, hot toddy and apple cider or chai mules.

"We also do a hot drink called Sweater Weather that a lot of folks enjoy," she says. "It combines our Big Kid Cider with floating cranberries in a mug with a caramel rim."

Mann's favorite holiday cocktail is Up North's Applejack old fashioned, which combines barrel-aged apple brandy, cinnamon simple syrup and bitters.

Because Up North products (except for its pine liqueur and whiskey) are available in most Idaho liquor stores, it's easy to buy and try making your own versions at home.

Several of Up North's drinks can also easily be made nonalcoholic, particularly the Sweater Weather and Chai mule.

Learn how to make all of the above during the Bee's Knees next monthly cocktail class ($50) on Dec. 15, a session focused on holiday cocktails. ♦

No-Li Oktoberfest @ No-Li Brewhouse

Sat., Sept. 23, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
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