Not going to lie—I already bought 30% of this list.
I'm not going to say, "It has been a year, hasn't it?" Because I am now rolling my eyes so hard at that statement that I'm concerned my eyeballs are going to be permanently lodged in the back of my head. So, instead, I took that sentiment and surfed the internet for all the excellent holiday-themed alcohol you need in your life. You're welcome.
The Ugly Mulled Wine, $14.95
With notes of clove, orange zest, blackberry, plum and spices (Mmmm…cinnamon), this wine is medium-bodied and not crazy sweet, which makes it perfect for dinner, dessert or—if we weren’t in a damn pandemic—with a stick of cinnamon as a welcome drink for guests. Whichever way you choose, heat it up first.
Halewood 12 Days of Gin Holiday Pack, $74.95
I don’t drink beer, but I definitely drink gin. I’m also a fan of little bottles of liquor and advent calendars, so this one ticks all my boxes. This gift pack comes with 12 50-mL samples from three distillers. Liverpool Gin offers standard, orange and rose varieties; Whitney Neill’s offers their original, raspberry and ginger, quince and blood orange samples; and JJ Whitley includes a London Dry as well as elderflower, nettle and violet.
Tippy Cow Peppermint Bark, $30.95
Candy cane lovers rejoice. This creamy rum liqueur marries chocolate and peppermint, and it can be made into a Christmassy cocktail or generously poured in your morning cuppa.
Old Tom’s Original Egg Nog, $13.95
You either love eggnog or think it’s creamy crap in a glass. I’m all about this silky bevvy but I can guarantee I’ll like it even more after a rum injection. You’ll taste vanilla, raisin and super-creamy rum in this authentic-tasting eggnog.
Smirnoff Peppermint Twist, $28.75
Finally, something for those who like indulge in vodka. Drink it over ice or chill in the freezer for a pepperminty sipping treat. It’s also used in—wait for it—adult milkshakes: Just shake it with cream and chocolate ice cream; you’ll love the frosty chill.
Crown Royal Salted Caramel, $31.95
You already know Crown Royal. Now meet Crown Royal winter (and limited) edition. This one is infused with decadent salted caramels with notes of cream and caramel candy apple, you can down it straight or pour it over ice cream for a festive treat.
Big Rock Winter Holiday Spice Beer, $3.50
I’m not a beer drinker but sometimes I just need a little something different than my go-to wine. I also like choosing beer by the design on the can, so this was a given. This brew is full of caramel and clove, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg (it might as well be a baked good). I read it goes well with duck (don’t quote me on that) and more obvious choices, like gingerbread cookies, chocolate and pumpkin pie.
Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake, $31.95
Going to tell it like it is here: My favourite thing about Baileys isn’t even the taste—it’s that I can drink it out of the bottle at 9 a.m. and no one in my house looks at me sideways. But this new variety, Baileys Red Velvet, will be a bloody delightful on Christmas morning. You can obviously drink it on the rocks, in coffee and hot chocolate or you can make it into a velvety cocktail.
Crazy Uncle Blood Orange Rosemary & Maple Punch, $15.95
I bought this one solely because of its name, but I was quickly sold on the drink because it’s made by a Toronto mixologist and features sweet, sweet Canadian maple syrup. This ready-to-drink punch is dubbed “Christmas in a glass,” and we know why: It’s sweet but also savoury and has a generous mix of spices and herbs, along with blood orange juice. Gift it, sip it, thank me later.
Muskoka Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, $14.95
Muskoka Brewery calls this stout its Winter Beard, but it’s better known as simply a double chocolate cranberry stout. And I like anything that’s double chocolate. It’s rich, contains real cocoa and local cranberries, so you can feel good about supporting local. Enjoy it yourself (you probably won’t want to share) or bust it out in lieu of your usual wine at your holiday dinner.
Post image: Brooke Lark/Unsplash