Look out your window; step outside your door. It’s dark, it’s freezing, and you’re kidding yourself if you think you’d rather inhale the brisk winter air than settle in by the fire with a tasty, and more importantly warm, beverage in hand to stave off the season’s chill. Everyone has their perennial favorites to ward off the cold: hot toddies, adult hot chocolate, spiced mulled wine, or perhaps the rumbling, roasty force of an imperial stout if you prefer beer to liquor. Whatever your inclination, this time of year we’re all searching for a drink to wrap us up in its cozy embrace.
And if you’re searching for something new to add to your repertoire, search no further than Newburyport’s The Poynt—once a hardware store, once a clothing store, and now a cool spot for nibbling small plates and enjoying selections off a terrific beer list and a creative cocktail menu. For winter it’s the latter that deserves your attention. The Poynt’s cocktails range from unique concoctions like the Just Beet It Up to sumptuous post-dinner libations like the Poynt-spresso Martini, but this winter you’ll want to try the Gingah Snaptini, a spicy dessert cocktail devised by bartender Johneese (Jojo) Jessen.
Think of the last time you munched on a classic gingerbread cookie. Now imagine that same cookie with a kiss of cayenne, a punch of espresso, a dose of vanilla and cinnamon courtesy of RumChata, a healthy dollop of whipped cream for the heat and the sweet to mellow in together, and a base of house-infused gingerbread vodka. That’s the Gingah Snaptini, finished off with coffee to thaw the spirit during the bitter Northeast winter. Chalk up the inspiration to Jessen’s love of gingerbread lattes. “It’s something that I look forward to, and I’m not really a ‘sweet’ person, but I really love the flavor. I like that it’s savory, and that it’s sweet,” she says, adding, “I love coffee. How am I going to share what I love with the rest of you guys?”
Obviously, the best way to share that is by blending it with alcohol, and the Gingah Snaptini is a stellar marriage of coffee and cayenne—a pepper ranked just before the high end of the Scoville scale—and gingerbread and espresso. Jessen recommends you take care to get a bit of each ingredient, from the whipped cream to the gingerbread-cayenne-salt rim, on the palate with each sip for the best experience. If you make your way to The Poynt to try the Gingah Snaptini for yourself, heed her recommendation; it’s a superb cocktail for toasting the winter season. And just in case you feel daring enough to mix it yourself, we’ve included the recipe below.
The Gingah Snaptini
By Jojo Jessen, bartender, The Poynt
Ingredients for the Cookie Rim
⊲ Gingerbread cookies
⊲ Sea salt
⊲ Cayenne Pepper
Ingredients for the Drink
⊲ 2 oz. House-infused gingerbread vodka
⊲ 1 oz. RumChata
⊲ 1 Single Shot of espresso
⊲ Fresh-brewed coffee
⊲ Whipped cream
1. Crush the gingerbread cookies and mix with portions of sugar, sea salt, and cayenne to taste.
2. Wet the rim of your glass and dip it into the cookie mixture to coat.
3. For the drink, mix the vodka, RumChata, and espresso, and top it off with fresh-brewed coffee.
4. Finish with whipped cream and let it warm you to your core!
31 Water St., Newburyport, 978-358-8501, poyntnewburyport.com