A guide to winter drinking in Fort Collins

Well, the weather outside is frightful, and the fire is probably more delightful than braving the cold (the unseasonably warm 70-degree days we’ve been having notwithstanding).

But that doesn’t mean that there’s no place to go.

You might be stuck inside this weekend (unless you’re lucky enough to go skiing), but if you’re gonna be stuck inside, why not be stuck inside at one of your local bars or coffee shops?

After all, even though the temperature has dropped, it doesn’t mean Fort Collins’ fun factor has!

You’re over 21? Cool! Enjoy some winter cocktails

Let’s be real: Eggnog is indisputably delightful, but c’mon, there’s a reason why you see it once a year.

The mixologists over at Esquire magazine have compiled a list of 27 winter cocktails to fight the cold, c

ocktails that range from Manhattans to Christmas rum punch to Negus, a holiday beverage pulled straight out of the land of Charles Dickens (to clarify, it came from the best of times, not the worst of times).

Negus, according to Esquire, is comprised of one lemon, two tablespoons of sugar and one bottle of sweet red wine (although most evidence suggests Dickens didn’t make it with Franzia, you totally can). To make it, peel off the yellow rind of a lemon and put it in a double boiler with lemon juice, the sugar and the wine, stirring it until the sugar is dissolved.

When that happens, heat it up, add one cup of boiling water, and strain it into a preheated pitcher. Pour it into glasses (or coffee mugs, if that’s how you usually drink your wine) and enjoy. This recipe serves 12 “light” drinkers.

If you don’t have the motivation to make your winter cocktail, the bars in Fort Collins have you covered. The Mayor of Old Town has multiple winter beers on tap, from Fort Collins staples like Snow Day and Isolation Ale to varieties from all over the country.

“Old Rasputin is a really nice imperial stout,” owner Kevin Bolin said of his favorite winter beers. “… locally, I’ve been really enjoying New Belgium’s Cocoa Mole and their coffee stout.”
Steakout Saloon has recently rolled out a menu of hot drinks which, according to Philip Linkchorst, a bartender and manager, can run for about $4.50. The most popular right now is the Irish creme.

“It’s always nice when it’s cold out,” Linkchorst said.

Elisabeth McNattin, a bartender at Lucky Joe’s, said she prefers a more classic approach when it comes to enjoying a winter drink.

“When it’s cold, I love Guinness,” McNattin said. “It’s just so warm and fuzzy, and it’s on special a lot.”

Maybe you don’t have the money to go to Old Town, but you still want to responsibly enjoy an adult beverage. If that’s the case, Burnett’s has released its candy cane and sugar cookie holiday flavors… Which is clearly what vodka is supposed to taste like.

If you plan to call RamRide after a night of revelry, remember that wait-times get longer once the threat of frostbite puts walking out of the question


. RamRide is at it’s busiest when the weather gets bad, according to ASCSU Chief of Staff and Spokesman Robert Duran.

“As for reducing [your] wait time, my suggestion would be to call in before you need the ride and [to] be ready when they arrive for the ride,” Duran wrote in an email to the Collegian.

And if RamRide’s out of the question, always have a designated driver.

Speaking of which…

You’re under 21? Cool! Coffee and tea rock!

You know that winter is in the air when Starbucks releases its holiday cups. But shockingly, there’s more to the winter drink industry than a caramel brulee latte or caramel apple spice.

Martha Stewart, the inmate and oracle, has a whole slideshow of nonalcoholic holiday drinks on her website. Some of the recommendations include non-alcoholic cherry bombs, delightful grapefruit margaritas (minus the tequila) and mulled cranberry cocktails.

This isn’t powdered hot chocolate. This is legit.

In addition, multiple coffee shops in town have rolled out winter drinks, from Mugs with their classic oatmeal cookie latte to the Alley Cat with their classic house chai.

And even though they sell it year-round, this is the season when sparkling cider is socially permissible to drink. Buy some, chug it like a champion, and make fun of your friends who are over 21 and pretending to enjoy the taste of cheap champagne.