I am very excited for the 2021 Cocktail Advent. This year I have teamed up with several local distilleries for some awesome holiday cocktails. Check out last years holiday cocktail advent here. In celebration of the many wonderful local distilleries, I have a great line-up of cocktails for you this month. I am striving for “beginner” level and easier cocktails than last year, because we are all busy parents. This years cocktail advent as well as last year are a great go-t0 resource for festive cocktails. I hope you find it fun and festive too!
Let me know which ones you try in the comments below!
December 1: Irish Coffee
To make this cocktail I used The Liberty Distillery ‘s Single grain TRUST Whiskey. It is made from 100% Canadian grain and won GOLD at the 2021 Canadian Whiskey Awards. This recipe is only 4 ingredients! Source
- 1 ½ ounces Irish whiskey
- 1 to 2 teaspoons maple syrup, to taste
- 6 ounces hot freshly brewed coffee
- Whipped cream, for topping
- Optional: sprinkle with chocolate shavings/powder.Pour whiskey and maple syrup in a coffee cup, top up with fresh brewed coffee and finish with whip cream on top with a sprinkle of chocolate.
December 2: Cevedale
To make this cocktail I used The Woods Spirit Co. award-winning Cascadian Gin as well as Yuzu cordial and Yuzu juice. The Woods Cascadian Gin won GOLD in both 2019 and 2020 in the Canadian Artisan Competition.
This easy 3-ingredient original cocktail that is smooth upon initial sip, then packs a citrus punch as it goes down. Source
- 1 ½ ounces Gin
- 3/4 ounce yuzu cordial
- 3/4 ounce yuzu honey
- Finish the rim of the martini glass with a grapefruit peel.Pour all the ingredients in a martini glass and finish the rim with grapefruit peel.
December 3: Mainland Snowball
This creamy cocktail was made using Mainland Whisky‘s Triple Sec and Advocaat. It is super simple to make and I am all about the simple.. and yummy cocktails!
This is another easy 3-ingredient original cocktail that is creamy and smooth.
Source: recipe provided by Mainland Whisky.
- 1 ½ ounces Mainland Triple Sec
- ½ ounce advocaat
- ½ ounce orange juice
- Garnish with chocolate dust. Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well, strain into a cup and garnish with chocolate dust.
December 4: Winter Sunshine
This reminder of the sunny warm tropics was made with Stealth Craft Distilleries West Coast Toasted Coconut Rum…mmmmmm mmmmm good. My go-to spirit is usually rum and this one did not disappoint. This is another simple-made 3 ingredient cocktail. I made this one without blended ice and it still turned out yummy. Source.
- Rim glass with flaked coconut (I dipped my glass in water than coconut) but you can use simple syrup too.
- 1 ounce coconut Rum
- 2 ounces coconut milk
- 1 ounce orange juiceBlend all in a blender with about 8 ice cubes until creamy OR put all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake well then pour into a glass.
December 5: Cranberry Kick
What are the holidays without cranberries. Thankfully Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery makes an amazing Cranberry liqueur that paired with their award-winning family Reserve vodka makes for several amazing cocktails. Did you know their family reserve vodka or made from apples?
- 1 oz Cranberry liqueur
- 1 oz vodka
- Cranberry juice to top up glass
- wedge of lime juice
- Garnish with cranberries
Pour liqueur and vodka over ice, top with Cranberry juice and add a squeeze of lime
December 6: The Clutch
The Cultch cocktail is named after the historic East Vancouver theatre, located a stone’s throw from the Odd Society Spirits distillery. I love Earl grey tea and was excited to try this cocktail make with Earl grey tea syrup. Make with their Wallflower oaken gin and bittersweet vermouth this is a beautiful cocktail. To make it super easy they offer the cocktail kit for purchase online. The kit makes about 8 cocktails.
- 1.5 oz Gin
- .5 oz vodka
- .3 oz Earl Grey Tea Syrup
- 4 drops orange and juniper bitters
In a mixing glass pour ingredients over ice, Stir, double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Rim glass and garnish with an orange/orange peel swath.
To make the Earl grey tea syrup:
Steep 1 tablespoon loose leaf Earl Grey for 3-4 min in 1 cup of boiled water, strain and immediately add 1 cup of sugar
December 7: Blueberry Fizz
This cocktail is not necessarily festive-themed but it is one of my favorite cocktails when I got to a local favorite distillery, New Wave Distillery and Ripples Winery. Due to the floods their tasting room and entire farm is still under several feet of water. They have lost almost everything. I wanted to bring attention to their amazing products so that as they rebuild and sell off the inventory that they did save, we can support them in any way we can. They are an amazing family of businesses. I have been to weddings on their property, enjoyed cocktails and charchuterie in their cocktail lounge, enjoyed tastings in their tasting room, my children have feed the Koi and enjoyed the woodbridge ponds on the property. It is devastating what they and others in the Sumas Prairie are still going through. I wish them all the best as they rebuild and all the support I can give.
