December 27, 2020
While we may not get to spend the holidays physically together, we can at least share the moment virtually. While a virtual party may not seem like the best option for connection, there are plenty of ways to personalize the experience and make this New Year’s Eve one for the ages. Set up a Zoom, Skype or FaceTime call, invite those you’re missing and get set to celebrate. After you check out these ideas, make a run for your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store to stock up.
Pop Champagne at Midnight: Virtual Video!
At least some New Year’s Eve traditions can easily be carried out, even in socially distanced times. Set up a virtual video call for midnight and have everyone pop a bottle of champagne (or sparkling grape juice for the kids and newly pregnant friends). Raise a glass and you can still ring in the new year with the people you love.
Cocktail Kits & Shared Recipes
Everyone raising their glass for a toast while drinking the same cocktail is another great way to make family and pals feel connected during distant times. When you invite guests to your virtual gathering you can send them a list of items they would need to make shared cocktails, or you can use a delivery service to send mixers and/or liquors to your party guests as well.
There are several services available that will send packages with everything needed to make a curated cocktail, but if you don’t want to spend that sort of money, or want to give it a more personal touch, you can create your own mailed packages of decorations, recipes, and mixers to help set the tone for the evening. Ask at your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer about local spirits like Eau Claire Parlour Gin, Eighty-Eight Brewing beers, and even ‘It’s Go Time’ wine served by the Calgary Flames. Add to the themed-fun by including sending glasses, hats, glasses, noisemakers or poppers.
We’ve chosen a few recipes that would be perfect:
For a simple lift to the class glass of champagne, try dropping some fruit into your flute for added flavor, like cranberries. If prosecco is more your taste, try adding a flavored simple syrup for some fun flavorings.
Looking for an easy, classic cocktail? Make a French 75: shake 1.5 ounces of gin with .75 ounces of lemon juice and .75 ounces of simple syrup over ice in a shaker. Strain into a serving glass and top with 2 ounces of champagne.
Looking for something sweet and updated? Try a Champagne Fizz. Drop about 6 pieces of candied ginger into a bowl or large pitcher, add 6.7 ounces of angostura bitters (one regular sized bottle) and 2 bottles of brut champagne. Let stand at room temperature for a few hours. Strain to remove candied ginger. Cut candied ginger in half and add one piece to each glass for serving. Pour champagne over candied ginger, and add a splash of champagne/bitters mixture for added flavor.
Still in a festive mood? Give the Cranberry Mule a spin. Make cranberry simple syrup by mixing together 1/2 cup sugar, 8 ounces of frozen whole cranberries, 1 tablespoon of lime zest, and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until cranberries are heated through, then pour into a storage container and chill in the refrigerator. To serve, shake 2 ounces of Absolut vodka and 1/2 ounce of fresh lime juice with 3 tablespoons of cranberry simple syrup, pour into a glass filled with 4 ounces of chilled ginger beer over ice.
Make home feel like new!
With everyone at home all the time, any break from routine is welcomed.
As part of your socially distant NYE celebration, get everyone in a creative or festive mood by hosting a themed party. Perhaps it’s a familial inside joke, a colour, or decade theme, costumes or PJs; pick something you know all of your guests will gladly embrace and something everyone can have fun with.
Want to take it a step further? Create a fun custom background for your streaming space. You can do this digitally (there are tutorials online about how to accomplish this) or decorate your physical space to match your theme and help make the night feel like something special. You may not be able to leave home, but you can at least make home feel like somewhere new and fun for an evening.
Let everyone share the evening and feel connected by creating a shared playlist. You can create collaborative playlists using Spotify, where every household can access the same playlist. Or create a playlist on YouTube, if having a video in the background is your thing, where everyone can have similar musical experience and create a lasting memento of the night that can be played again in the future.
However you choose to celebrate, start your planning at your local Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store. Our experts can recommend great bubbly (like the Cuvee Grand Esprit Marquis de La Mystèriale Champagne), cocktail ideas (Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Eggnog, anyone?), and new liquors to try or beer that’s on special (we’re thinking about favourites like Corona, Heineken Lager and Pabst Blue Ribbon), plus local beers and spirits that would make a great change from the everyday.
Need a bottle of wine to bring to a holiday celebration, dinner or the office holiday wine pool? Don't just pick up something cheap, or…
For some folks, Valentine’s Day is considered an old fashioned and possibly outdated celebration.
Calgary is now home to one of the most unique whisky retailers in North America.
Calgary Co-op's World of Whisky store sells some of the rarest and most expensive bottles of scotch in the world.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Sommelier Coordinator Katherine Mindach has some advice for cooking with alcohol:
“When you pour a little in the pot, make sure to…
Wine and cheese are natural pairs.
Holiday pairings from Hilary Thorne, Beddington Sommelier.
Written by Hilary Thorne, Beddington Sommelier.
Tips and tricks from Katherine Mindach, Shawnessy Sommelier.
At Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, we know you want quality products and are also looking for the best value.
For wine drinkers, winter tends to be the season of robust reds, ports, and full-bodied vintages.
Any wine lover knows that, like food, wine tastes change with the season.
This Valentine’s Day will be less fabulous dinner out in a packed restaurant and more cozy evening in at home.
Sometimes choosing a great wine can be overwhelming; there’s so much choice out there that it can be difficult to know which brands to trust.
There is nothing quite like the perfect cocktail to set the mood for the holidays.
This holiday season one of our favourite ways to feed family, friends and folks is to set up a grazing station and let everyone nibble…
One of the saddest consequences of the pandemic is the fact that it keeps us far from our friends.
There’s something about the holidays that lets us all feel like we can indulge.
Thanksgiving may look a little different this year.
For more than 30 years, Viña Montes has been producing luxury wines from Chile and exporting them to customers worldwide.