December 17, 2019
The holidays can be an overwhelming time of year. Between gift buying, trip planning, gift wrapping and holiday gatherings, there is barely any time to breathe. Throw planning a cocktail party into the mix and, well, you may not make it to New Year’s. You’ll likely need a holiday cocktail!
Whether you're planning a party or just sitting by the fire with a friend, get into the spirit of the season with one of these traditional and creative holiday drink ideas. Since the holiday season is so long, having several seasonal recipes to choose from is a smart move.
When entertaining, your best drink choices will depend on how many people you're serving. There's a big difference between a small group where you can mix up your own cocktails individually, and an open house, which demands a large-batch strategy. You may choose to have a standard self-serve liquor station along with a few special seasonal beers and some wine. Then add one or more "signature" holiday cocktails to make your event more festive. And don't forget the non-alcoholic drink options.
Whichever style of party you’re throwing, head to your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store and stock up on some of the holiday basics; get some Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, Alberta Premium Canadian Whisky, Alberta Pure Vodka and some local craft beers too, like offerings from Eighty Eight Brewing, Common Crown, Banded Peak or Tool Shed Brewing. There’s plenty of great local craft beers you can offer to your guests; ask at your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer for recommendations!
Create a Classic Red & Green Cocktail
Cranberry Cosmos are a simple drink that looks holiday-ready. Served in a martini glass, with a single slice of lime on the rim, its beautiful deep red and green colour scheme is Christmas in a glass. Cranberry juice or cranberry simple syrup gives this its festive crimson hue, and it’s easy to blend in with some Alberta Pure Vodka for a simple holiday libation.
Mix Up a Punch
Punch is traditional and communal. To share. It's all about the prep and having it ready for when your guests arrive so you can partake in the party instead of just being the bartender. Also, your punch bowl will become like the "water cooler" of the party and promote mingling.
For a popular punch, keep it simple. In a large bowl, combine 1 ½ cups superfine sugar in 1 quart of water and 1 quart of lemon juice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add 2 quarts dark rum, 1 quart cognac, and 4 ounces brandy. Taste and adjust the flavour if needed with an additional quart of water.
Note: When it comes to adding water to punch, take the size of your ice into account. The smaller your cubes, the less water you need to add, as small ice will melt quickly and dilute your punch. Purchase block ice if possible or make your own by freezing water in a Bundt pan or a silicon bread mold. You can even add fruit to this homemade ice ring to make it festive.
Find the right size container so guests can help themselves without the worry of it running out. While punch bowls are always a good choice, they’re certainly not the only way. You can use large pitchers, a drink dispenser, a Dutch oven, or even a large, pretty bowl.
Warm Cocktails for Cold Nights
There's more to punch than the cold versions. During the holidays and in the chilly months, there's no better greeting than serving guests with a toasty warm drink, such as Mulled Wine, Hot Cider, Hot Buttered Rum or Peppermint Hot Chocolate. With hot drinks, there's the added bonus of heady aromas throughout the house. Smart hosts have discovered that a slow cooker works great for both warming and serving hot beverages. Use the cooker's Keep Warm setting.
Eggnog is a Classic
Maybe you want to greet your guests with a cup of homemade Eggnog. It tastes better than store-bought, but there's nothing wrong with taking the store-bought route either as it’s a major time saver. Eggnog is a great choice for kids and non-drinkers as you can serve it plain. If you want to make and serve it with Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, here are a few tips:
Rum and Brandy are the most traditional add-ins for eggnog, according to traditional recipes, but some experts recommend a mixture of dark or spiced rum and Cognac to better preserve the ’nog’s flavors. Or use bourbon.
Here's the golden ratio for eggnog holiday cheer: 1 part spirit to 5 parts prepared eggnog. For a 1-Litre container of eggnog, you should use 6.5 ounces of liquor, total. Top each glass with a sprinkle of nutmeg and some grated orange peel, and you've added extra flavor and flair.
Spiced rum can add a touch of the holidays to even a standard rum and coke too!
Creamy Cocktails for the Holidays
Are you dreaming of a creamy cocktail? Baileys Irish Cream on ice is standard at the holidays, but there are other creative ways to celebrate with season with a creamy treat. Consider a Pumpkin Pie or Gingerbread Martini. The White Christmas Martini is made with vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and creme de cocoa. Garnish it with a sparkly sugared rim, and this cocktail is like a white chocolate milkshake for grown-ups. The Candy Cane Cocktail imitates a candy cane by using equal parts vanilla rum, white chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps.
When it comes to holiday cocktails, there are endless opportunities. Here are some recipes that will help keep things simple and practical but creative at the same time. Here's to you and your festivities – and a joyous, healthy and happy season!