- 1.5 oz Blueberry vodka/spirit (I used New Wave Distilling’s Summit Fever
- .5 to 1 oz Blueberry lavender syrup
- top with club soda
Pour the blueberry vodka and syrup over a glass of ice, top with club soda and stir.
To make the blueberry lavender syrup:
Place 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar . Bring to a boil , stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1.5 tsp of dried food-grade lavender buds or you can use food-grade lavender essential oil and let simmer for 10 min. Strain to store in a glass jar.
December 8: Moscow Yule
A twist on the popular festive drink, the Moscow Mule. This one combines the versatile Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery’s cranberry liqueur with vodka and ginger beer. It amazing how many festive cocktails can be made with the cranberry liqueur. Is it now a staple in our liquor cabinet for the holidays!
- 1 oz Vodka
- .5 oz cranberry liqueur
- .5 oz rosemary simple syrup
- 1 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 dash cranberry bitters (optional)
- Ginger beer
Pour Vodka, liqueur, syrup and bitters into an ice-filed shaker glass. Shake and strain into a copper mug. Add ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with rosemary and/or cranberries.
To make rosemary syrup: Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup rosemary leaves in a small pot. Bring to a boil stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 1 min. Remove from heat and let syrup steep 30 min then strain and pour into a container. Keep chilled for up to a month.
December 9: Hot Holiday Romance
Roots and Wings is a great distillery in Langley. They make amazing small batch artisan spirits. I am a big fan of their products, especially the unique infused vodkas. This cocktail is made with their inaugural artisan, farm-to-table vodka, called Vital Vodka. It is handcrafted from the distilleries own homegrown potatoes and corn. Throw in some heat from the five pepper infused vodka and some sweetness of the raspberry cordial and hot chocolate and you have yourself a little piece of hot holiday romance. Now this one has some serious kick! Roots and Wings has an impressive selection of spirits including Gin, Vodka, Whiskey and Absinthe. BTW- many of their products are certified gluten free!
- 1 oz vodka
- .5 oz five pepper vodka
- 1 tsp hot chocolate powder
- 1 oz rasberry vanilla cordial
Cold: In a shaker with ice combine the ingredients and shake. Strain into coupe glass with ice and garnish with rose petals
Hot: Place the vodka, hot pepper vodka and cordial in a heat-tolerant mug/cup, add 2 tsp of hot chocolate powder, top with hot water. Stir. Add whip cream on top and garnish with rose petals.
December 10: Festive Fizz
Another cocktail that makes great use of Okanagan Spirits Craft Distilleries, Cranberry Liqueur. If you can’t tell by all the cranberry cocktails I have posted thus far, I am starting to run out of this amazing festive liqueur. Good thing they offer 2-3 day shipping with online orders to Greater Vancouver! This one called for Gin and a very generous amount of fresh lemon juice. Combine that with ginger beer or ale and you got some fizz!
Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has quite a selection of gin’s to choose from. They have a family reserve that is apple-based. a gin called EVOLVE made with a secret blend of botanicals, a barrel aged family reserve gin also make from 100% Okanagan apples and an essentials BC gin. Family Reserve and EVOLVE both were awarded silver in the World Spirits 2020.
- 1.5oz Gin
- .75 oz Cranberry Liqueur
- .75 oz fresh lemon juice
- .25 oz orange juice
- Ginger ale or Ginger beer to top up
Add all the ingredients (except ginger ale/beer) to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake , strain and pour into a glass over crushed ice. Top up with ginger ale or ginger beer and garnish with a sprig of mint and fresh cranberries.
December 11: Jack Frost
I love rum and coconut so a toasted coconut rum is right up my alley. I cant wait to use it this summer on tropical-inspired drinks!
This recipe called for blending with ice, instead I poured all into a shaker with ice instead. It turned out great.
- 1.5 oz pineapple juice
- .5 oz blue curacao
- .5 oz vodka or light rum ( I used Stealth Craft Distillers Toasted Coconut Rum)
- .5 oz cream of coconut
- If blending use 1.5 cups of ice
- Corn syrup or honey for rimming the glass (optional)
- Flaked Coconut (optional)
Rim the glass if desired. In a blender combine everything and blend or pour all the ingredients into a shaker with ice, shake and then pour into a glass.
December 12: Absinthe Minded (this Christmas)
This weekend New Wave Distilling had a pop-up shop to sell off the inventory they had that survived the floods, here in Abbotsford BC. It was important to me to try to get out there and support them by buying some of their amazing locally made products and it is important to me to also be voluntarily featuring their products in this cocktail advent. Their distillery and business is amazing and after talking with them, they hope to be back up and running in 2022. If you get a chance to get out there when they have their re-opening you will not be disappointed. It is a beautiful place with ponds, a rustic tasting room with spirits and their wines, Ripples Winery. Their spirits are blueberry-based meaning that they are produced from the mash, juice, wine or residues of the blueberries.
