In search of winter warmers? Look no further than the creative libations of Mike Jones, beverage director for Garfield’s in Northwest Valley’s Desert Shores area. Jones has concocted some cocktails that can heat up even the coldest January day.
Jones’ take on the hot toddy ($10) combines muddled lemons and oranges with Grand Marnier, Sazerac Rye and hot tea. The supplemental citrus from the oranges and Grand Marnier provides a playful—yet logical—spin on the classic. Your grandmother’s hot toddy this is not.
Even better is the hot spiced cider ($10), in which organic spiced apple cider and shredded cinnamon are combined with a housemade Granny Smith apple-, cinnamon- and allspice-infused vodka. It’s warm and sweet like a winter drink should be. I only wish Garfield’s had a roaring fireplace and bearskin rug to complete the experience.
Not all winter drinks have to be warmed—just warming. My favorite is the Blood and Sand ($12), a classic cocktail of which Jones is the master. His riff combines the “blood” (Heering cherry liqueur) and “sand” (Ardbeg 10, an Islay single malt) along with Perucchi Gran Reserva sweet vermouth and freshly squeezed orange juice. When done right, this is the perfect drink, and Jones does his right. If this doesn’t warm you up, you’d better check to make sure you still have a pulse.