Holiday Sipping

Sip and savor: Our favorite local cocktails — and one dessert — to enjoy this holiday season

Our favorite holiday cocktails — and one dessert — to enjoy right now

Hot Toddy, Contigo
Hot toddy's at Contigo. Photo by Veronica Meewes

The holidays are almost over, and while gift-giving, music, merriment and parties dominate these last few days of December, cocktails have always been a main staple of the holiday season. Wondering where you can indulge in some boozy holiday potions? We scoured the city to find a few of our favorites.

Hot Toddies at Contigo 
Every winter when a chilly breeze blows in, Austinites get a craving for winter-centric drinks like egg nog, hot chocolate, apple cider and hot toddies. Contigo is perhaps the top local destination for such booze-laden Christmas beverages. Featuring a enticing toddy menu, the restaurant boasts a lineup of drinks you won't find anywhere else in town, like the Pimm's Cobbler (Pimm's, elderflower, orange, ginger and lemon) and the Teacher's Pet (applejack brandy, apple cider and cinnamon). 

Irish Coffee at The Tigress Pub
For many individuals, Irish coffee is a perfect pairing for all those guilt-inducing holiday desserts. The original Irish coffee was made popular during the mid-1900s when a travel writer from San Francisco was inspired to recreate the drink after gulping it down in Ireland. The Tigress Pub shakes up a near perfect interpretation of this historic beverage. The local bar whips Tullamore Dew whiskey, brewed coffee, brown sugar syrup and real whipped cream together to create this caffeinated cocktail. For those looking for additional winter drinks, The Tigress Pub also features a delicious hot butter rum toddy.

Happy Hour at W Austin Hotel
After engaging in exhausting retail therapy, guests can indulge in a perfect holiday pastime: cocktails. The W Austin Hotel's Primetime Happy Hour features half-priced drinks and a selection of delicious bites from 7-10 pm. Edibles like brisket sliders, lamb kebobs and fish and chips are partnered with drinks like the Blind Pig (a bourbon-based cocktail) and Tamarind Margarita (tequila with cointreau, lime and Jarritos Tamarind Soda). The affordable, filling happy hour is perfect for those heading downtown during the holidays. 

Eggnog from Pleasant Storage Room
What better place to sip a glass of eggnog than at a rum bar? Pleasant Storage Room opened its doors earlier this summer with a menu filled to the brim with an assortment of rum-rooted drinks. During the holiday season, the downtown bar features a decadent interpretation of the creamy holiday booze. Sip slowly though — the temptation to power through several glasses of this dessert drink is strong. 

Winter Specials at drink.well
Void of the hustle and bustle of downtown, drink.well offers patrons an enticing, well-rounded cocktail menu without the burden of rowdy patrons and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. In the spirit of Christmas, the North Loop bar compiles a handful of winter-inspired cocktails. Creations like the Winter White (Beefeater London Dry Gin, rosemary-infused Cointreau, fresh lemon and egg white) and the sellout favorite — spiked drinking chocolate — are prominent during the holiday season. Check out the bar’s happy hour specials from 4-6 pm, Tuesday through Friday.

The Grinch at Hopdoddy
Okay, so The Grinch milkshake at Hopdoddy isn’t exactly a cocktail, but it’s equally intoxicating. A blend of silky vanilla ice cream, fragrant peppermint syrup, chopped Junior Mints, whipped cream and candy cane topping, this frothy green drink tastes as delicious as it looks. This minty treat is only available for a short period of time, so seize the seasonal shake while you have a chance.