Season’s heatings: 6 East Bay spots to sip Hot Buttered Rum and Hot Toddies

A creamy, spicy Hot Buttered Rum is served in a festive Santa mug at Beer Baron in Oakland. Photo: Risa Nye

Winter is here, and the time is right for boozy, warm drinks like Hot Buttered Rum and Hot Toddies. Here are a few local options to try when the weather outside is frightful — or even when it isn’t.

Beer Baron Bar & Kitchen

For the holiday season, Oakland’s Beer Baron Bar & Kitchen is serving a Hot Buttered Rum flavored with traditional spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cloves. Made with a rich, house-made rum batter and brown sugar, this creamy drink is served in a festive Santa mug. Toasty, buttery and fragrant, this one will warm you up, right down to your toes. Beer Baron Bar & Kitchen, 5900 College Ave. (near Chabot), Oakland

Juanita & Maude

The current drinks menu at Juanita and Maude in Albany invites the reader to fill in the missing first half of a duo. The Hot Buttered Rum, for example, is called “& Garfunkel.” This heavenly version of the wintry favorite features a collection of traditional spices (clove, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg), but adds the surprising element of melted vanilla ice cream. Imagine pumpkin pie without the pumpkin or the crust, served à la mode. Spice-forward and creamy, this drink takes Hot Buttered Rum to another level. Juanita and Maude, 825 San Pablo Ave (near Solano), Albany

Wood Tavern

The Hot Toddy at North Oakland neighborhood favorite Wood Tavern is made with bourbon, sugar, lemon, ginger syrup, honey and a touch of allspice dram. Garnished with a cinnamon stick and a slice of clove-studded orange peel, this drink’s warmth and sweetness make it perfect for a seasonal toast. Wood Tavern, 6317 College Ave (near Alcatraz), Oakland


Honor Kitchen & Cocktails

Honor Kitchen & Cocktails in Emeryville serves up a Hot Toddy with a couple of twists. It’s made with Rittenhouse Rye, ginger shrub, lemon and demerara syrup (a simple syrup made with turbinado sugar), which lends it a hint of caramel flavor. Our bartender floated some foamed egg white and garnished the Hot Toddy with a wedge of lemon, a tiny pink rose and an Amarena cherry. The resulting drink was attractive to look at and delicious, too. Honor Kitchen & Cocktails, 1411 Powell St. (at Hollis), Emeryville

Millennium Restaurant

The Hot Toddy at Oakland’s Millennium Restaurant has a nutty twist: it’s made with pecan-infused bourbon, amaretto, lemon and Angostura bitters, garnished with a slice of lemon. It’s no surprise that this drink boldly presents those nutty notes, with a strong taste of citrus right behind it. Millennium Restaurant, 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot), Oakland

The Wolf

The Wolf on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland offers an even warmer and spicier version of the classic Hot Toddy. Combining Buffalo Trace Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey with honey chai, the drink is simply garnished with a slice of clove-studded lemon. But the sweetness of the honey and the distinctive spicy chai flavors are what make this Hot Toddy an especially soothing and memorable drink. The Wolf, 3853 Piedmont Ave (near Monte Vista), Oakland