7 holiday cocktails, whiskies & spirited gift ideas

Holiday Cocktails

Holiday cocktails are a great treat for get togethers this season, and I have ten exceptional cocktail, whisky, and spirited gift ideas that will stand out at any party.

This holiday season, make sure to also have non-alcoholic beverages available as well, and if you need clever mocktail ideas, the LCBO has a number of great recipes you should check out.

Grey Goose Vodka

Grey Goose Vodka is one of my absolute favourites, and it makes the best cocktails because it’s silky and so smooth. Available in a special gifting tin this holiday season, the vodka makes for a great gift, or have it ready at home for an exceptional cocktail: the Grey Goose Espresso Martini.

Check out other holiday Grey Goose recipes here.

Grey Goose Espresso Martini
1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka
0.75 oz Patrón XO Café
1.5 oz fresh premium espresso
1 pinch of fleur de sel
3 coffee beans for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake to chill. Strain into coupe glass and top with 3 coffee beans for garnish.


Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

Tanqueray No. Ten is a delicious small batch gin that’s both iconic and makes one of the most classic cocktails: the French 75, or as it’s known in French, the Soixante Quinze. The cocktail is classy, but it’s also easy to make, and it’s perfect for Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

Tanqueray No. Ten French 75
1 1/4 oz Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
1.5 oz Champagne

Add Tanqueray No. Ten, lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a Champagne flute. Fill with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist.


Alberta Premium 20 Year Old Rye

Alberta Premium 20 Year Old Rye

From the gorgeous bottle to the incredible flavour and nose, Alberta Premium 20 Year Old Rye is one of Canada’s best whiskies, and it’s excellent as a gift, served neat, or on a single ice cube to open it up.

On the nose, the rye whisky has hints of pepper, sweet vanilla, and wood, while on the tongue it’s impressively rich and smooth, with toffee and caramel that almost tastes like dessert, with an almost pine flavour that lingers before finishing with cinnamon and spice.

Alberta Premium 20 Year Old Rye is one of the most intriguing whiskies, and while it’s perfect year-round, I absolutely love it for this time of year. The peppery, woody aroma with the flavours of spice and pine make me think of winter, and relaxing by a fire.

Smirnoff Ice Vodka

You can of course just serve Smirnoff Ice on the rocks at your next party, but if you want to try something a bit more festive, Smirnoff White Ice Christmas punch is a real treat.

Smirnoff White Ice Christmas
1L Smirnoff Ice
2L White Cranberry Juice
1L Sparkling Water
1 cup Lemon Juice
1 cup Frozen Cranberries
Ice

Combine everything into a pitcher with ice, add frozen cranberries and stir. Serve 10-12.

Want to impress? Freeze your cranberries in the ice cubes the night before.


Bacardi Anejo Cuatro Rum

Bacardi Anejo Cuatro Rum

Bacardi has a number of great rums for cocktails, including Bacardi Ocho (which makes an incredible Old Fashioned), but the Season’s Greetings is a delicious cocktail for entertaining. Anejo Cuatro is certainly great on it’s own though too, served on ice, or in coffee.

Bacardi Season’s Greetings
2 oz Bacardi Cuatro
0.5 oz honey
0.75 oz lime juice
1 oz white cranberry juice
Garnish with pomegranate seeds (optional dehydrated citrus)

In a mixing tin, add the Cuatro, honey, lime juice and cranberry juice. Fill the tin with ice and shake vigorously to dilute and chill. Double strain the cocktail into a rocks glass over fresh ice and garnish with pomegranate seeds.


J.P. Wiser’s Manhattan Canadian Whisky

Take the work out of the cocktail with the easy and very tasty J.P. Wiser’s Manhattan Canadian Whisky. The ready-to-serve Manhattan is so easy, all you have to do is add it to a glass over ice, and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Give it a stir and it’s ready to drink.

J.P. Wiser’s Manhattan tastes just like any Manhattan you would make it home, without the fuss or extra ingredients, and it has all the complex flavours you would expect from an excellent cocktail.

For fans of the Manhattan, one of the most classic mixed drinks, this is also a fantastic gift, or the perfect treat to bring to your next holiday party.


Canadian Club Chronicles Issue No. 2 – The Dock Man

Canadian Club’s Chronicles is one of the most premium Canadian whiskies available today, and while the bottle I tried was just a sample, it’s an exceptional expression and the bottle is so classy, it demands to be shown off whenever possible.

The whisky has a rich aroma that reminds me of winter, with oak, and a hint of caramel and spice. On the palate, the whisky is sweet, smooth, and the spiciness of the rye leaps out with vanilla, orange, and caramel. As it fades, the whisky is warm and lingers gently. It’s a wonderful treat for any occasion.

For the ultimate gift to the whisky lover in your life, Canadian Club Chronicles Issue No. 2 is exceptional, and it’s something they can savour. Since it’s a gift that’s made for sharing, you could even gift it on Christmas Eve, so you can possibly entice them into offering you a dram as well.

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