Philadelphia has banned indoor dining through the end of the year. So if you're going to restaurants you'll need to brave the cold. Here are some crave-worthy cocktails that highlight fall flavors like apple and cinnamon, and pair well with heat lamps.
Nick Baitzel, the general manager of Jet Wine Bar on South Street has created a variety of warm beverages that are available by the serving or pitcher (a thermos with 4 servings). The Red Mulled Wine is an enticing concoction of Carlo Rossi Burgundy, pomegranate, apple and cranberry juices, spiced honey syrup, apple brandy and triple sec. The White Mulled Wine is made with Carlo Rossi Riesling, orange and apple juices, spiced honey syrup, ginger liquor, pear brandy and triple sec. Yum! And the Mexican Hot Chocolate is made with Abuelita Mexican chocolate melted into whole milk and finished with tequila, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and other spices.
Fork Restaurant's manager Kevin Denson created the oh-so-delicious Autumn Rhum Sour. It’s made with Barbancourt 4 year Haitian Rhum, raw ginger demerera, fresh lemon juice, and dandelion bitters and topped with ancho chili dust. Grab a drink and stay for dinner at the classic Old City restaurant that makes every meal feel like an occasion.
Charlie was a sinner, a cozy vegan restaurant serving small plates and unique cocktails, has launched at new Warm Up Menu. Your first signature hot cocktail at the sexy Midtown Village restaurant comes in a thermos and is accompanied by a complimentary fleece blanket. The Soul Collector is made of cocoa puff infused tequila Ochoas plata, averna, cocoa, oat milk, Thai chili, cinnamon and whipped coconut. The Shortest Way Home is similarly imaginative with Bluecoat barrel finished oloroso sherry, green apple, red cabbage and lemon. Non-alcoholic hot drinks are available too.
Another must-do in Midtown Village is McGillin’s Olde Ale House, the oldest continuously operating tavern in Philadelphia and one of the oldest in the country. The historic tavern has brought out its new heat lamps and its fall menu featuring an Autumn Mule made with Ketel One vodka, ginger beer, cranberry and freshly squeezed orange; Fireside, a combination of Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey and hot apple cider rimmed with cinnamon sugar and garnished with a cinnamon stick; and its Caramel Apple made with Wyndridge Cider spiked with Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodka. If you're in the mood for a hot drink, you can sip on Pumpkin Hot Chocolate or Pumpkin Coffee topped with whipped cream and cinnamon sugar and spiked with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and pumpkin liquor.
River Twice, the gem on East Passyunk in South Philly, is mixing Whitesbog Cranberry Mules made with vodka, housemade cranberry syrup and lime topped with ginger beer. It’s served in a frosty copper mug.
Rex a Southern-style restaurant on South Street, is offering three cocktails perfect for sipping under its new outdoor heaters -- Bonfire at the Orchard, Whiskey Whipped & Spiced and Very Good Things. Bonfire is Rex’s take on hot buttered rum. It pairs the house compounded butter that makes its biscuits and skillet cornbread SO good with dark rum, apple and pear brandy, cinnamon, clove and raw cane sugar. Rex’s Whiskey cocktail is an adult hot chocolate that marries hot chocolate to an old-fashioned. Very Good Things is just as promised. The hot drink is loosely based on Chai tea. It combines elements of Southeast Asian flavors like coconut, mint and a curry leaf garnish giving it a silky, rich texture and complex aroma.
Bank & Bourbon, an American hotel in the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, just debuted its apple spiced margarita. The refreshing tequila-based cocktail has notes of oak and vanilla. And if that doesn’t heat you up, the restaurant’s robust Bourbon program certainly will! The restaurant doesn't have outside dining but, good news, the apple spiced margarita is available for pickup!
These fall cocktails might be the best way to make it through the coming weeks. So throw on a sweater and start sipping.
by Irene Levy Baker, author, 100 Things To Do In Philadelphia and Unique Eats & Eateries of Philadelphia. Both books are full of tips. For even more tips, visit www.100ThingsToDoInPhiladelphia.com. Planning a staycation? Go to the website for signed copies of books. For free shipping, use promo code TheCityPulse. Click here for more blog postings by Irene Levy Baker including two posts with tips for how to help restaurants survive, a list of socially-distant tours, a list of some of the area's best pumpkin foods, where to get Thanksgiving-to-go and more.