The Case for a Cold Cocktail in the Winter

December 27, 2016

Well here's a hot take to warm up your December. Chilly out there? Yeah. I get it. I have a weird relationship with my furnace in the winter. (If it’s working, anyway.) I tend to crank things up so high that my residence is uninhabitably warm. I can’t help it! My winter days operate like clockwork: I venture outside, regret it, and come back five minutes later. It’s like subjecting myself to a trauma I’m trying to recover from for the rest of the day. So I snuggle by my furnace for a few minutes until my surroundings transmogrify into a sauna. There's no turning back after this. I feel bad turning the heat back down; heat is a luxury in the city, and I must treasure it, even if that means that I suffer.

Well, I like to have fun with it. It starts to feel like summer in my apartment. Just atrociously muggy. My house becomes summer in the winter. So I treat it as such: I don some trunks. Slap on some Dollar Tree sunglasses. My go-to drink is something icy and refreshing.

The perfect drink for winter? A nice, cold cocktail, like Erik Lombardo's Southside. (We’re heading into a world where seasons won’t mean anything anymore. Why not look towards the future?) The recipe's right there, but I'll save you a click. Here’s what to do.

Gather 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of lime juice, 3/4 ounce of simple syrup, and 4 to 6 mint leaves.

Wow. Not too many ingredients. I've counted about four.

Get some ice.

Store-bought, made in a tray...anything goes.

Shake all of those ingredients together with the ice and strain it all into a cocktail glass.

There you go. Gentle turbulence. Now we're talking.

Smack your lips, say a toast, and enjoy.


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Minty, fresh, flirty—it’s you. The summer you, in the winter.

Are you an oddball who likes summer cocktails to cope with the indoor warmth of winter? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Mtchphila
  • Ali
Mayukh Sen is a James Beard Award-winning food and culture writer in New York. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Bon Appetit, and elsewhere. He won a 2018 James Beard Award in Journalism for his profile of Princess Pamela published on Food52.


Mtchphila December 28, 2016
Ice cream and cold cocktails in winter time are wonderful. I highly recommend both. When East coast cold weather drags on and on, I also enjoy using light, citrusy perfumes as a break from the heavy, resiny, amber-ish scents.
Ali December 27, 2016
My house is a (relatively) temperate 65-68 degrees, but yes, absolutely. It's always summer in my world. Margaritas, white wine, iced matcha, iced lattes, and kombucha are my preferred drinks. Other than the occasional hot chocolate, I don't understand the affection for warm beverages. Most of all I can't stand everyone pressuring me to drink tea if I have a minor cold. I especially want icy cold beverages at those times.