Whether you’re heading out or staying in, these bevvies infused with South American spirits will get you feeling toasty.

It’s officially time to bring out the oversized sweaters, blankets and coffee mugs—so it’s also the perfect time to get cozy with a cocktail that warms you from the inside with South American flavours and spirits. Have you ever tried to incorporate more than just whisky and Baileys in your warm cocktails? I’ll be putting an extra emphasis on experimenting with spirits that we rarely get enough of in the city. 

My favourite South American spirits are Pisco and Cachaca. Peruvians and Chileans will go to war about where Pisco originated and Cachaca is the rum of Brazil. These two spirits alone bring on a whole new perspective to cocktails that you need to try, and not just in the typical Pisco Sour or Caipirinha. Ready to cozy up with a cocktail? 

Hot mulled cider at Famous Last Words
Hot mulled cider at Famous Last Words

Going out: cozy bar-hopping in Toronto

Famous Last Words

For those who love to cuddle up to a good book or scramble, this Junction neighbourhood bar is the perfect place to enjoy a warm dram or two. Famous Last Words caters to book lovers and cocktail lovers alike. 

Their warm cocktail program runs from fall until springtime, with a regularly featured hot mulled cider with choice of spirit (go for the Cachaca!), as well as a Mexican Hot Chocolate based on an old family recipe. Don’t be surprised to find more warm beverages like toddies, bishops, mulled wine and all the seasonal treats. Cocktails range from $12 to $14, and they’re open Tuesday to Sunday starting at 5 p.m. 

Spicy Hot Chocolate at Bar Mordecai
Spicy Hot Chocolate at Bar Mordecai

Bar Mordecai

What makes Bar Mordecai a staple in the city? It has all to do with the iconic team members working here, plus an impressive and exclusive bottle list that you won’t find in most bars and/or restaurants. The bartenders here are always willing to get creative and you can anticipate some delicious hot cocktails on their menu, including a Spicy Hot Chocolate mix with your choice of spirit. As you can already guess, I gravitated towards the Cachaca for this feature and you can bet, I’ll be back for more! 

Create your own cocktail at Civil Liberties
Create your own cocktail at Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties

Civil Liberties is a must-stop when it comes to cocktail aficionados. Now here’s the catch, you won’t find a cocktail menu here. That’s right. Instead, you let whatever craving or desire guide the expert team to build something you want! So a South American spirited warm drink was an easy ask for this team. 

With a healthy list of Pisco and Cachaca, this team used both spirits to come up with some incredible cocktails, including this drink pictured above. Not everyone will get the same thing, which is the beauty of this bar—it's made with your flavour palate in mind. Open daily from 6 p.m., you’ll want to add this gem to your next bar-hopping adventure. 

Irish Coffee at Grey Tiger
Irish Coffee at Grey Tiger

Grey Tiger

Recently-renovated Grey Tiger will be ready to serve guests soon (at press time, they were slated to reopen after Oct 22, 2021), including some of their iconic warm cocktails! This includes Irish Coffee, which comes in variations of the classic and even has an Irish Coffee Club Community. They’re predominantly whisky-focused but you will find a variety of South American spirits such as Cachaca, Pisco and Guyanese Rum. Irish Coffees are all year round, but anticipate an extensive warm drink list from October to spring!

Cocktail kits from Drinks on Friday
Cocktail kits from Drinks on Friday

Staying in: cocktails delivered to you

Drinks on Friday

The pandemic forced bartenders to get even more creative to deliver a premium cocktail service. That’s where Maddie comes in, owner of Drinks on Friday. With cocktail kits changing seasonally, you can expect to find some perfect autumn serves in November and holiday-inspired kits with a hot option or two. Subscriptions are available or you can purchase a special kit for a friend. Plus subscribers can enjoy free shipping and discounted kit rates. 

Cocktail kit from Salty Paloma
Cocktail kit from Salty Paloma

Salty Paloma

What makes the Salty brand so accommodating is the fact that you can choose your cocktail kit based on your spirit of choice. Whether you’re a bourbon lover or looking for something seasonal with tequila, the drink experts at Salty Paloma have you covered. 

Plus you have the luxury of choice with their Single Cocktail Kits or to join the Stay at Home Cocktail Club, which comes with virtual class included in the subscription and monthly seasonal offerings. Kits are created with all skill levels in mind, with carefully crafted ingredients.

Cocktail kits from BarChef
Cocktail kits from BarChef

Barchef

When you think of iconic bars in this city, you can’t forget to include Barchef. But if waiting in line isn’t part of your evening plans, bring home one of their cocktail kits. Each kit includes three specialty cocktails that can serve two each at only $49 per kit. 

You can find out more or place an order online. Note that their kits deliver across all of Ontario. Of course, it’s never a dull evening if you decide to enjoy some of their seasonal autumn cocktails inside their establishment.

Pear Tea Party
Pear Tea Party

DIY: channel your inner bartender with cocktail recipes by Liquid Culture 

Pear Tea Party

Pear is one of my favourite flavours when it comes to the fall—I want it in all my cocktails. This time I’m warming it up with some Drambuie, premium Cachaca and pear nectar. All you need is to get the kettle going and you’ve got yourself an adult ‘tea party’.

Ingredients
1 oz Avua Cachaca Prata
0.5 oz Drambuie
1 oz Pear Nectar
⅓ oz Lemon Juice
3 oz Boiled Water
Sliced pear for garnish + freshly grated nutmeg

Just add all your ingredients to your favourite mug and give it a stir. Garnish with sliced pear and freshly grated nutmeg on top. 

Hot Chai Buttered Pisco Cocktail
Hot Chai Buttered Pisco

Hot Chai Buttered Pisco

This cocktail is a riff on the more familiar classic Hot Buttered Rum cocktail, served with chai tea, butter, all the spices and of course, Pisco! This recipe serves two.

Ingredients
1.5 oz Pisco Quebranta
0.75 oz Anchos Reyes Liqueur
1 chai tea bag
1 cup boiled water
1 tsp unsalted butter
⅛ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tbsp honey
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of orange zest

Instructions
In a small saucer over medium heat, add your butter, cinnamon, honey, salt and orange zest until it starts to bubble. Add in your boiled water (or bring water to a boil), add your chai tea bag, turn off the heat and let it steep for five minutes. Stir in your Pisco and liqueur and you’re set! Note: This cocktail can be made ahead of time.