Warm & Boozy: 8 Best NYC Bars to Warm Up Your Winter Nights

We knew it was coming, and it’s finally here. The frigid temperatures, the face-numbing wind blasts… winter has hit New York City. 

But hibernating for the season isn’t something that most New Yorkers practice. And the bars know it.

There’s nothing quite like a warm drink to defrost your chilly tummy. 

Add some alcohol, and you’re ready for a full on snowstorm, a la Blizzard of 2010.

So before you run home and hide under your comforter, try these spots to get a bit of an edge to help you combat the city’s winter weather.

1. Joseph Leonard (170 Waverly Place)

theplaceiwastellingyouabout Damn good bloody at @josephleonardny // #nyc

Tucked on a West Village corner lies the small and dimly-lit Joseph Leonard, a great place to hunker down on a cold night if you can score a seat. Although their food plates and wine are nothing to sneeze at, the cocktails take the crown here.


Experience some Muggle magic with their Hot Buttered Rum, a secret concoction crafted by mixologist Andy Rapoport. It’s a smooth drink that'll warm you from your belly to your broomstick.

2. Dutch Kills (24-27 Jackson Avenue - Queens)

skalocky #dutchkills #electriccurrentfizz

Quickly becoming a Long Island City legend, Dutch Kills is a cocktail haven that needs to be experienced to be understood. Perfectly prepped for winter, they have an arsenal of warm concoctions ready to warm up even the coldest city slickers.

Among their most unique is the A La Mode, a sweet treat of bourbon and mulled cider topped decadently with whipped cream. All your winter blues melt away from this flawless blend of sugar-coated inebriation.

3. Leyenda (221 Smith Street - Brooklyn)

navajogypsy_ #brooklyn

Perfect for a cold winter night, this swanky spot is nothing short of a Cobble Hill cocktail institution with the menu to prove it. Ironically named bartender, Ivy Mix, formerly of the Clover Club, brings a slew of signature drinks to this eccentric hideaway.


True to its name, the Noche Buena delivers a warm kick in a non-piping hot package. Black Bottle Scotch and Plantation Jamaica rum settle down with nutmeg, cinnamon and espresso bean for a loaded jumpstart to your battery.

4. The Up & Up (116 MacDougal Street)

theupandupnyc We won't open tonight until 9pm. From then until 1am, we are celebrating the coming of 2016 with a $95 open bar (not inclusive of tax and gratuity). We've got a few seats left. Email info@upandupnyc.com for reservations. Walk-ins will be accepted only if space is available. Regular service will resume after 1am until closing time. Cheers, and Happy New Year!

There a few better places to escape the frigid cold than this underground craft-cocktail refuge in Greenwich Village. The vintage decor and old world feel of Up & Up only adds to their classic charm reflecting old New York.

If you’re looking to get a strong dose of liquid courage for the NYC weather, look no further than the False Witness, a fusion of Vermont-sourced Whistle Pig rye, Atlantico Reserve rum and Jägermeister with a splash of pistachio orgeat and a sprinkle of nutmeg. What was that about feeling cold?


5. Aska (90 Wythe Avenue - Brooklyn)

rubenarnanz @rubenarnanz #rubenarnanz @fredrikberselius #aska #askanyc #experience #restaurant #chef #nyc #newyork #brooklyn #usa #cocktail

A Scandinavian-inspired spot in the heart of Williamsburg, Aska features some of the more unordinary drinks to be found in the city, from a spiked vegetable juice to boozy high-octane energy drinks.


If you’re looking to warm yourself up, grab a pint-sized pitcher of their Swedish Punch, which uses Batavia Arrack, fresh sweet fern and locally-grown juniper with a dash of cinnamon and lemon. It’ll kick any cold right in the pungen.

6. The Bennett (134 West Broadway)

susanlascala My new favorite cocktail: the "Bergdorf Lunch" at #thebennett - thanks @whyjadot

This Tribeca speakeasy boasts a lot more than their polished industrial décor with a meticulous attention to detail. Their vintage menu boards display the revolving specials as you relax in one of their plush banquettes or a full-backed armchair.

For those of you who aren’t a fan of the “warm” cocktail, the seasonal pick here is the Good Evening Spitfire, which warms you to your toes without the scalding the taste buds. It’s a fusion of Vida mescal and spices with Ancho Reyes chile liqueur served up in a cozy hot cocoa mug.

7. L’Artusi (228 West 10th Street)

hilarylabrash L'Artusi, L'Amour #nycbucketlist

This downtown haunt doesn’t look like much from the exterior, or when you walk in for that matter. But give in to their delectable menu, and you’ll be feeling all warm and toasty in no time.


And speaking of toasty, their Founder’s Toddy isn’t your run-of-the-mill warmed-up brandy with a cinnamon stick. A tarty sweet apple brandy with rye tea is layered with demerara sugar, lemon and cloves for a new twist on an old favorite.

8. Fort Defiance (365 Van Brunt Street - Brooklyn)

beerczar World Famous Irish Coffee @FortDefiance here in #redhook to chase away this chill. #beerczarapproved #NYC #brooklyn #itscold #thestruggleisreal #mia2nyc This is one of the best drinks I have ever had the pleasure of sipping on! Well done!!

With tastes and styles hailing from all over the world, Fort Defiance is a little international treasure to be uncovered in Red Hook. Ranging in palates hailing from New Orleans to Vietnam, there’s a little slice of something here for everyone.

But even in their den of eclectivity, some classics can still be found. Their seriously stiff Irish Coffee, made with Powers whiskey, Counter Culture brew and smooth Irish cream, will have you thinking you should be taking this to work every morning instead of Starbucks.

Check out 8 Best NYC Bars to Get Loaded at Without Breaking the Bank.

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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