The countdown to the holidays is on, and after the year we've had, we're ready to spend the next few weeks cozied up with a Christmas cocktail in hand and our favourite takeout and delivery places on speed dial.
While this year's festivities might look different than we're used to, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the holidays in lockdown and get into the festive spirit — and these Christmas cocktails and winter warmers are a great place to start. Ranging from simple sippers to more complex concoctions, these delicious drinks are a sure fire way to make spirits bright.
If you're missing any ingredients, you don't have to spend the precious little time leading up to the holidays lined up outside the liquor store — in the one good thing to come out of COVID, you can get all your alcohol delivered. Just wait for your booze to arrive, then stir up these festive drinks and enjoy. Cheers to that.
10 Christmas cocktails and winter warmers
Mother Cocktail Bar
"This cocktail is part of our new menu which explores our shared childhood memories and nostalgia through smell and aroma. The coffee, tonka and cloves perfectly match the intensity of the roasted oranges infused with Irish whiskey. Served perfectly warm with a dollop of cold whipped cream, it is very cozy."
— Massimo Zitti, Mother Cocktail Bar
Click here for the Irish Coffee recipe.
Spiced rum chocolate caramel eggnog
Chef Lynn Crawford
"What better way to warm up this winter than with a festive drink in hand! Keep cozy this holiday season with this sweet and spicy spin on this classic holiday cocktail."
— Lynn Crawford
Click here for the spiced rum chocolate caramel eggnog recipe.
"We wanted to showcase seasonal fruits and I find that plums, pears and spices are fantastic for the wintertime. Thinking about the holidays and staying warm, we’re using savoury elements and a lot of stone fruits. This cocktail is dramatic and show-stopping but it also tastes amazing. In winter, we’re able to execute detailed cocktails with more garnishes."
— Jae Santos, Kasa Moto
Click here for the Holiday Pear recipe.
“This particular cocktail is special because it’s a twist on two classics; a manhattan and a vieux carré. The addition of Amaro Averna gives complexity and bitterness in the finish, while the combination of spirits warms you right up. Perfect for the festive season!”
— Marc LaMontagne, Shangri-La
Click here for the Applehattan recipe.
"One of my junior bartenders and I were talking about how much we wanted to use crème de cassis in a cocktail, because it’s not a very popular liqueur but it’s so tasty. He said it reminded him of his grandmother’s pies that she would make around the holidays. We set out and tested a few and this was the end result which we named after his grandmother."
— Dylan Turner, À Toi
Click here for the Rona May recipe.
The Drake Hotel
"This is a super traditional Scandinavian mulled wine which roughly translates to ‘glow wine’ because you glow while drinking it. In Denmark, it’s common to have your own glogg mug – bars will have a big batch of it right at the bar and you can help yourself. Traditional garnishes are raisins and almonds that you nibble on once you’ve finished your glogg. When my parents moved from Europe to Canada, they would serve this at holiday parties. Take a big stock pot and throw everything in – the aromatics make the house instantly smell like Christmas."
— Zachary Albertsen, The Drake Hotel
Click here for the Danish Glogg recipe.
The hot toddy, also known as a ‘hot whiskey’ in Ireland, is a warming beverage that’s typically made with a brown liquor (brandy, whisky, rum or bourbon) and water with honey, ginger and sometimes spices.
Click here for the Posh Toddy recipe.
“Payday Blues was originally inspired by a guest request to make something that tasted like orange soda, but orange is a little difficult to use in cocktails – it lacks the tartness or acidity of lime or lemon. The orange cordial has citric and malic acid added to it in order to balance out the flavour. We chose vodka as the base spirit to bring forth the orange flavours and to showcase the vanilla of the Galliano.”
— Tristan K Joseph, Civil Liberties
Click here for the Payday Blues recipe.
The Cloak Bar
“A long walk between a mai tai and a piña colada that packs a ton of bright yet toasty notes that are still holding onto summer days. The perfect drink for a snowy night in to reminisce about summer vacations and tropical dreams. Let this drink take you on an adventure beyond the firewood and fallen leaves.”
— Farzam Fallah, The Cloak Bar
Click here for the Minor Swing recipe.
The Last Leaf
“This cocktail was named, in part, because we’re in a pandemic and we’re tired of this crap – it’s the last straw! We wanted to use brandy as it is one of the best spirits to use during winter – it gives the feeling of warmth and fuzziness. We haven’t tried it heated up, but we’re confident you could serve this drink hot.”
— Alfred Siu, Project Gigglewater
Click here for the Last Leaf recipe.