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Drinks #1-4 of manager Bode Craig's winter recommendations. (Image: Joshua Lewis / Seattle Refined)

Winter cocktails to warm up any cold day

We challenge you to find something better in winter weather than sipping a warm drink in a pretty space. We turned to the pros at Percy's in Ballard - specifically, bar manager Bode Craig - for his take on go-to winter cocktails to help you shake off the chill.

"In the winter months you definitely want those warm spices," Craig explained. "You want something that warms you from the inside-out." Here his four suggestions - just order up the "In Percy's We Trust" option and tell him which one you're craving.

  • Drink 1: "This is a twist on a holiday classic. It's an egg nog, but in place of brandy or bourbon I put in an R. Jelinek Fernet. We also have an allspice dram, Martinique cane syrup, a few dashes of Angostura, one whole egg, some cream, and a little nutmeg to garnish."
  • Drink 2: "This is a bourbon-barrel-aged Rhum Agricole. It's nice, and it's sweetened up by some vanilla. There's a little bit of St. Elizabeth dram to bring in that winter feeling, and just a splash of Turbinado syrup to sweeten things up."
  • Drink 3 : "This one has bacon-infused Medley Brothers Bourbon, which is 100-proof, and it's absolutely delicious. It has some spice to it - the bacon adds a nice warm flavor - and you can taste that bourbon sweetness, but the heat doesn't get lost in the cocktail. We add some Serrano pepper-infused honey to get some pepper taste, some Regan's No. 6 bitters and Angostura."
  • Drink 4: "This is a twist on a Trinidad Sour, which is a great use of Angostura bitters - they're very intense and herbaceous, but properly mixed they make for a really beautiful and intricate cocktail. This has equal parts Angostura and 100-proof James Oliver Rye. We added some Orgeat with lemon, Grade B Maple syrup, and egg whites."

We also picked Craig's brain on go-to drinks for common winter cocktail situations.

"For a bad day at work, you have to get straight to the point," he said. "I'd do a variation on a Manhattan or a bacon-infused old-fashioned. They're going to be more spirit-forward and a little more potent. For date night, do the Trinidad Sour. It's not as well-known, so you'll look like you're within the cocktail community."

And at Percy's famous brunch? "It's still early in the day, so you need to slow down the alcohol absorption," Craig laughs. "I'd go with the egg nog since it's got that protein base. "