Ask A Minnesota Expert: Your Best Winter Drink

Ask A Minnesota Expert: Your Best Winter Drink

The frigid winds, frozen streets and endless snowfall brings a need to indulge in those warm, soul-hugging drinks that always manage to take away the bite of winter. These drinks will remind you why the cold can be okay, why we’re the toughest state and we get through this season, and its subzero temperatures, with smiles on our faces. If you never felt the cold, how would you ever experience the joy of getting warm? Here, two of St. Paul’s bartenders share with us their ideas on how to get warm this winter.

After you’re finished reading what these experts have to say, check out the article Drink Up: Best Recipes For Winter Drinks for a few other ideas.


(credit: CBS)

Colin MacGregor
Public Kitchen + Bar
229 E 6th St
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 348-6456

Working as a bartender at Public Kitchen and Bar, Lowertown’s hottest new addition, MacGregor understands the need for fine cocktails on any given night. Now that winter has set in, these drinks are the way to go and are sure to bring some color back to your cheeks. As a drink enthusiast who has worked all over the country, MaGregor is here to help us out with a few recipes to keep the frigid temperatures at bay.


A variation of the classic Moscow Mule, the Nor’Easter is the perfect complement to cold weather.


  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 oz maple syrup
  • Splash of lime juice
  • Ginger beer

Mix the bourbon, syrup and lime juice into a shaker and shake with ice. Pour into a rocks glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime slice.

Citrus Fire

A unique cocktail that blends the warm spices of winter with a fresh taste of fruit.


  • 2 oz Effen Black Cherry
  • 1/4 oz Fireball whiskey
  • 3/4 oz grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz lemonade
  • Nutmeg oil

Mix everything except the nutmeg oil into a shaker with ice. Pour into a martini glass. Add just a few drops (be careful not to add too much) of the nutmeg oil on top.

Irish Coffee

Everyone knows this one. It’s still one of the quickest, easiest drinks to make when you’re feeling chilled.


  • 1 oz Irish whiskey (Jameson works well)
  • 1 oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Hot coffee

Simple. Just stir your whiskey and Irish cream and brown sugar into a steaming mug of your favorite coffee and feel the warmth spread all the way to your toes.

Related:  Finding Minnesota: Discovering Life In The Dead Of Winter


(credit: Thinkstock)

Steve Palmer
Rival House Sporting Parlour
411 Minnesota St
St Paul, MN 55101
(651) 255-0645

As the bartender at Rival House, one of the newer additions to downtown St. Paul’s growing bar scene, Palmer has had the pleasure of making drinks for locals and travelers alike. As the bar/restaurant is located in the base of the Hilton Doubletree, there is a constant flow of faces looking for great cocktails. A longtime St. Paul bartender, Palmer knows what the weather can do to the soul, and how important a nice warm cocktail can be. Here, he gives us a few ideas on how to warm up this winter.

Hot Buttered Rum

There is nothing better than this classic winter drink on a cold winter’s day. This recipe serves at least six.


  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup nutmeg
  • Just a pinch of clove
  • tsp cinnamon
  • Dark rum (or spiced rum if you prefer)

Whip the butter, brown sugar, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon together until they are perfectly creamed. Then, let the mixture sit in the refrigerator until it is cold and almost solid.

Fill your glass with 1/2 rum and 1/2 boiling water. Use a spoon (approximately 2-3 oz) of your butter mix and stir into the glass until it is completely dissolved.

Hot Toddy

Another necessary drink for winter, the Hot Toddy will put a smile on anyone’s face on a cold day.


  • 2 oz brandy
  • 1 oz honey
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Lemon

Mix the brandy and honey into a mug of hot water and stir until honey dissolves. Squeeze your lemon over the top and add a cinnamon stick or two at the end.

Related: Best Hot Chocolate In Minnesota

Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.