This cocktail is made with their Absinthe called Absinthe Minded. It is a blueberry based spirit that is vapor infused with traditional herbs; wormwood, licorice, anise, fennel and citrus. To create the signature absinthe green, we naturally coloured it with a blue-green algae. This Cocktail I altered to include rosemary simple syrup opposed to plain simple syrup. Original recipe source.
- 1.5 oz Absinthe
- .5 oz rosemary simple syrup (see recipe above) or use plain simple syrup
- 8 mint leaves
- 1 lemon wedge
- top with soda water
Gently muddle the mint and lemon wedge with the simple syrup in the bottom of a shaker. Add the absinthe and ice; shake vigorously. Strain into a glass. Pack with crushed ice and top with soda water. Use a bar spoon to gently incorporate the bubbles. Garnish with fresh mine and/or a lemon or lime wedge.
December 13: The Poinsettia
This creation is courtesy of my husband. I featured it last year also. This year we decided to rim the glass with cane sugar and put shreds of orange into it – it took a tasty drink and took it up another level. We love this one. This year I also used Stealth Craft Distilleries gluten free Corn Vodka. It is a naturally sweeter vodka which works well with the cranberry juice. Stealth Corn Vodka is triple distilled and made from 100% organic corn grown in BC’s interior.
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 sparkling wine
- cranberry juice
- crushed ice
- simple syrup or corn syrup for rimming glass
- sugar (we used large granule cane sugar)
- Cranberries or oranges – Garnish
Rim glass simple syrup and sugar. Put crushed ice into a tall class, add 1 oz vodka then fill glass with equal parts cranberry juice and sparkling wine. Adding the sparkling wine, second to avoid fizzing over. Garnish with shreds of orange.
December 14: Mott and Mulberrry
- 1 oz Rye Whiskey
- 1 oz Amaro (we used The Woods Spirits Co.)
- 0.75 oz Apple Cider
- 0.5 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 0.5 oz Demerara Syrup
December 15: Baileys Mint Martini
- 1 oz Baileys Irish Cream
- 1 oz Crème de Menthe Liqueur
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz half and half
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add ingredients, cover and shake well. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired.
December 16: Rum Hot Chocolate
Another amazing cocktail that credit goes to my friend Shauna for coming up with!
- 6 oz Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/2 oz Rum
- 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
December 17: Mulled Norther Cider
This one I invented the name of, because I decided to try Mainland Whisky’s Northern Comfort in it instead of bourbon that is commonly used.
Mainland Whiskys Northern Comfort has an extremely smooth with the taste of roasted pecans, honey, and spices. Which I thought would be a nice combination with the apple cider/cranberry. It turned out really well. I great warm cocktail on a cold night.
Northern Comfort: Nose: Licorice, Chestnuts, Custard. Palate: Butterscotch, Cherry Blossom, Fennel. Finish: Sweet Vanilla
- 3 cups of apple juice or apple cider
- 1 cup of cranberry juice
- 2 tsp of mulling spices
- 1 oz Northern (or Southern Comfort Whisky
- cinnamon sticks and anise stars (optional)
In a pot, bring the apple juice/cider, cranberry juice and mulling spices to a boil then let it simmer for 30 minutes. Pour into a cup and add 1 oz of Whisky. Garnish with anise star and/or cinnamon stick.
December 18: Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer
When I came across this one online, I knew I had to try it. There is also a kids version (sans Vodka) which was a huge hit with my kids. I used the amazing Family Reserve Vodka from Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery for this cocktail. I love how easy it is to make!
Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Family Reserve Vodka is made from the Okanagan apples it is gluten free and tastes smooth.
- 1 oz orange juice (the fresher the better)
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- 1.5 oz soda (sprite/7-up or for a not so sweet version use club soda)
- 1.5 oz vodka
- splash of maraschino cherry juice
- splash of lemon juice
- cranberries, maraschino cherries or Okanagan Spirits drunken cherries) for garnish
Pour all the ingredients into a glass with some ice. Garnish as you please. That’s it!
December 19: Jingle Juice
Another festive tasty cocktail. This one I altered from the original recipe “Jingle Juice Holiday Punch”. It also makes a great punch for parties too! I had never had “whipped vodka” I actually had to look it up thinking that it was just vodka that I blended lol. But I soon found out it was actually whip cream flavored vodka. This is a tasty easy drink.
