Mixologist shares tips, recipes for 'hot-tails' to beat the chill

March 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM ET

Warm up with the Daily Warm 'n Cozy (recipe below).
Courtesy Parallel Post
Warm up with the Daily Warm 'n Cozy (recipe below).

Spring may be just around the corner, but for much of the country, there’s still a chill in the air. What better way to warm up over the weekend than cuddling up with a hot cocktail? While hot toddies are the simplest choice, you can also bring out your inner mixologist for creative, tasty warm drinks. Gregory Genias, lead mixologist at Parallel Post in Trumbull, Conn., has crafted a full menu of original cocktails with house-made liquor infusions like cactus pear, pineapple and jalapeño-infused tequila. He’s also created an awesome drink called the hot-buttered popcorn (sip on that your next Netflix night!). Genias shares his tips for making the prefect “hot-tail” at home, along with a few recipes to get you started.

If you grow it, use it. Herbs and other homegrown plants can be utilized for their essence in either green or dried form. In the right environment, rosemary, thyme and other less temperamental herbs can be grown year-round and are excellent companions with almost any spirit.

Turn it up. Temperature is paramount: I refer to it as ‘raising the spirit.’ Higher temperatures will extract a higher yield of flavor, which makes for a more aromatic hot-tail.

Keep it simple. If you are new to working with spirits in its warmer form, you may want to experiment with a few basic combinations before expanding your hot-tail palate. A pour of simmering dark rum paired with the appropriate sweetener and flavoring agent makes a simple and delicious hot-tail in less than two minutes. Our Hot Buttered Popcorn consists of popcorn-infused rum in a house-blended herbal hot tea sweetened with maple syrup.

Have fun. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavor combinations and pairings. I typically sample how the dry ingredients will react together by rubbing them together to release the combined aroma. This is a sure way to know what flavor your homemade hot-tail will have.

Be mindful. While making hot-tails can be an exciting process, the danger level is significantly raised in the creation and consumption stages. Accidental spillage of hot liquids and burning of lips can be an unwelcome reality, so take great care in handling hot liquids, mugs, cups, etc…

Enjoy! At Parallel Post, we love crafting hot-tails and cocktails because we thrive on experimenting with new flavors and techniques, and also because we enjoy the feedback from and satisfaction of our guests.


Hot-buttered popcorn

  • 1 ½ oz. popcorn-infused dark rum
  • 1 herbal teabag
  • 4 ½ oz. hot water (or to taste preference)

Pour ingredients in mug and let steep for two to three minutes.

How to infuse your own liquor:

  • Clean, air-tight jar
  • Liquor
  • Desired ingredients

Pour liquor over ingredients and shake a few times. Store infusion in a cool, dark area and be sure to disturb the ingredients at least three times each day of the infusion process, which should last anywhere from three hours to two weeks depending on the potency of the ingredients and how strong you want the flavor. The finish: use a paper coffee filter or fine strainer to transfer the finished product into another clean jar. If you find that you have a lot of floating or sediment residue, you may need to strain the liquid two or three times to get the desired results.

Daily Warm ‘n’ Cozy (served deconstructed)

  • 4 oz. Daily infusion (ginger, fresh sage, star anise and boiling water)
  • 1 ½ oz. whiskey
  • ½ oz. Galliano liqueur
  • ½ oz. honey

Pour ingredients in mug and let steep for two to three minutes.

Amaretto mousse cocktail

  • 1 oz. Baileys
  • 1 ½ oz. B&B Brandy
  • 4 oz. hot almond coffee

Pour ingredients in mug and let steep for two to three minutes. Top with chocolate mousse and marshmallows.

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