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Posted at 2:20 PM ET, 12/10/2010

Something for the weekend: Hot drinks and eggnog at Poste

By Fritz Hahn

Poste's mulled wine is served with a fluffy house-made marshmallow and a pair of gingerbread men. (Fritz Hahn - The Washington Post)

If you're shopping at the Downtown Holiday Market this weekend, you'd be wise to warm up afterward across the street at Poste, the restaurant and bar in the Hotel Monaco, where mixologist Rico Wisner created four hot drinks (all $11) for the new holiday cocktail menu.

Wisner's silky version of hot buttered rum, called Buttered Rum on Fire, is one of the best versions in the city. Amazingly, there's no rum in it. The primary ingredient is Novo Fogo cachaca, an organic Brazilian spirit that's made from sugarcane and aged in bourbon barrels for two years. It's mellow and sweet, with a touch of spice and bite. That makes it a perfect match for Wisner's house-made butter, spiked with pink peppercorns and brown sugar.

Also worth a taste is the Hazelnut Hot Toddy, made with Rogue Hazelnut Spiced Rum. (It's not on the printed menu; find the special listed on the chalkboard behind the bar.) The drink is a bit of a fluke: Wisner came up with it as a way to move the last few bottles of Rogue in his stockroom, but the response was so good that he had to order more. I can see why: local apple cider, cranberry liqueur and a hint of vanilla liqueur are mixed with the rum to create a nutty, well-rounded drink that gets your attention even before you take a sip.

Every year, Poste offers a new annual eggnog variation, and this time, it comes with house-spiced rum, brandy, fino sherry and a pleasantly spicy syrup, all shaken with a raw egg until it's smooth and frothy. It's served cool, but it's perfect for the season. ($13)

Finally, if you're going shopping with a special someone -- instead of for that special someone -- you should order chef Robert Weland's mulled wine ($9.50). It's warm and velvety, perfect for a winter evening, and the kicker is in the presentation: It arrives on a sliver platter with two crisp gingerbread men and a house-made marshmallow.

By Fritz Hahn  | December 10, 2010; 2:20 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Holiday  
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