Beat Back the Cold with these Winchester Warmers

Baby, it’s cold outside. . .”

Fortunately, Winchester businesses have the recipe to warm you up as temperatures drop: Delicious specialty drinks created right here that have just the right amount of heat to chase the chill right into next month. The special ingredients? Kentucky bourbon, Kentucky wine and Kentucky soft drink. Catch the theme?

Here are four recipes from three Winchester watering holes – Abettor Brewing, Engine House Pizza Pub and Harkness Edwards Winery – plus the oldest, privately held bottler in the United States still owned and operated by the founding family: Ale-8-One.

Okay fine, just another drink then.
(That took a lot of convincing!)”

Abettor Brewing

Winchester’s first brewery brings craft beer entrepreneur Tyler Montgomery’s vision for a nano brewery and community taproom to life with a cozy vibe and friendly atmosphere – and lots of comfy, open-air and patio seating for warm-weather gatherings. Its flagship Sunset Heights beer teases the tastebuds with a secret ingredient: Ale-8-One, which is dear to the hearts of Winchester locals and central Kentuckians.

Coffee Old Fashioned


2 oz good quality bourbon (Abettor recommends Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond)

.25-.33 oz of Creative Coffee Roastery’s Peruvian Simple Syrup

2 droppers of Woodford Reserve Spiced Cherry Bitters 

Expressed lemon peel 


Combine all wet ingredients into a rocks class with ice and stir for 10 to 15 seconds. Express lemon peel into glass and wipe along rim of glass, dropping the peel into the drink when finished.

How to make coffee simple syrup

Brew coffee as you normally would but double the amount of coffee grounds you would use. Once brewed, combine equal parts coffee and sugar in a sauce pain. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overheat and burn the coffee. 

Let cool, transfer to a container and chill in refrigerator for 24 hours. Syrup will hold for 30 days, but as Abettor Brewing predicts, “it’s doubtful it will last that long!”

Engine House Pizza Pub

“Winchester’s Living Room” is tucked in the town’s original fire station on land that was deeded in 1885 to the Board of Councilmen of Winchester. The firefighters were called the Rough and Ready, and the mayor’s office and first volunteer library were upstairs. The engine house was occupied until 1909 when a fire burned through an adjacent building.

Inside, booths and bar stools are covered in leopard print and the floor with a black and white checkerboard tile. The walls are decorated with vintage illustrations from the original Engine House deli menu – under the ownership of Bob Tabor, whose tasty creations, the Hot Ham Hoagie, Chomp and Pizza Pun, are still served – that were created by Michael Johnathon, founder, producer and host of Woodsong’s Old Time Radio.

Kittens in Mittens

1.5 oz vanilla vodka (can be plain vodka as well)

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz maple spice syrup (we use Monin brand)

1 oz cream

Dash of cinnamon spice


Combine vodka, Kahlua and maple spice syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Top with cream and garnish with a dash of cinnamon. Enjoy responsibly!

Harkness Edwards Vineyards

Your oasis in the country: This family-owned winery is all about the experience – and a leisurely one at that. Stroll the farmland and take in the sweeping views en route to the Peach House, where visitors can downshift to a slower pace and linger deliciously over a wine flight and cheese board.

The winery hosts wine tastings, live music, cookery classes and special events, like the upcoming Galentine’s Charcuterie and Wine Class, 3-4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12. When the weather warms, the winery’s outdoor seating offers the perfect way to while away the day. The gift shop has a selection of treasures, including Harkness Edwards wines.

The Night Heron


1 bottle Night Heron wine


Uncork this bold, dry red that is slightly oaked and prepare to slow-sip your way to warmth that reaches right down to your toes. Planning a heavy meal for a nippy night? This red is the perfect choice.


Founded in 1902 by G.L. Wainscott in Winchester, Ale-8-One Bottling Company is home to Ale-8-One soft drink, the only soft drink invented in Kentucky still in existence.

Ale-8’s proprietary blend is flavored with ginger and citrus and contains less carbonation and fewer calories than conventional sodas. Company founder and inventor G.L. Wainscott developed the recipe; to this day, G.L.’s great-great-nephew, Fielding Rogers, personally blends every batch of Ale-8-One.

“Warm up with the pick-me-up everyone needs this winter – The Snowbird,” said DeAnne Elmore, corporate communications manager at Ale-8-One Bottling Company. “This custom cocktail mixes two iconic Kentucky staples – Ale-8-One and bourbon – and is infused with coffee and a splash of lemon for an added jolt.”

The Snowbird
Photo: @HGPRinc.

The Snowbird


2 oz bourbon*

2 oz strong black coffee

1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

4 oz Ale-8-One


Mix all ingredients together and garnish. NOTE: This recipe is garnished with vegan hibiscus sugar cane, dried ginger root and lemon slices.

*The bourbon used for this recipe was Woodford Reserve. NOTE: Leave the bourbon out and amp up your Ale-8 for the perfect morning mocktail.

Want a behind-the-scenes look at this historic Kentucky soft drink? Book a tour, hear the story and enjoy a complimentary taste of Ale-8. Tour Hours: 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00 am. Thursdays and Fridays.

Recipe is courtesy of Forage at the historic Greyline Station.