For many of us, summer in the Upper Valley is epitomized by an evening spent sipping $3 margaritas on the back patio of Molly’s in Hanover, New Hampshire. But now that the snow is piling up and patios all over the area are closed for the season, what special libations in warm, cozy places can we turn to during the winter?
You can start with Molly’s, of course. A Maple Manhattan—Knob Creek Rye, dry vermouth, bitters, and Vermont maple syrup—can take the place of a margarita while you warm yourself near the wood fire stove in the main dining room. There are other sources of solace as well. Check out these five.
- If you happen to be in downtown White River Junction, Vermont, on a cold winter night, pull into the old freight house on South Main Street and treat yourself to a special drink at Elixir. The Sazerac Cocktail—Rittenhouse Rye, blood orange bitters, simple syrup, and Pernod Wash—will heat you up from the inside out, as will the other-worldly Chupacabra—a blend of El Charro Silver Tequila, Campari, grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, and Angostura bitters. Dinner at Elixir—Cocoa Dusted Petits Filets Mignon and Veal Saltimbocca are on the menu—might help you through a long winter’s night, too.
- Those cheers you heard reverberating around the Upper Valley in late August were the result of the long-awaited reopening of Peter Christian’s Tavern in New London, New Hampshire. If the winter blues have got you down, stop in at PC’s and take the cure—Peter’s Mother’s Cure for What Ales You. Bombay Dry Gin, lemon, orange juice, and honey will get you right as rain again. Quiche remains on the menu, and sandwiches are still made with PC’s signature mustard. That’s comfort food Upper Valley style, and comfort is exactly what you need after a day of slogging through ice and slush.
- Pull up a stool at the bar or a high-top table close to the wood-fired oven at Three Tomatoes in downtown Lebanon, New Hampshire, and prepare for some indulgence. A Grand Marnier & Godiva Chocolate Martini in front of the fire will do you a world of good. Wood fired pizzas, pastas, and dinner classics, such as rosemary chicken, won’t do you any harm this winter, either.
- If a pint of Guinness and a corned beef sandwich are your definition of comfort food, then you’ll be pleased to know that Salt hill Pub now has five locations throughout the Upper Valley on the New Hampshire side of the river. You can drop in, play some darts, maybe listen to some live music, share a pint with a friend—and forget about the Nor’easter that’s headed your way—in Lebanon, Hanover, Newport, West Lebanon, and Newbury.
- We hear a Moscow Mule moved to the Upper Valley and became a Caramel Apple Mule—a wicked good concoction of vodka, butterscotch liqueur, Applejack, ginger beer, and apple cider now being served at Murphy’s on the Green, on Main Street in Hanover, New Hampshire. If that doesn’t warm you from your head to your toes, we’ll hit you with a Black Eye—Reposado Tequila, Campari, crème de cacao, blackberry, lime, and Hawaiian black salt.