- 1 oz whipped vodka
- 1 oz sparkling wine (rose or pink champagne preferred)
- 2 oz cherry soda (ie. 7up/sprite) * this is a soda that is not common in Canada at this time of the year, so we instead used regular 7-up and added a splash of maraschino cherry juice.
- cranberries for garnish
Pour all the ingredients in a glass with ice and stir. Garnish with cranberries or maraschino cherries. Easy peasy!
December 20: Gingerbread White Russian
This one is good… I mean real good. And now I figured out how to make gingerbread syrup that we can use in lattes! Especially now that a certain coffee establishment no longer offers said drink. If you like the cocktail white Russian, this adds a nice festive spin to it. sweeter I chose Stealth Craft Distillers corn vodka for this one, because it is a sweeter tasting vodka. The gingerbread props are courtesy of my kids!
- 2 oz vodka
- 1.5 oz Kahlua
- 1-2 oz gingerbread syrup
- 1-2 oz heavy cream
- cinnamon sticks and/or gingerbread cookies for garnish
- whip cream (optional)
Fill a glass with ice. Add vodka and Kahlua and gingerbread syrup. Stir gently. Add heavy cream and stir to combine. Garnish with cinnamon, gingerbread cookies, whip cream.
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium pot combine 1 1/3 cups of water, honey, molasses, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 3-5 min then remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool . Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
December 21: The Winter Solstice
- 1 1/4 oz Brandy
- 1 3/4 oz Rosemary infused Pear Nectar
- 2/3 oz Grand Marnier
- Garnish Sprig of Rosemary
- 1 1/2 cups of Pear Nectar
- 5 springs of fresh Rosemary
December 22: Wayward Irish Coffee
I am excited to feature Wayward Distillery tonight! Wayward is the first distillery in Canada to ferment and distill honey into spirits. They are located on the Island and give back 1% from all spirit sales to the production and promotion of bees and pollinators. Tonight’s cocktail is using their award-winning Depth Charge – Espresso and Cacao bean vodka infusion. Depth Charge won gold in the 2018 Canadian Artisian Spirit Competition.
- 1 oz Baileys
- .5 oz coffee infused vodka (or you can use Kahlua)
- .5 Creme de cacao
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 cup of coffee
- Whip cream (optional)
December 23: Airmail
This cocktail was created by Wayward Distillery using their award winning Druken hive rum which is fermented from honey. This rum has won several awards including: Gold with Distinction~ Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition 2019, Silver ~ Canadian Artisan Spirits Competition 2018. Audience, Favourite ~ BC Distilled
1 oz Drunken Hive Rum
.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
.5 oz honey syrup
2 oz sparkling wine
Shake rum, lime juice, and honey syrup with ice. Double strain into a flute glass. Top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a lime twist
December 24: Mainland Old Fashioned
Well what kind of parent would I be, If I did not use my kids beautiful artwork as props for my pictures….
Its Christmas Eve and tonight’s cocktail is made super simple right out of the bottle. Its a busy night for us parents. Most of us are up wrapping gifts until late. So a simple easy cocktail is what most of us need. The Mainland Old Fashioned 1881 is a pre-mix of a classic cocktail. A cocktail in a bottle. Based on the beloved drink served at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky which opened in 1881. Traditionally served before dinner. This is a easy smooth cocktail that warms you up from the inside out!
- 2.5 oz Mainland Old Fashioned 1881
Stir 2.5oz with ice and and orange zest, and enjoy!
December 25: Rum & Eggnog
In honor of my favorite Christmas movie, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Every year we drink rum and eggnog out of moose mugs! My annual Christmas Day cocktail is simple easy and tasty after a long day. This year I am using Waywards Distillery Drunken Rum. Wayward also makes a Smoked Drunken hive Rum that sounds delicious! They offer online ordering for all their amazing spirits.
- 1 oz Rum
- Top highball sized glass with eggnog
- garnish with nutmeg
Homemade eggnog recipe: (I stole this one from my friend, Shauna’s advent)
December 26: Ginger Spice
When I sampled Wayward Distilleries spirits at the Christmas Market in Vancouver, this is the spirit that really got me hooked. It is an amazing honey spiced liqueur called Krupnik. In fact I almost thought I was not going to be able to feature it, because it was sold out! It is a popular spirit. Often compared to cinnamon whisky or spiced rum but honestly is it so unique its in a category on its own. It is very versatile going well with apple juice/cider, ginger beer, chai tea or hot water and lemon.
- 1.5 oz Krupnik
- .5 oz Campari (or Woods Amaro)
- .5 oz lime juice
- Handful of blueberries
- Ginger beer to top off
Muddle blueberries in a shaker with Wayward Distillery Krupnik. Add all the other ingredients except the ginger beer, shake with ice, pour into a Tom Collins glass, and top with ginger beer. To finish, garnish the cocktail with a couple whole blueberries!