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5 Winter Cocktails Every Alaska Bartender Should Know How to Make

by ATJ Posted in In the Kitchen |


Alaska Winter Cocktails

Photo by Reese Lloyd


Nothing takes the edge off the bitter cold quite like a stiff cocktail—and few places have a piercing cold quite like Alaska. Part of the fun of traveling or living someplace cold is the warm, cozy feeling of the community around a bar, tucked away from the howling winds for some merrymaking.

As a bartender on the last frontier, you’ll want to have a few special winter cocktails up your sleeve for those days when people need a little sip because it’s super nippy out there. Keep your customers’ spirits high with these five warming concoctions. Some of them are classic, and some have a uniquely Alaskan spin.

Kodiak Coffee

This eye-opener is a last frontier-style version of the classic and is sure to perk up any customer after a day of adventuring out in the snow. Preheat a mug by filling it with hot water and then dumping. Then fill it ¾ to the top with hot coffee and stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar until it dissolves. Blend in a jigger of Alaska Distillery Whiskey and top with whipped cream.

Gold Rush Plush

It’s bubbly and special occasion-worthy—and heart warming even though it’s served with ice. Start with a couple of ice cubes in a Collins glass and add Burgundy wine until the glass is half full. Then top with chilled Champagne.

Alaska Birch Cider

Perhaps the only thing that says cozy more than a hot apple cider is a spiked hot cider. Adding a shot of Alaska Distillery’s Alaska Birch Syrup Vodka to a mug of hot cider brings a touch of molasses-y flavor and a nice overall buzz. Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon.

Mamie Taylor

This is a classic—and even though it’s served cold, the smoky, spicy flavors up this cocktail’s temperature. Start with a couple of ice cubes in a highball glass, adding two ounces of blended scotch. Then squeeze the juice from half a lime and top with six ounces of either a spicy ginger ale or a ginger beer. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.

Hot Buttered Sourdough Rum

Mountaineers on expedition add butter to their nighttime beverages to help their bodies’ metabolism stay burning warm through the night. So a buttery warm drink might be just what the doctor ordered for your customers—and this one sports a local twist. Dissolve two sugar cubes in a mug with a little hot water, then add two ounces of Fairbanks Sourdough Rum from Ursa Major Distilling. Slide in a part of unsalted butter and fill the mug with hot water, topping with a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Give these drinks some practice to get your presentation just right, and once you add them to your repertoire, you’ll be sure to please even your frostiest customers. When the mercury drops, your bar will be the place to be, because whether your customers like their drinks sparkly, smoky, hot or fruity, you’ll have them covered.

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