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The best Houston bars for winter: 7 happening spots that keep the drinks hot

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hot toddies hot toddy Grave Robber's 151 Coffee Grog at Voodoo Queen
The Grave Robber's 151 Coffee Grog at Voodoo Queen Photo by the Hon. Rev. Capt. B.R. Young
hot toddies hot toddy Harvest Spice at Tony's
Harvest Spice at Tony's Photo courtesy of Tony's
hot toddies October 2013 Calvados Toddy at Anvil Bar & Refuge
Calvados Toddy at Anvil Bar & Refuge Photo courtesy of Anvil Bar & Refuge
hot toddies October 2013 Apple Hot Toddy at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Apple hot toddy at Four Seasons Hotel Houston Photo by Paula Murphy
hot toddy hot toddies Wassail at Rosemont Social Club
Wassail at Rosemont Social Club Photo courtesy of Rosemont Social Club
hot toddies hot toddy El Gran Malo hibiscus hot toddy October 2013
El Gran Malo's hibiscus hot toddy Courtesy photo
hot toddies October 2013 Tex Mex Hot Toddy at Ninfa's on Navigation
Tex-Mex Hot Toddy at Ninfa's on Navigation Photo courtesy of The Original Ninfa's on Navigation
hot toddies hot toddy Grave Robber's 151 Coffee Grog at Voodoo Queen
hot toddies hot toddy Harvest Spice at Tony's
hot toddies October 2013 Calvados Toddy at Anvil Bar & Refuge
hot toddies October 2013 Apple Hot Toddy at Four Seasons Hotel Houston
hot toddy hot toddies Wassail at Rosemont Social Club
hot toddies hot toddy El Gran Malo hibiscus hot toddy October 2013
hot toddies October 2013 Tex Mex Hot Toddy at Ninfa's on Navigation

So the proverb goes, “A toddy a day keeps the doctor away.” Or something like that.

It’s prime time to order up the boozy, chill bustin’ drink, long considered a folk remedy. But hot toddies have developed beyond your grandmother’s home version of brandy or whiskey, hot water, honey and a few squeezes of lemon. There are hundreds of recipes, all set to warm your bones.

From the more classic takes to the more imaginative, here are a few local hot toddies sure to deliver winter aid during cooler temps.

ANVIL BAR & REFUGE
Alluring, sweet scents of baked apples and molasses fill your senses as you take a sip of the Calvados Toddy at Anvil Bar & Refuge. Honey and maple syrups are combined with Calvados apple brandy and Allspice Dram, a very spicy and very sweet liqueur, to make this wintertime drink.

TONY'S
The Harvest Spice at Tony’s features the Italian liquor, Amaro Averna. The amaro provides undertones of herbs, roots and citrus, along with warm notes of caramel. Add to the recipe, smooth 1888 Brugal Reserva rum and sweet apple cider, and you’ve got one tasty, velvety hot toddy.

VOODOO QUEEN
The Grave Robber's 151 Coffee Grog is Voodoo Queen's hot java take on a toddy. Sweet and spicy Velvet Flarnum meets the honey tones of Drambuie aged Scotch whisky, and the sweetness of Puerto Rican coconut with Coco Lopez. Add allspice, cinnamon, and lemon and orange zests for a solid base that stands up to the bitterness of the dark roast coffee, and the kick of Bacardi 151.

THE ORIGINAL NINFA'S ON NAVIGATION
A riff on the traditional hot toddy, the Tex-Mex Toddy at Ninfa’s blends top-notch Reposado tequila with honey, earthy spices and lemon for a comforting way to warm up on a chilly day. It also stars Mexican cinnamon, licorice-flavored star anise (a Chinese spice), and an orange zest and brown sugar rim.

ROSEMONT SOCIAL CLUB
The hot wassail at Rosemont Social Club carries flavors of pressed cider, orange peel, cinnamon, ginger and clove. Bourbon and Gran Classico, an herbal and citrus flavored bitter, bring the heat. It’s best enjoyed on the rooftop deck at Rosemont.

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HOUSTON
Bulleit Rye Whiskey, with hints of cherry, tobacco and spice, is stirred with warm Thatcher's Apple Ginger Liqueur, lemon juice and honey to make the Apple Hot Toddy at the Four Seasons Hotel. It's available in the hotel's Lobby Lounge and in Vinoteca Quattro Wine Bar.

EL GRAN MALO
A clear winner for sweater-weather is the Hibiscus Hot Toddy at El Gran Malo. Hibiscus-infused tequila, light agave nectar and lemon juice provide a nice, tart bite that’s rounded out by the sweet floral tastes of the hibiscus flower and agave nectar.

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