Winter weather in Texas is consistent in one aspect: its inconsistency. Regardless of the weather outdoors, here are 9 Austin bars offering winter drinks for any type of weather.
Thank you to backYARD at Waller Creek, Boiler Nine Bar + Grill, Celis Brewery, and Uncle Billy’s for inviting me to try complimentary winter drinks. All opinions are my own.
1/ backYARD at Waller Creek
backYARD at Waller Creek boasts a bar, restaurant, and 11,500-square-feet of outdoor space. It’s located within the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol and well-suited for parties of any size.
backYARD’s Russian Gingerbread is a twist on the classic White Russian. It features Tito’s Handmade Vodka, cafecito, and egg nog. For a fruitier drink, try the Cranberry Whiskey Sour. The cranberry-cinnamon simple syrup and housemade sours create a refreshing cocktail that tastes festive without being heavy.
The bar has a new daily happy hour from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Live music performances have also been announced for every Wednesday, and Friday through Sunday, during the month of January.
701 E. 11th St. – Website
2/ Boiler Nine Bar + Grill
Boiler Nine Bar + Grill has a couple of secret winter drinks that aren’t listed on the menu. The Chai Masala Hot Toddy can be suited to your taste, made with bourbon, aged rum, or cupreata mezcal.
For dessert, ask for the hot chocolate and add a spirit of your choice. My bartender recommended adding Amarula Cream. Result: a warm, boozy hot chocolate that tasted like those large candy chocolate-covered oranges. Delish!
800 W. Cesar Chavez St. – Website
3/ Celis Brewery
Known for its Belgium witbeer, Celis Brewery’s Coffee Porter Dubbel diversifies the draft lineup. The winter brew is a dark caramel malt made with Belgian dubbel yeast, resulting in a robust, yet smooth, porter with a subtle chocolate flavor.
10001 Metric Blvd. – Website
In my mind, winter = whiskey, so Freedmen’s seems like a natural place to go. On my latest visit, I ventured beyond my typical whiskey on the rocks. Try the Pie in the Sky (my friend’s favorite) or the Bourbon Milk Punch (my dessert cocktail preference). Both are sweet without being overly syrupy or heavy.
2402 San Gabriel St. – Website
A few weeks ago, I did a birthday staycation at Hotel Van Zandt and met some friends at Geraldine’s for dessert. The Brown Sugar tastes similar to bread pudding and features a brown butter-washed Plantation Pineapple Rum, perfect for sipping when you’re too full to eat.
If Asher is working at the bar and it’s not terribly busy, ask him for a Hot Toddy with special presentation (pro tip: add a cinnamon stick). He’ll bring out an individual make-your-own Hot Toddy bar.
605 Davis St., 4th Fl. – Website
6/ Prohibition Creamery
Another great place for boozy dessert cocktails and ice cream is Prohibition Creamery. The Diablo Hot Chocolate is incredible. It’s made with Patron Incendio and a chocolate blend, topped with homemade whipped cream and honey marshmallows. The Spiced Chocolate Old Fashioned is a twist on a classic with chocolate bitters and habanero shrub.
If you didn’t get your eggnog fix during the holidays, fill it with Prohibition’s Eggnog Ice Cream (alcoholic). The Mezcal Vanilla Ice Cream is a standout, as well.
My friend’s Casino Nights cocktail was a refreshing drink unlike anything else I’ve tasted. With activated charcoal, its ingredients aren’t commonly seen. It’s a drink that’s more crisp than sweet. Just make sure to stir it, so the charcoal isn’t all at the bottom.
1407 E. 7th St. – Website
7/ Swift’s Attic
With an eclectic menu, it’s no surprise the cocktail menu at Swift’s Attic is just as creative. Winter cocktails include Fuzzy Boots, combining Old Forrester Bourbon, pumpkin pie simple, cream, and nutmeg.
The Fig Pucker is a tarter drink with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, pecan vinegar, fig jam, and cinnamon simple. Swift’s Attic has a convenient location on Congress Avenue, making it a great winter hideout downtown.
315 Congress Ave. – Website
8/ Treaty Oak
Treaty Oak has a couple of new drinks to try this winter. The Pomme Cidre can be served hot or cold, and features Waterloo Antique Gin and fresh apple juice with a winter spiced syrup.
The Orxata has a housemade jasmine rice milk, warm spices with vanilla, and is served over your choice of bourbon or rum. With Treaty Oak’s Ghost Hill Restaurant providing more indoor space, enjoy these drinks during any type of winter weather.
16604 Fitzhugh Road, Dripping Springs – Website
9/ Uncle Billy’s Brewery
Austin’s craft beer scene has several standout brews this year and Uncle Billy’s is on the list. Its Shokolad Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout returns for a second season, with cocoa nips from SRSLY Chocolate added to the brew.
For a spiced Belgian amber, try the Belsnickel Holiday Ale. With several different spices, it’s a well-balanced and highly drinkable winter brew that’s only available for a limited time.
1530 Barton Springs Road – Website
@theAustinot wants to know:
What are your favorite winter drinks in Austin?