As the elder statesmen of Liz Lessner's restaurants, Betty's Fine Food & Spirits is a Columbus landmark. Nearly everyone has dined or had drinks at the charming Short North spot at least once. Betty's recently released a winter cocktail menu with some excellent options to keep you warm - and happy - during this time of year. Here's a look at a few of them.

As the elder statesmen of Liz Lessner's restaurants, Betty's Fine Food & Spirits is a Columbus landmark. Nearly everyone has dined or had drinks at the charming Short North spot at least once. Betty's recently released a winter cocktail menu with some excellent options to keep you warm - and happy - during this time of year. Here's a look at a few of them.

Bearskin Rug

Ingredients: Walnut-infused bourbon, Barenjager Honey Liqueur, Original Sin Hard Cider, lemon juice

The Bearskin Rug is a concoction with abundant flavors. It's slightly sweet, with a hint of tartness and a big savory boldness. It contains the most important ingredient of any cold weather cocktail - bourbon. The walnut infusion is a nice complement to the brown liquor.

Bobsled

Ingredients: Jamaican rum infused with dried figs, vanilla bean, cinnamon and orange peel, mixed with brown sugar simple syrup and hot water

Normally, rum is considered warm weather liquor; it's common in "Boat Drinks," if you will. But spiked with figs, vanilla and cinnamon, and served hot, the Bobsled is playing against type. It reminds of my grandma's spiced Christmas tea, only boozy.

I wish I could get this hot toddy in a to-go cup for strolling High Street and doing some Christmas shopping. You can't. Don't ask.

The Solstice

Ingredients: Watershed gin, blackberry syrup, house sour, Champagne

For some reason, I've always associated gin with winter and the holidays. Maybe it's the juniper. This citrusy, tart cocktail is perfect for those looking to mask the alcohol. It's in there, but you won't taste it. Beware.

Betty's White Russian

Ingredients: Vanilla vodka, Kahlua, cream

Okay, this is more of a personal winter pick because "The Big Lebowski" is my Christmas Day movie - every year. But the White Russian is surely a cold-weather cocktail, because who wants cream in their drink when it's 90 degrees outside?

The key to this cocktail is the flavored vodka. A wise bartender once informed me the only way to make a "proper White Russian" is with vanilla vodka. It's also the only time you should use vanilla vodka.

Photo by Alysia Burton