Editor's note: This article was published in Grand Traverse Scene magazine's Winter 2019 issue. Pick up a free copy at area hotels, visitor's centers, chambers of commerce or at the Record-Eagle building on Front Street. Click here to read GT Scene in its entirety online.

Dashing through the snow often creates a yearning for warm libations to help get the chill out.

A hot buttered rum or cocoa gin from Iron Fish Distillery might do the trick. Or maybe a mulled wine from St. Ambrose Cellars, spiced with an assortment of flavors such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.

“We have so many delicious things right now it’s not even funny,” said Sarah Anderson, part owner of Iron Fish in Thompsonville.

Located on a 120-acre farm, Iron Fish is a small-batch distillery that caters to those who hike its 1.5 mile snowshoe loop or who finish a day of skiing or other outdoor activities at Crystal Mountain across the street.

Anderson and the three other owners, her husband Richard Anderson, Heidi Bolger and David Wallace, grow their own grains for spirits. They also make their own Irish Cream and currently boast seven warm, wintry drinks.

Anderson’s favorite is the hot buttered rum made with smoked butter from Boss Mouse Cheese in Kingsley.

“We’re huge on hot drinks, being so close to Crystal Mountain,” Anderson said. “We’re huge lovers of winter. Everyone at the distillery is into winter and into playing outside, so we’re into winter, cozy drinks. We love them.”

Benzie County neighbor St. Ambrose Cellars offers its warm mulled wine and a draft mead made with wintry spices all winter long. It also offers a variety of meads made with honey from Sleeping Bear Farms. Both business are owned by Kirk Jones.

The mulled wine is made with the winery’s Rose Ambrosia and Eat a Peach cider, plus a bit of brown sugar and a bag of mulled spices sold in the taproom. The Christmas-themed mead — called Santa’s Helper — is steeped in Cabernet Franc and Merlot grape skins and is made with black currants, cherries, strawberries, orange peel, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. It can be savored warm or chilled.

“Most people have never had mead before they come here, so that’s different for them,” said Aaron Dexter, St. Ambrose marketing director. “We’re not as formal as a winery. There’s a good mix between the traditional winery and the bar with taps.”

The nine-hole disc golf course the property turns into a snowshoe and cross-country ski haven in the wintertime. Located only 10 minutes from Crystal Mountain, the Honor taproom also fills with Alpine skiers and snowboarders.

“I think it’s nice because you have that option to come here and taste some really good winter drinks,” Dexter said.

In nearby Leelanau County, Rove Estate Vineyard and Winery serves mulled wine on Snowshoe Sundays, said manager Kara Jarvis. The open house event on Sunday afternoons from late December through March 3 also allows the winery to show off its snow-covered property and Rove Point Trail, which offer scenic views of the county.

“I love the winter because it gives a chance for locals to experience a whole other side of northern Michigan,” Jarvis said. “There’s such a hidden gem in the winter (here). It’s a little bit quieter and a little bit quainter.”

Other apre-snowshoe drinks include a cinnamon-infused hard cider and any of the winery’s reds.

“Our Pinot Noir is going to be a popular wine this winter, and it’s the warm red that you’re looking for,” Jarivs said. “Drinking that wine makes me feel like I’m sitting next to a fireplace.”

Smokin’ Hot Buttered Rum

1.5 ounces Iron Fish Michigan White Rum

1 ounce Brown Sugar Simple Syrup*

1 cube Boss Mouse Cheese Smoked Butter

1 sprinkle nutmeg

Stir rum and brown sugar syrup. Pour in a glass; fill the rest of the glass with hot water. Garnish with smoked butter and nutmeg.

*Brown Sugar Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let cool to room temperature and transfer to a clean glass container. Cover and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Hotter Daughter

(Iron Fish owners note that this drink is unexpectedly tasty with the right balance of gin and dark chocolate.)

1/4 cup Grocer’s Daughter Hot Drinking Chocolate Mix

1 ounce Iron Fish Michigan Woodland Gin

Fresh whipped cream made with Cream Cup Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream

Pour drinking chocolate mix and gin into an 8-ounce mug, top with hot water and stir very well. Finish with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Maple Moon

1.5 ounces Iron Fish Bourbon finished in maple syrup barrels

1 ounce Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Simple Syrup*

Higher Ground Trading Company French Roast Coffee

Fresh whipped cream made with Cream Cup Dairy Heavy Whipping Cream

Pour bourbon and maple simple syrup into a 12-ounce mug, top with coffee, finish with fresh whipped cream.

*Maple Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup Iron Fish Bourbon Barrel Aged Maple Syrup and 1 cup water. Warm in a saucepan until combined.

St. Ambrose Cellars’ Rose Ambrosia Mulled Wine

1 bottle Rose Ambrosia

12 ounces cider (St. Ambrose recommends its Eat a Peach cider) or 12 ounces of water, depending on your preference.

Brown sugar to taste (usually 1/4-1/2 cup)

1 mulling spice bag (available at St. Ambrose) or your own blend of cinnamon, dried orange peel, allspice and cloves

Place wine, water/cider, sugar and spices in a pan or slow cooker. Simmer slowly, do not boil, for at least an hour — the longer the better.