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Moscow's Winter Warmers: Festive Drinks to Bring the Pink Back to Your Cheeks

Try a piping hot berry tea at Strelka. Strelka/Facebook

The humble coffee — or mulled wine — break has grown more essential than ever during these long, dark winter months. From spiced lattes to cinnamon cocktails, these hearty winter warmers will restore the pink to your cheeks and help melt that chill from head to toe.


Taking your time over tea 

As the days get shorter, coffee breaks incrementally grow longer. The last thing you want to do once you have settled down in a comfy chair and are finally able to feel your fingers again is to venture back outside into the cold. However, sitting around in a cafe for more than 20 minutes can prove difficult when you have a waiter glaring at you as you have only ordered an Americano in the two hours you have been there. At the Tsiferblat anti-cafe, you are invited to spend as long as you want lounging about, paying for the amount of time you are there rather than the unlimited tea, coffee and snacks. It’s nothing fancy, but the staff use a proper barista-style coffee machine and the free WiFi makes it the perfect spot to work or while away the hours on a snowy weekend.

Double B 

Sugar, spice and everything nice 

The popular chain Double B has released a winter menu full of festive treats to help fend off the cold, all of which are priced at 350 rubles. For those with a sweet tooth the cherry latte is a must, while chocolate lovers can get their fix from the raf mocha. There’s also an interesting “coffee tea,” a herbal brew made from the non-coffee bean parts of the plant, and an invigorating blackberry tea, which works wonders at soothing a sore throat. 

Garage Cafe 

Warm up after a winter wander 

If you’re brave enough to lace up your boots and make the trek out to Gorky Park then reward yourself by taking shelter from the elements in the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. After wandering around the season’s exhibitions, head to the charming onsite cafe for a cup of currant punch (250 rubles), a spiced chai latte (250 rubles) or an Ivan Chai herbal tea (250 rubles) to help your circulation get back up to speed.


Cocktails to warm the soul

Add a bit of Christmas spirit to your postwork drinks and head over to Strelka for delicious winter cocktails and a stylish Scandinavia meets Art Deco interior. Spice up your usual wine order by replacing it with a fragrant mulled wine (450 rubles) or to see the talented bartenders work their magic, try a “Hot Gold” — a decadent concoction of orange juice, amaretto and cinnamon. Those wanting to keep a clear head can try the deeply flavored bilberry punch or piping hot rooibos cappuccino — a tea cleverly disguised as a coffee.

Vodka History Museum 

When in Russia... 

Nothing warms up your insides quite like a shot of vodka, and as the mercury drops, you have the perfect excuse to learn a little more about Russia’s favorite beverage and stay in the warm. At Moscow’s Vodka History Museum you can learn more about the potent tipple before heading to the onsite cozy underground restaurant “Traktir,” where you can sample an array of different types of vodka while enjoying Russian specialities prepared according to a cookbook published in 1887. The museum is small, but if you’re headed to Izmailovo market to buy souvenirs it’s worth a visit. 

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