The temperature has dropped, the trees are looking bare, it’s dark by 5pm and the LCBO has released their final Food & Drink magazine of 2013. This can mean only one thing: Christmas is a-coming. This may delight your soul or fill you with fear but either way it is unavoidable. Christmas tunes will soon float through the streets, twinkling lights will be wrapped around every lamppost and the malls will become obnoxiously busy as the good people of our city burn through their credit card limits with festive frenzy. Facebook notifications will double with party invites, inboxes will fill with gift requests for nieces, nephews, cousins and family pets. Messages of merriment will inundate cellphones as schedules are packed to the brim with work parties, family gatherings, drinks with friends, drinks with long lost friends who got all reminiscent because it’s Christmas, gift drop-offs, coffee drop-ins, carol singing, gift wrapping, last-minute shopping and meal prep chopping… sweating yet…?
In preparation to deal with all the joys and stresses that the holiday season brings, we have the perfect answer… booze. Here’re some holiday tipples to keep you from tearing your hair out this Christmas…
Jack Daniels Winter Jack Tennessee Cider | $23.95
This seems like the perfect after-dinner sipper on a chilly winter’s night. A seasonal blend of whiskey, apple cider, cinnamon, cloves and orange is sure to warm the cockles of your heart and give you a nice Christmas buzz to boot.
Wells Banana Bread Beer | $3.50/bottle
Aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves alongside the banana makes for a tropical yet festive flavour combination and a fun addition to have in the fridge for guests over the holiday season.
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout | $3.50/bottle
The rich, velvety nature of this surprisingly dry stout makes it a perfect alternative to pair with typical holiday dishes featuring gamey meats and sweet sauces.
Rickard’s Oakhouse | $52.95/case
This festive seasonal brings a moderate smokiness with flavours of vanilla and caramel. Leave one out for Santa to ensure maximum generosity.
Baileys (Assorted Flavours) | $29.95
I consider this classic festive pour an absolute necessity for the liquor cabinet at this time of year. On the rocks, in coffee or hot chocolate it is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser and the different flavours (mint chocolate, hazelnut, coffee or biscotti) allow for greater drink options… Mint chocolate latte with a hazelnut kick, anyone?
Muskoka Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout | $13.95/bottle
Roasted dark chocolate malt, real cocoa, 70% dark chocolate and locally harvested cranberries make this brew a must for stout lovers everywhere. And it’s higher alcohol content (8%) is sure to keep the Christmas cheer all season long.
Michel Miclo Gingerbread Liqueur | $27.50
What is more Christmassy than gingerbread? Not much. So having this gingerbread liqueur on hand will guarantee festive cocktail flair. Drink it on the rocks as an aperitif or booze up your Boxing Day brunch by adding a healthy dash to a glass of prosecco.