It might seem counter-intuitive to drink cocktails outside during the winter months, but Poste Moderne Brasserie in D.C.'s Penn Quarter is making its case with its newly launched "Cour de l'Hiver." Turning its outdoor courtyard into a winter lounge complete with fire pits, heat lamps, and thick wool blankets, you can complete your defense against the cold with one of lead bartender Jason Wiles' hot libations.
There are three hot cocktails on the menu that offer clever twists on classic, warm winter treats. The Smokin' Bacon Hot Chocolate ($12) is essentially an alcoholic s'more in a mug. Made with bacon-infused Bulleit bourbon, hot cocoa, and a housemade bacon cayenne marshmallow, Wiles' aimed to evoke childhood while balancing sweet, salty, and spicy.
When a customer named Elyse said she wanted to try something she'd never tasted before, Wiles whipped up what he called the coffee-based Elysium ($14). Normally served cold, but heated for the winter menu, he dresses up coffee with a mix of amaro, amaretto, Grand Marnier, and chocolate bitters.
Where the Elysium is a spiked hot coffee, Wiles chose green tea for Where There's Smoke, There's Fire ($13), pictured at top. It's made with mezcal, spiced rum, and agave sweetened steaming green tea. The mezcal and spiced rum add a strong dose of smokiness—this is a great way to warm up.
While you're outside with by the fire imbibing a hot drink, the winter lounge will also have a variety of cheese and chocolate fondues available. The courtyard will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to close, weather permitting.