Soon, it will be the most wonderful time of the year. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza it’s that feel-good end-of-year moment when you just know ’tis the season to be jolly.
For many that includes a fancy tipple (or three) and a chance to show off some serious bartending skills while entertaining. If the thought of coming up with your own bespoke seasonal cocktail fills you with dread, we have done all the hard work for you so you can graciously take all the credit for something guaranteed to woo your guests with a genuine wow factor.
Embrace the festive cheer and enjoy some brilliant drinks with these recipes and recommendations, courtesy of Darby’s Liquor Store and Alcohol Delivery – your favourite Kitsilano-based liquor store!
No festive season is complete without a well-timed classic cocktail. After all, they’re classic for a reason. When something stands the test of time, it’s deserving of its place as a time-honoured tradition.
We have hand-picked the standout recipes that keep these classics contemporary and modern while fulfilling that itch to keep some things perennially relevant.
EGG NOG The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, 47% ABV
Definitely not your Grandma’s egg nog, this Caribbean recipe calls for a dark rum, bitters, and lime for a zesty take on an old festive favourite. Known as a ‘Punch de Creme’, you’ll need to make this a day in advance to really let the flavours meld together for the best result.
Darby’s recommends The Kraken as the ideal rich and defiantly dark Caribbean rum up to the job for this nog. Notes of brown sugar, vanilla, and chocolate serve up a festive vibe right from the get-go. Who knew that a drink originating in Trinidad and Tobago would yield such a fascinating twist on a Christmas Classic?
HOT BUTTERED RUM Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, 46% ABV
If something eggy isn’t your bag, perhaps a warm, buttery, rum-soaked drink you can make well in advance and enjoy even when the guests have long gone might be?
Nothing says Canadian Winter like a warm adults-only beverage that will serve you well all season long. That’s right, we’ve found the perfect make-ahead buttered rum batter that you can make and freeze so it’s ready whenever the mood strikes. Whip up this Hot Buttered Rum recipe and it keeps stored in the freezer for up to three months!
This is the perfect seasonal recipe to have to hand for those unexpected guests. You’ll look like a rock star when mere moments later you produce a superb cocktail as if by magic. All you have to do is take a mug, add a scoop of batter, a measure or two of warming spiced rum like Sailor Jerry’s, top with boiling water and stir. You’re welcome.
A Seasonal Twist
Bored of the basics? Want to conjure up something a bit different for the holidays? Look no further than these suggestions that are great to make ahead and can be dialled up or down to accommodate those who want a cocktail or a mocktail. Nobody wants to be left out of the party!
CHRISTMAS PUNCH Danzante Prosecco, 11% ABV and Banff Ice Vodka, 40%ABV
The perfect one-two punch can be found right here with this elegant and versatile recipe destined to be requested every year once you serve it.
With orange juice, pomegranate juice and seeds, cranberry juice it’s the ideal base to which you choose to add alcohol or just soda for those abstaining. For the mocktail version, you can add soda or 7-UP/Sprite. For those hitting the grown-up version, you add Prosecco AND a choice of either vodka or rum. We vote for vodka for a clean and crisp punch that hits all the right notes.
STOUT Backcountry The Night Is A Very Dark Time For Me, 6.0% ABV
Beer lovers need not worry that they have to miss out during the holidays. It doesn’t always have to be a fancy-schmancy cocktail in your hands. Try having a rich and resplendent stout on for size. This Backcountry version has notes of coffee, coconut, vanilla and tonic beans for something decidedly different that will look ever so moody and mysterious in a pint glass.
HOMEMADE IRISH CREAM Alberta Premium Whisky, 40% ABV
We’re pretty sure Santa is up to his eyeballs with milk and cookies on Christmas Eve. If you too are fed up with the same old beverages and want something with a little extra kick that doesn’t come from a reindeer’s hooves, try making your own Irish cream on for size.
It couldn’t be easier than two simple steps with this brilliant version from across the pond that incorporates dulce de leech, instant coffee, vanilla extract, whisky, and single cream. Since we are proudly Canadian, we’ve substituted Irish Whisky for a Canadian one, but don’t worry, nobody will know and we’ll never tell!
This is an indulgent after-dinner delight that will spoil your guests along with your tastebuds and can absolutely substitute for dessert for those who are filled to the brim with all the trimmings. Another great drink that fits the bill for making ahead that keeps for up to two weeks chilled in the fridge although we daresay it won’t last that long.
OBLIGATORY FIZZ Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut Champagne, 12% ABV
Are the holidays really holidays without champagne? We mean the real deal too. If ever there was a time of year to splurge this is the time. You’re going to be buying bubbles in all likelihood for the New Year anyhow, so why not celebrate with loved ones with the good stuff and leave the mayhem of New Year’s to the sparkling wine, Prosecco, Cava and the like?
Order from a wide range of newly launched beverages in stock at Darby’s Liquor Store in Kitsilano, Vancouver and the best variety on offer. Same day and late-night alcohol delivery are always available. We have a huge range of domestic and imported beer, wine, spirits, and coolers from around the world.