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Food and Drink Features

Space heater for your heart

Forget starting a fire! These holiday treats will have you warmed up in no time.

Luke Atkinson November 30th, 2011

Some holiday sippers locate the nearest bottle of whiskey and mix up a makeshift hot-chocolate treat, but that isn’t what Christmas is about.

It’s a time to give and splurge, and a cup of Swiss Miss and Lucky Charms marshmallows doesn’t scream, “Happy holidays!” Luckily, the locals know how to craft cocktails that will keep anyone happy and warm all winter long (and you can leave your kid’s cereal box on the shelf).

If it’s a break from the weather you need, the staff at Will’s Cafe & Lobby Bar, 4322 N. Western, has planned a long list of cocktails to bring in the coldweary and warm their spirits with, well, spirits. Bar manager Angel Stork said these seasonal drinks are quite popular.

“Every time we change the menu, we get a huge reaction,” Stork said. “People will go right down the drink list and try them all until they find  their favorite, and they come back for that every time.”

right, a Baked Apple Martini at Saints

This season, Will’s plans to use dark liquors in holiday hooch to bring about the feeling of sitting near a warm fireplace. The bar also is cooking its own syrups and flavorings to spruce up any concoctions, so for those feeling Scroogey, Stork thinks the cocktails created by on-site master crafter Chris Angel could get anyone into the Christmas mood.

“One cocktail we have uses a maple-rosemary syrup, and it brings home the feeling of Christmas and Thanksgiving,” she said. “It’s absolutely delicious.”

Speaking of delicious, Ritchie Zenner, assistant manager at Saints, said he’s got a different kind of “baked” treat that, in his opinion, is “pretty tasty.”

“We like different takes on Prohibition cocktails and to experiment with different bitters,” Zenner said. “We vamp up drinks or branch off and do our own stuff. I played around with apple bitters, and it worked really well.”

The outcome? A baked apple martini Zenner thinks could make a Grinch’s heart grow three times its size.

right, the Coffee Cocktail at Will's

Zenner also said the bar has a seasonal selection of ciders and winter beers, in case cocktails weren’t on your wish list.

Put down those mugs of cocoa, Okies. Naughty or nice, you’re in for a treat.

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