Chow Bella

The 11 Best Things I Drank in 2012

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Queen's Park Swizzle at J&G Steakhouse

Popularized in the States by Trader Vic in the 40's, this beautifully layered cocktail is Trinidad's sexy answer to the mojito. Although it isn't on the menu at J&G, bartender Julie Hillebrand will happily whip one up for you (and you should watch the process), combining Mount Gay Eclipse rum, muddled mint, lime juice, simple syrup and Angostura bitters ($12). It's the bitters that give this hot-weather cocktail a bit of depth and complexity. As the swizzle stick is spun through the crushed ice, frost forms on the outside of the glass, making this the most refreshing looking drink imaginable.

Market Street Hot Chocolate at Market Street Kitchen

At first blush, Green Chartreuse combined with hot chocolate may sound weird, but think about it. Chartreuse has herbal, botanical notes that pair very nicely with chocolate -- as artisan chocolate bars containing rosemary and other herbs so deliciously prove. Rich Heider's warm and ultra-rich concoction turns sweet, simple hot chocolate into something soothing and sophisticated at once, capping off the cocktail with a drift of cinnamon whipped cream ($12). It goes down mighty easy, so be careful. Or save it for dessert.

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Nikki Buchanan