Three Cheers

A trio of experts toasts the season

Eddie Holley, owner of Ale Yeah! (with stores in Decatur and Roswell), suggests Terrapin’s Wake ’N’ Bake, a seasonal oatmeal imperial stout. It pairs a potent 8.6 percent alcohol porter with the buzz of coffee from the brewery’s Athens neighbor, Jittery Joe’s. “I wish Spike [brewmaster Brian Buckowski] would make it year-round. Fans go rabid for it, and it’s perfect for warming up on cold winter nights,” Holley says. $12.99 for a four-pack,

Nate Shuman, bartender at Proof and Provision in the Georgian Terrace hotel, suggests hot buttered cider, a classic suited to large parties. Start by simmering apple cider with cinnamon sticks, cloves, black peppercorns, and thinly sliced ginger. Heat the mugs by swishing them with boiling water, then build individual cocktails with pats of butter, bitters, rum, and demerara sugar syrup topped with the spiced cider.

Eric Brown of Chamblee’s Le Caveau Fine Wines first tasted Laherte Frères Les 7, a small-estate Champagne, while on vacation in Montreal. A blend of seven grapes and a style of aging—blending current harvests with older vintages—more frequently used for rums or Madeiras makes for a remarkable sparkly worth a splurge: Scents of lime, nutmeg, green apple, and honeydew bubble up in the glass, and the flavors continue to change and bloom as the wine fizzes. $89.99,

Photograph by Whitney Ott. This article originally appeared in our December 2012 issue.