The air is clean, the sky is clear, the snow just fallen. What could possibly make an afternoon of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing better? Simple. To match the nip in the breeze, a little nip of something boozy for you and friends. Lesley Jacobs Solmonson, spirits writer and co-author of The 12 Bottle Bar, recommends the perfect liquid warmers.
Cocktail on the Go: The Manhattan
2 oz whiskey of your choice
1 oz sweet vermouth, such as Punt e Mes
2 dashes orange bitters
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir with ice until well chilled. Pour into flask. To batch for more people, multiply measurements by the number of people. Mix, taste, and adjust for balance.
The Ultimate Thermos Filler: Spiked Mulled Cider
6 cups apple cider
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
5 whole allspice berries
2 peeled 2-inch strips orange rind
2 peeled 2-inch strips lemon rind
3/4 cup apple brandy, such as Golden Moon Applejack
Combine the first seven ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to infuse spices. Remove from heat, add the brandy, and stir to combine. Strain into an insulated bottle through a sieve. Bonus: Leave out the booze to make this recipe kid friendly.
Flask It: Brown Spirits
Wintertime means brown spirits. A natural choice is Colorado’s own Stranahan's Whiskey, which has been winning awards for years. Or opt for Ginskey Gin, from Boulder-based Vapor Distillery. A sipping gin? If it’s barrel-aged, which often results in a whiskey-like character, absolutely. The aging process also smooths its character and adds depth.