Since arriving at the Beekman Farm three years ago we’ve seen our fair share of brilliant winter mornings, but nothing came close to “wonderland” ecstasy…until the hoar came calling.

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The term “hoar frost”  (hoar:  white or gray-white in color) is a cold weather phenomenon where ice crystals form on objects that are below the dew point. The result is that the objects are covered in a sparkling white coat of ice crystals that can be spectacularly beautiful.  Overnight, nearly every inanimate object on the farm sprouted a fine coat of white whiskers.

In order for the phenomenon to occur two things must happen.  There must be a prolonged period of sub-freezing temperatures so that the surface temperature of outdoor objects is below freezing AND the relative humidity in the air is at 100%.  In other words, the formation of hoar frost is similar to the formation of dew with the difference that the temperature of the object on which the hoar frost forms is well below 0°C, whereas this is not the case with dew.

We decided to celebrate the occasion by mixing up a German cocktail called “Hoar Frost”, so named for the icy appearance of the glass in which it is served.  An appearance of hoar frost is given by rubbing the glass with lemon juice and afterwards in sugar crystals

Hoar Frost Cocktail

25% Gin

25% Curacoa (Triple Dry)

25% Lemon Juice

15% Jamaica Rum

10% Grenadine

Shake with ice and strain into glass.

See the holiday craft project inspired by the hoar frost.  Click here

by Josh and Brent

Reader Comments

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Cathy Parker

Over 50 years ago, when I was a child in Atlanta, GA, a great ice storm came in one night and I awoke to a world encased in ice–including the 50-to 60-foot oak trees in our yard. It was the most magical thing I have ever seen; thanks for rekindling that memory.


You know, we've had no snow or frost up here in Toronto at all. It's been green as can be and I miss the dazzling sparkle of the winters of Ottawa. Thanks for the dash of white magic and the reminder that it's actually winter!

Steve Momrow

You two are lucky you didn't have to drive in that mess! We were driving back from visiting family in Hamilton the night before (Sat, as I recall) and got stuck in serious "pea soup" fog on the way back to Albany – right around Sharon Springs, as I recall….lovely photos…

Rose Strong

Guys…this is exquisite photography, as is the rest of the site. Who is the photographer at the farm? Hoping we get one here in PA soon…but, we're in a warm snap here right now, so I'll have to try the cocktail to suffice the lack thereof.

Denise Lind

Gorgeous. Hoar Frost! Who knew?

Thanks for sharing these photos and the Beekman Skating Championships. I love your blog and great style.

I hope to mix the cocktail sometime next weekend… 🙂


Just beautiful…that tropical sounding cocktail is a perfect counterpart!

You remind us to be aware of our surroundings, especially when they seem to become mundane. Who would have thought those gray, lifeless looking trees could put on such a show that morning…like God tapping you on the shoulder and saying "See how beautiful winter can be!" Thanks for sharing!


What beautiful pictures! I'm sitting here in LA where it's 73 degrees under hazy skies and all I can think of is "I want a real winter! I want hoar frost." Thank you for sharing this incredible gift from Mother Nature.

angela rae

Magical! Greatly hoping for both the frost and the cocktail next time I'm at the farm.