What's hot in winter drinks

The Warm and Toasty, a winter drink, is

The Warm and Toasty, a winter drink, is prepared at The Fifth Season in Port Jefferson. (Jan. 4, 2012) (Credit: Jeremy Bales)

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Brr! The temperature is dropping and the cold winds are making it a bit more frigid outside. But certain elements of winter -- flavors like cranberry, cinnamon and ginger -- are sure to heat you up. Here's a look at some unusual seasonal drinks that make staying indoors a bit more tasty.

Warm Hearth

HOW MUCH $13

WHERE Insignia Prime Steak and Sushi, 610 Nesconset Hwy., Smithtown, 631-656-8100, insigniasteakhouse.com

THE DRINK The warming powers of bourbon are backed with Maker's Mark whiskey, Thatcher's apple spice ginger liqueur, bitters, honey syrup and a squeeze of fresh lemon -- this is a concoction with bite, but it stays pleasing on the way down.

THE SETTING A seriously swank steakhouse. The three-sided bar area attracts a well-dressed crowd who come for drinks and live entertainment that might be an acoustic guitar player, pianist or -- on some nights -- a DJ.

Dry fruit milkshake

HOW MUCH $4

WHERE Tangerine, 136 Broadway, Hicksville. 516-622-4439, tangerineny.com

THE DRINK Thinner than a traditional milk shake, this version blends nonfat milk, almonds, cashews, dates, pistachios and cardamom. Think frothy, light eggnog with a nutty finish.

THE SETTING A cheery and bright cafe with yellowish walls and a drink counter. Take your order to go or settle at a bistro table.

Winter Warmer

HOW MUCH $12

WHERE Dark Horse Restaurant, 1 E. Main St., Riverhead, 631-208-0072, darkhorserestaurant.com

THE DRINK A mixture of muddled dried and fresh cranberries, plus fresh sliced ginger marinates each week. This tart concoction is stirred with Berentzen apple liqueur and Seagram's apple-infused gin.

THE SETTING Industrial chic with a gas fireplace, exposed duct work, track lighting and black leather banquettes. Decor winks to the '30s and '40s with vintage jewelry, ashtrays and lighters in shadowboxes.

Alpine Almond Tea

HOW MUCH $2.75 (served hot or cold)

WHERE Clipper Ship Tea Company, 80 Main St., Northport, 631-651-2764, clippershipteaco.com

THE DRINK Loose leaf Chinese sencha and Japanese bancha green teas steep with a custom blend of dehydrated orange slices, almond pieces, pink peppercorns, safflowers and almond essential oil. Have it hot or cold.

THE SETTING The quaint tea shop (note the original tin ceiling) serves more than 140 blends of tea at its mahogany bar. Browse shelves of teapots, mugs, infusers and chocolate truffles. No seating, though you can park at a bistro table outside.

Warm & Toasty 

HOW MUCH $10

WHERE The Fifth Season, 34 East Broadway, Port Jefferson, 631-477-8500, thefifth-season.com

THE DRINK The appeal lies in the preparation: Bacardi 151 rum is lit afire in a sugar-rimmed martini glass, then the bartender sprinkles cinnamon and nutmeg, which spark and toast in the flames. Next, Captain Morgan rum, Crème de cacao, Kahlua coffee liqueur are shaken and poured into the glass, which is topped with house-made whipped cream and dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg. You'll smell the toasted spices as you sip the sweet and spicy concoction.

THE SETTING A classic American restaurant with a homey atmosphere. Head upstairs for dinner overlooking the Port Jefferson Harbor.

The Doctor

HOW MUCH $7.49-$8.49 (12-16 oz.)

WHERE Cornucopia Natural Foods, 39 N. Main St., Sayville, 631-589-9579, cornucopiahealthfoods.com

THE DRINK We can't vouch for whether it actually works -- but if you're wading off a winter season cold, consider a drink with ingredients said to boose the immune system (ginger and lemon) and cleanse the body (beets and parsley). This juice bar's blend has organic beets, apples and skin-on carrots along with fresh ginger, lemon and parsley that add some zing to the earthy root vegetable flavor.

-- Ian J. Stark contributed to this story.

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