Winter is coming, Atlanta.
Generally, we prepare for this season the only way Southerners know how: with bread, milk and booze. But, forget the run to the grocery store. Head to bars around town, where you can find everything from wassail to toddies that will light a fire in your belly on a cold day.
Here are five hot mugs of good cheer to help bide the time until our patios and porches wake from their winter slumbers.
Hot buttered rum
A well-made hot buttered rum is surprisingly light, despite using butter and brown sugar. Ration and Dram’s rendition is downright addictive — and charming, served in a dainty gold-rimmed tea cup. The batter is the typical mixture of brown sugar, unsalted butter, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg dissolved in hot water in a preheated mug. But that’s where tradition ends and crafting a cocktail begins. Rather than simply pouring a rich, dark rum into the drink, possibly putting it out of reach of imbibers who are turned off by sweetness, Ration combines the smooth, caramel-forward Jamaican Blackwell rum and Bitter Truth’s pimento dram (allspice berries soaked in rum), which mellows the sugary batter with a hint of bitterness. You may find yourself ordering another, and still another, while you read a book and nibble on the daily popcorn offered at the bar.
Ration and Dram, 130 Arizona Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 678-974-8380