COLUMN: Where to grab a winter-inspired drink in Norman
Kingsley Burns, The Oklahoma Daily
With cool, crisp weather upon us, it’s time to celebrate the holiday season with seasonal drinks. So grab a coat and head to your nearest local bar or restaurant to cozy up with the perfect fall beer or cocktail.
O’Connell’s Irish Pub & Grille
If you’re in the mood for a crisp hard cider on these warm fall days, O’Connell’s, 769 Asp Ave., is the place to go. My personal favorite is Woodchuck’s Raspberry Hard Cider — sweet amber ale with a tart raspberry finish. Also available is the amber draft Hornsby’s Hard Cider. These are the perfect go-to drinks if you’re in the mood for something slightly fruity.
O’Connell’s also offers Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale for $4. With its chocolate and caramel tones, it is a hint of sweetness in a glass.
Available on tap is Sam Adams Winter Lager for $4.25 a glass or $10.25 for a pitcher.
McNellie’s The Abner Ale House
McNellie’s , 121 East Main St., offers domestic and imported seasonal beers. Boulevard’s Nutcracker Ale is crafted specially with Christmas character. This deep amber beer has a spicy and sweet molasses finish and only is available through December for $4.50.
Another seasonal domestic beer offered at McNellie’s is Choc Winter Stout. This robust, dark brown ale is only $3 for the bottle.
However, McNellie’s bartender Jake Cross recommended Samuel Smith’s dark amber Winter Welcome Ale that is imported from England. “It’s a more mild option to our seasonal beers,” Cross said. “Most are porters and stouts, but this one has a nice nutmeg-sweetness to it.”
If beer isn’t your thing, McNellie’s has a wide variety of strong drinks to take the edge and stress off of final’s week.
“We also have a new scotch list and are also trying to bring in a new whiskey each month,” Cross said.
Located at 2262 W. Main St., Local, offers an extensive winter and holiday cocktail menu.
The Snowbird cocktail is made with Jamaican rum, Ceylon cinnamon syrup, bitters and pineapple juice.
“Here at Local, we make the syrups ourselves,” bar manager Dana Nixon said. “The syrups are made of really lovely seasonal but subtle spices.”
The Jack Rose cocktail is made of sweet Applejack red wine, a house-made grenadine and lemon juice.
“We top off the drink with a star anise garnish, or what most people commonly refer to as having a liquorish flavor,” Nixon said. Both cocktails are available for $7.
Local now has available a list of hot drinks that offer a classic cozy touch for those bitter winter days. These drinks are made of coffees, amaretto, rums and seasonal spices.
Local offers a range of beers and wines from local breweries. Seasonal beers available include the Big Jamoke Porter from Tulsa’s Marshall Brewing Company, the Route 66 American Lager from Mustang Brewing Company and several others.
Winter also means it is time to cheer on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Local now features a Thunder Up Cocktail and is a great place to catch the next game. This special cocktail is made of vodka, Domaine De Canton, blue curacao, pineapple juice and sweet and sour mix.
Happy Hour at Local lasts from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and during all Thunder games. During this time, the bar offers $2 beers and a $3 “munchie menu.”
Erica Laub is a sociology junior.