Haitian Toddy at Box and Bells
Haitian Toddy at Box and Bells. Photo: Risa Nye

As the rain lashes the window-panes, gusts of wind bring down tree limbs, and the power goes out… again… what better way to mark the turn of the season and the holidays than to head to a cozy bar and order up a warming winter cocktail? Ms Barstool has tried five and recommends them all. Cheers!

Haitian Toddy at Box and Bells

Served in a teacup and garnished with orange peel and a stick of cinnamon, this drink is made with aged Haitian dark rum, Benedictine, house-made honey syrup, and seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (pictured above). Served at Box and Bells in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood: 5912 College Ave., Oakland.

Fanny Tellier Toddy at Hopscotch

Fanny Tellier Toddy
Fanny Tellier Toddy at Hopscotch. Photo: Risa Nye

Named after Picasso’s Girl with a Mandolin, the Fanny Tellier Toddy is made from apple brandy, Suze (bitters), honey, and lemon. Garnished with a slice of clove-studded preserved lemon. Served at “upscale diner” Hopscotch Restaurant and Bar, located in Oakland’s Uptown: 1915 San Pablo Ave., Oakland.

White Hot Xmas and White Nun at the Paragon at the Claremont

White Hot Xmas at the Claremont
White Hot Xmas at the Paragon at the Claremont Hotel Club and Spa. Photo: Risa Nye

Both served hot and frothy: the White Hot Xmas (pictured above) is made with brandy, Frangelico and egg nog, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon; the White Nun, made with Frangelico and steamed milk, is garnished with grated chocolate. Best view from a bar in the East Bay, the Paragon Restaurant & Bar in the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, located on the Berkeley/Oakland border: 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley.

Hot Toddy at FIVE

Hot Toddy at FIVE in downtown Berkeley. Photo: courtesy FIVE
Hot Toddy at FIVE in downtown Berkeley. Photo: courtesy FIVE

A twist on the traditional toddy, the Hot Toddy is made with Silver Rum, pineapple gum syrup, Cointreau, All Spice Dram, lemon juice, and mint leaves. Served at the elegant FIVE Restaurant and Bar in Berkeley (where they are also serving the Twelve Drinks of Christmas): 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley.

Nocinopoli Toddy at Honor Kitchen and Cocktails

Nocinopoly Toddy at Honor
Nocinopoli Toddy at Honor. Photo: Risa Nye

Named after a night dedicated to Nocino in the Italian town of Castelfranco Emilia, the Nocinopoli is composed of Sazerac Rye, Nocino, simple syrup, lemon juice, and cinnamon bitters. Served at the “dark and comfortable” Honor Kitchen and Cocktails in Emeryville: 1411 Powell St. at Hollis, Emeryville.

Are you a cocktail lover? Read previous Ms. Barstool reviews of CorsoHonor in EmeryvilleHotsy Totsy ClubEast Bay Spice CompanyBourbon & BeefPenroseGatherTribune Tavernthe ParagonBoot & Shoe ServicePicànHopscotchFiveRevivalFlora, and Prizefighter — and check Berkeleyside Nosh’s Guide to Drinking around Berkeley.

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Freelancer Risa Nye is a Bay Area native. She was born in San Francisco and grew up in the East Bay. She spent many happy years on the UC Berkeley campus, both as a student and as an employee. She has...