It seems every few years there’s a drink that’s so on trend it starts showing up everywhere.
The Irish know how to celebrate! While Canadians do pour a few drinks on Canada Day, our national occasion pales in comparison to the worldwide...
If you or anyone in your family is a die-hard football fan, you’re likely already planning for the biggest game of the year.
Sometimes even the warmest sweater layered under a cozy coat isn’t enough to ward off that chill you get from being outdoors.
When we think vodka, we often think ‘martini’, and for good reason.The martini is easily one of the classiest, sexiest cocktails you can enjoy.
The holidays, or other times of celebration, are usually when we turn our eyes to Champagne.
We’ve probably all heard of fondue, but how many of us have actually tried to make it, or even wondered where it came from? The...
Let’s admit it—for many of us, one of the exciting things about the holidays is the opportunity to share fun and festive drinks with friends.
As you’re working away at your holiday shopping list, there’s always a few folks who are hard to buy for.
When you’re planning a special meal, you want everything to be just right.
There is something so festive and satisfying about enjoying cheese and wine at parties.
Hosting an at-home wine tasting is a great way to gather your friends over the holidays and do something fun and memorable.
If you’re tasked with making a dish for a holiday potluck, you might be wondering if you should bring the same old tired spinach dip.
You have to admit there’s something especially festive about the idea of baking cookies around the holidays.
Are you the planner in your family or at the office? If you’re just not up for being the host or the organizer again this...
The holidays are just around the corner and in today’s globetrotting society, so many of us live far away from our families and friends.
If you’re the type of person who throws awesome holiday parties you’ll want to make sure your supplies are in order.
Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift idea that keeps giving year round? Consider gifting your special someone or valued employee a Vin Bin at Co-op Wine...
Looking for a little something different? Want a beverage that feels a little festive this holiday season? Fallentimber Meadery has some extra special offerings that...
The colour blue has had a long and fascinating history. While blue is one of the primary colours, and the top ‘favourite’ colour of people...
Plenty of us take a vacation, then try to recreate that magic when we get home.
For some people, just the mention of the word gin is enough to elicit groans, shudders and memories of the drink that earned the nicknames,...
Like many folks in Calgary’s burgeoning brewing and distilling industry, Ross Alger started out making his own libations at home.
There’s not that many times in the year when you can enjoy a bright green cocktail without turning some heads, but St.
Whether you’re whipping up a few drinks for you and your date after a Valentine’s Day dinner, hosting a single ladies night in, or you’re...
On January 25th, Scots around the world will celebrate the 260th birthday of legendary poet Robert “Robbie” Burns.
Do you take sugar in your coffee? How many? One? Maybe two or three? Would you drink your coffee with six, or even ten sugars...
The holidays are for dressing up – how about dressing up our drinks for the festive season too?
When we think of cognac, brandy and port, sometimes we think these are outdated libations, served in the 60’s and 70’s at lavish retro cocktail...
Tucked away in a nondescript industrial zone in Calgary’s Bonnybrook-Alyth area in the city’s southeast is the largest distiller in Alberta.
The holiday season is a time to celebrate, and celebrations usually include some great mixed drinks.
There’s something about brown liquor that makes you feel all warm inside.
As the weather gets crisper and the leaves begin to turn, it’s time to prepare gratifying seasonal drinks that’ll warm you from the inside out.
You’ve probably never really noticed them dotting landscapes, hugging fence lines, or edging yards and parks before.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to get together with family and friends, and while there’s always lots of catching up to do, once that’s over,...
There are two kinds of vodka people: the purists who seek out the finest, clearest, crispest, near-flavourless vodka for making the perfect chilled martini, and...
Bryce Parsons is on a mission: to rid the world of awful gin memories.
When some products write ‘harvested by hand’ or ‘family owned and operated’ on their labels, they’re reaching.
Alberta’s burgeoning spirits industry is an amazing thing. Thanks to changes in liquor laws a few years ago, more and more Albertans have been able...
We all know how refreshing a cold cocktail can be on a hot summer’s day.
It might seem unusual to draw parallels between working a drilling rig in Alberta’s oil patch and distilling liquor, but as it turns out, they’re...
There’s no doubt about it – it’s hot! Typical piña coladas and shaken margaritas are always a great way to quench that summer thirst, but...
The Calgary Stampede is many things; officially it's a chance to take in the rodeo and celebrate community spirit through shows, rides, events, and pancake breakfasts.
If you're struggling with what to get your dad as a Father's Day gift this year because he's one of those dads who has everything...
