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Food & Drink

Toddy Time: Hot Drinks to Warm Your Spirits

Warm up with nine hot cocktails — plus a hot deal on this year’s Tales of the Toddy event!

(Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)
Making Cafe Brulot at Arnaud’s (Photo: Cheryl Gerber and

With the rapid approach of the holidays, that also means cooler weather, sweaters and, of course, hot cocktails. Hot cocktails are a great way to warm up, but they’re also an essential ingredient in holiday celebrations.

If you’re really looking to get your fill of hot cocktails, you’ll definitely need to check out Tales of the Toddy, a spirited celebration of all-things hot cocktails. Now in its 11th year, this holiday spin-off of Tales of the Cocktail takes place Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 from 6:30-9 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

Tales of the Toddy will feature live music and 26 seasonal cocktails accompanied by dishes from local restaurants who will be bringing their “A” game as they compete for votes from attendees. (GoNOLA readers receive a 10% discount. Use promo code cheer10 when you purchase tickets in advance.)

Until then (and after, too), indulge in these hot cocktails available around the city.

Hot Cocktails in New Orleans

Cafe Brulot

A made-in-New Orleans night cap, Cafe Brulot is as much a drink as it is post-meal entertainment. After a big meal, nothing revives the group like a table-side display of flaming liquor. You can grab a Cafe Brulot at most classic fine dining spots around town including Arnaud’s and Galatoire’s, but the drink — a concoction of coffee, brandy, a lemon peel, sugar and spices — was invented at Antoine’s before Prohibition.

Cafe Pierre at Commander’s Palace

We’re letting you in on a secret here, so be careful with who you trust with this information: You’re not going to find it on the menu, but Cafe Pierre is a fantastic way to end one of the city’s best meals. This secret menu item is created with coffee, brandy, Galliano and Kahlua. Remember that Cafe Pierre is Cafe Brulot’s bigger (and stronger!) sibling, so proceed with caution.

Cane and Table.

The Gallatin Cup at Cane and Table

A brighter take on mulled wine, this cocktail from the French Quarter elevated tiki bar and restaurant features red wine, Anchor Porter, house spiced rum, Hum Botanical Liquor, lime peel-sugar oleo and fresh lime.

The Hot Spiced Pear at Carousel Bar. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

Hot Spiced Pear at Carousel Bar

Hotel Monteleone’s picture-perfect bar (featuring a real spinning carousel) also turns out spectacular drinks during the holidays. The Hot Spiced Pear features pear and ginger liqueurs warmed up with a pat of sweet, spiced butter. Totally decadent.

Hot Apple Toddy at Bar Tonique

The cocktail haunt across from Armstrong Park’s twist on the hot toddy includes Laird’s apple brandy, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, house-made demerara syrup and a cinnamon stick. The bar also serves other hot drinks including the Hot Whiskey Skin, the Irish cousin of the hot toddy that’s purported to be a cure-all. (If you want a cold, but nonetheless festive, drink, you can also get an egg nog that includes RumChata here.)

Hot Buttered Rum at 13 Monaghan

This Frenchmen street bar known for late night, cheap, vegetarian eats also has a delicious hot buttered rum. It makes for a perfect warm walking drink for a night through Marigny and French Quarter.

Hot Irish Coffee at the Erin Rose

The bar is probably a little better know for its frozen Irish coffee, but the hot Irish coffee at this French Quarter bar is a winner as well. There’s just something very comforting about a piping hot glass of Irish whiskey, coffee and cream as a nice night cap after a meal. For those looking to start their day with a zip, Erin Rose offers $4 hot Irish coffees from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Ralph’s on the Park is housed in a building dating back to 1860. (Photo via Ralph’s on the Park on Facebook)

Jazz Kitchen Coffee at Ralph’s on the Park

To guard against the cold while enjoying the lights at  Celebration in the Oaks in City Park across the street, grab a cup of Ralph’s Jazz Kitchen Coffee, which is spiked with brandy and praline liqueur. The quintessentially Southern, yet not-too-sweet praline liqueur adds a unique twist you won’t find in your hot cocktail anywhere else.

Ralph’s Coffee at Mr. B’s

A New Orleans cocktail all the way, this hot cocktail mixes dark roast coffee with chicory (as is customary in New Orleans) with Frangelico and Nocello, before topping the tasty concoction with freshly made whipped cream. That Mr. B’s has one of the best gumbos in the city just means you’ve got two reasons for heading down to this famous French Quarter spot.

Spiced Rum Toddy at Galatoire’s “33” Bar and Steak

The steakhouse sister of Bourbon Street stalwart Galatoire’s serves craft cocktails including this holiday-appropriate one with cinnamon, orange peel, clove, and spiced rum.

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