Eleven Hot Cocktails to Warm Up Cold Denver Nights

The Great Hot Pumpkin is like an after-hours pumpkin-spice latte (but better).
The Great Hot Pumpkin is like an after-hours pumpkin-spice latte (but better). The Family Jones
As Denver temperatures dip (and the wind chill threatens to tear at the walls of your sanity), we've found that nothing fights off the winter doldrums like a steaming mug spiked with strong booze. These eleven Denver bars have dreamed up seasonal hot drinks, from toddies to mulled sake, that promise to warm your chilled bones (and cure your existential woes).

Beatrice & Woodsley

38 South Broadway

If you’re looking for a spot to escape the harsh realities of a Denver winter, look no further than Beatrice & Woodsley’s famously whimsical dining room. With an interior reminiscent of a sylvan fairy tale (complete with gauzy white curtains and forest-themed art installations), this classic Broadway hideaway is as magical as it is cozy. Order the “Kings of New England” and warm your bones with a steaming combination of rye whiskey, apple pie shrub, cinnamon and lemon.

Bellwether offers hot chocolate with a hint of Chartreuse.
5126 East Colfax Avenue

A one-stop-shop on East Colfax for both coffee and cocktails (and a classic barbershop visit if you’re feeling really ambitious), Bellwether is a natural choice for anyone seeking a hot cocktail. While the biker-chic cafe offers several warm beverages, the top recommendation is a new seasonal special: Mr. Gustave, a green chartreuse-spiked hot chocolate topped with dark ganache shavings.

D Bar
494 East 19th Avenue

When the hankering for a spiked cup of coffee hits you before noon (which, let’s be real, happens more often than not as the temperatures get lower), D Bar has your back. Nestled on a cozy corner in uptown Denver, this mecca for all things dessert opens at 11 a.m. and offers six different coffee-spirit blends on its “High Octane” beverage menu, including Mexican Coffee (Kahlua), Italian Coffee (Disaronno Amaretto), French Coffee (Grand Marnier) and the classic Irish Coffee (Jameson). Wake up and chill out with one of these winning combos.

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Looking down at the bar in the Family Jones.
Danielle Lirette
The Family Jones Spirit House
3245 Osage Street

Though the Family Jones Spirit House is a newer addition to the LoHi neighborhood (opening in fall 2017), this stylish spot has quickly earned itself a reputation as a local staple, offering strong, wholly original cocktails created with housemade spirits. Wrap your cold fingers around the bar's newest seasonal cocktail, the Great Hot Pumpkin, made with Mo Jones (a molasses-based rum), housemade pimento dram, Family Jones amaretto, pumpkin and toasted-pecan whipped cream. Or, if pumpkin isn’t your thing, you can also get a spiced-up version of a hot toddy made with Family Jones Rock & Rye whiskey.

Forest Room 5

2532 15th Street

An eclectic little stop just north of the 15th Street bridge, Forest Room 5 is notorious for its outside-the-box experience (think: fancy outdoor fire features, a movie projection screen, a cozy tipi and kinda-creepy doll heads as decor). Grab a bite off the dinner menu (which includes upscale comfort food like skillet fries, alpine cheese fondue and s’mores) and pair it with a Winter Toddy: Leopold’s Apple Whiskey, Templeton Rye, honey and house chamomile bitters.

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Pastured butter is one of the key ingredients in this hot drink at Just Be Kitchen.
Just Be Kitchen
2364 15th Street
We’re pretty sure no one’s ever listed whiskey on a list of health foods, but 15th Street’s delightfully diet-friendly Just Be Kitchen is damn well going to do its best to try. Boasting a menu that’s 100 percent free of gluten, grain and refined sugar, Just Be still somehow manages to offer full-bodied comfort fare for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Case in point: The Butter Me Up is made with quinoa whiskey, cider, butter and cinnamon.
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Kelsey Yandura is a local freelance and fiction writer whose highest professional aspiration is to one day share a pizza with Neil Gaiman.
Contact: Kelsey Yandura