Everyone dreams of quitting their job and doing their dream gig, but few people actually have the gumption to pull it off once, let alone twice.
With some movies coming out this season, you might have superheroes on the mind.
Not many families can say their passion is moonshine.
For many Canadians, St Patrick’s Day is an excuse to wear green, while kids cut shamrocks from paper and fashion cardboard leprechaun hats.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is more than just a store. It’s an experience. Shop here and you’ll get education, assistance, and great customer service.
The Academy Awards or the Oscars are known as the biggest night in Hollywood.
When you get a company as large as Calgary Co-operative Association Limited in Alberta’s Top 70 Employers two years in a row, they must be...
February may seem like the dead of winter, but it's actually a month of wonderful celebrations.
It's the sporting event that outdoes all other sporting events — with the possible exception of the World Cup of soccer, some might say.
It's resolution time! And if yours is to make smarter choices and maybe cut back on some vices, we've got some ideas when it comes...
The food is picked out, your place is all set up, you even have a sweet playlist ready.
You don’t need to be a pro bartender to make a show-stealing cocktail this holiday season.
What does a gift card, a rare bottle of scotch, and a taster pack of beer all have in common? They all make great gifts,...
Handling all the drinks for your holiday party can be daunting.
Pumpkin, apples and cinnamon is what comes to mind when I think of Fall drinks.
For the fifth year in a row, Co-op Wine Spirits Beer is hosting their World of Whisky Festival that brings together top international whiskies, industry...
There are many ways to serve whisky: neat, on the rocks, or in a fancy cocktail like a Manhattan or Old Fashioned.
The Cider Insider
Alberta Whisky Canadian laws state that whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years.
This week, Canadians will celebrate the 150th anniversary of our dominion formation, when the country established its confederation in 1867.
As the end of our journey exploring Canada’s bounty of alcoholic beverages draws near, we want to go out with a splash.
From gin, to vodka and even that favourite of the tropics, rum, Alberta is producing an amazing variety of spirits.
It’s been 150 years since Canada’s Confederation, and a notable reason to celebrate our great country.
We’ve got the rolling prairies, the towering Rockies and a reputation for being the friendliest province in the country.
For whisky drinkers, there is a distinguished history that is truly Canadian.
A good cocktail is the perfect way to celebrate any holiday and with our nations 150th birthday upon us, I've combed the country for some...
When we think of the Prairies, we think rolling hills, miles upon miles of wheat, soybeans or corn blowing in the wind and a horizon...
There’s more than just scotch at the new World of Whisky store in downtown Calgary.
In this year of celebrating 150 years of our great nation, we will pause and reflect on many things that make our nation great. Like hockey.
Ontario is home to dozens of successful, unique, and award-winning distilleries.
For some, it's the de facto centre of the universe for Canada, but others cast a more wary eye on Ontario, which can often be...
Quebec plays a starring role in Canada’s history (some of Canada’s earliest settlements were Quebec City in 1608, and Montreal in 1642).
Some of the most famous 'Canadian' foods have their origins in La Belle Province.
As we get ready to celebrate 150 years of Confederation, there are great beverages that have marked good times over the years, including the Pop Shoppe.
This unique, artisanal micro-distillery has earned a reputation as a ‘must see’ for tourists and locals alike! Located in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest district, Cirka distillery is...
When the world’s largest ice cubes float past your door each day, you might have a different outlook on life, and cocktails.
There is a long-standing tradition on Canada's East Coast. When there's a celebration to be had, Maritimers throw a kitchen party or ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee).
Canada’s Maritime provinces aren’t just known for their amazing seafood, but also their love of spirits.
Calgary Co-op's World of Whisky store sells some of the rarest and most expensive bottles of scotch in the world.
PUNCH ROMAINE As served in First Class on the RMS Titanic1egg white1 ounce white rum1 ounce white wine1/2 ounce simple syrup1/2 ounce lemon juice1 ounce...
Cinco de Mayo - or the fifth of May – is a celebration to commemorate the Mexican army’s 1862 victory during the Franco-Mexican War.
Calgary is now home to one of the most unique whisky retailers in North America.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT STEMWARE TO MAKE YOUR WINE SING
It’s the first of its kind on Canada and was nearly three years in the making.
You Can Escape the Winter Blahs
Rum has long been known as the spirit of the Caribbean Islands and Latin America and is one of the most enjoyed and loved spirits...
Sipping on a warm coffee cocktail at the end of your day, or after a great meal is one of life's decadent pleasures.
We love to raise your spirits.There are endless possibilities for enjoying the offerings of the world.
Mixologist and bartenders the world over have been making some of our most beloved cocktails with this juniper infused spirit since the original cocktail era...