As people settle in for the long, dreary winter, certain drinks are especially comforting. Eggnog, mulled wine, hot cider, and peaty Scotch unfailingly warm the soul, no matter the temperature outside.

Boozy fortification takes many forms, though. A growing group of bartenders on Instagram, known as Tiki the Snow Away, is rejecting typical wintertime beverages in favor of tropical rum drinks.

The group convenes digitally each year to create and share tiki cocktails throughout January. Early entries for the 2019 iteration range from mid-century-inspired originals, courtesy of Portland, Ore.-based @Migsology, to absinthe-spiked swizzles from @servedbysoberon in Ghent, Belgium. There are no real rules or prizes, only the promise of digital community, good cheer, and lots of rum.

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Winter tiki is one of those ideas that makes more sense the longer you think about it. Tiki cocktails are escapist, perfect for the snowed-in drinker whose only diversions are political headlines or another Netflix marathon.

Many of the same baking spices in wintry drinks like cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg are perfectly at home in tiki concoctions. And when you just don’t have the energy to trek through the tundra to meet your friends at a bar, Tiki the Snow Away connects you to digital pals via Instagram.

Dani DeLuna, known to her followers as Home Bar Girl, launched the group in 2015 as a repudiation of eggnog.

“I had competed in an eggnog competition that December so I was really over all the heavy sh*t we all drink during the cold part of the year,” DeLuna says. She remembers thinking, “‘F*ck this. I want to make Daiquiris.’” That impulse evolved into a quest to make tiki drinks throughout the entire month of January.

When DeLuna polled her IG followers for a name for her project, fellow drinkstagrammer Nic Titze provided the moniker. DeLuna spent the first year casually hashtagging posts to see if anyone was interested in playing along. In year two, she says, Titze’s involvement hashtagging and reposting helped the concept take off. In 2018, the group’s fourth year, users submitted 1,000 tiki drinks by using the official hashtag, #tikithesnowaway, and DeLuna now reposts a sampling on the Tiki the Snow Away page.

Last year Titze even crafted custom art for the group, printing up swag like coasters and swizzle sticks. He and DeLuna strategically sent them to drinkstagram influencers in the early days of January to drum up even more interest. Titze has even crafted updated versions for this year’s celebration.

The digital movement has leaked into the real world, too. In 2018, DeLuna held a pop-up event at the King Tai, a bar in Brooklyn. Earlier this month, she collaborated on a menu for the Sunken Harbor Club, a weekly tiki event at Fort Defiance, also in Brooklyn.

Tiki the Snow Away remains mostly digital, though. DeLuna has personally met only a few participants.

The group’s digital-first approach works to its advantage. Along with other home bartending groups on Instagram like Home Bar Awards, We Have the Last Word, and Secret Santé, Tiki the Snow Away gives global cocktail enthusiasts a chance to come together and share their exploits in ways they couldn’t IRL. Propelled by influencers like @mmydrinks and @servedbysoberon, these remarkably talented home bartenders experiment with unconventional methods, promote local spirits and drinking traditions, and connect with like-minded drinkers across the globe.

“For all of us who like doing drink stuff, it’s way more fun when it’s a whole group thing,” DeLuna says. “Isn’t all of this social media stuff kind of self-gratifying anyway? If a lot of people come through and like your post because everyone’s participating in a big group thing, you get a little self-confidence boost, too.”

How to get involved

If you’d like to start posting your own drinks to Tiki the Snow Away, you’ll need a few — O.K., a lot of ingredients.

When you’ve crafted a tiki drink you’d like to share, simply hashtag your post with #tikithesnowaway and wait for the sweet, sweet likes to roll in.

Here’s what you’ll need:

At least five rums

“To wade into tiki, you really need five different rums,” DeLuna tells VinePair. “You need an overproof rum. You need something that will give you length, maybe something from Barbados or something like Ron Barrilito that’s an easy, dry, mellow rum. You need some funky Jamaican rum (which could also be your overproof rum). People suggest a 151 demerara rum because it is in a lot of drinks. And I would suggest having a blanc rhum agricole.”

Winter produce

Depending on where you live, fresh produce in January might sound like an oxymoron. Fortunately, there are solutions, even for those who spend January in below-freezing temperatures. Blood oranges, grapefruits, and persimmons all provide tiki’s requisite bright pop of flavor.

“Use the weird citrus that’s in season now,” DeLuna says. “Don’t attempt to use fresh pineapple because it’ll be nasty.”

Spiced syrups

“The thing I like to emphasize is that we’re in the middle of winter so people should be doing more spiced stuff than usual,” DeLuna says. Lots of baking spices make great syrups. DeLuna suggests arming yourself with cinnamon, vanilla, or cinnamon-vanilla syrup.

Fortified wines

DeLuna also encourages home bartenders to use sherry, port, and vermouths to lengthen their drinks. The right bottle of fortified wine can add wintry flavors and depth while keeping things (relatively) light.