December is the month to gather, celebrate, and indulge. There may be several times you find yourself sipping on a cocktail this month as you traverse through office parties, potlucks, Christmas eve by the fire, and of course, the party of the year: New Year’s Eve. Before January rolls around and alcohol is sworn off in the pursuit of our various resolutions, kick back and savour the season with fancy cocktails for enjoying with friends – on a night out or in the comfort of home.
Upscale Classics and Mixologists’ Picks
Take a spontaneous trip out to one of Ontario’s Highlands’ many communities, where you’ll feel like you stepped onto the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Twinkling lights on heritage buildings and a blanket of snow coating the picture-perfect main streets will put you in the mood for a holiday cocktail. In Almonte, settle into the Almonte Lobby Bar to see what funky feature cocktail their mixologist has dreamt up. In Carleton Place, stop by the Boulton House or Smith and Barrel, two classy restaurants with elevated cocktails.
Bonus: you can enjoy a delicious meal in any of these spots to go along with your cocktail!
If you have trouble deciding between cocktails or beer, there are a few breweries in the region that serve up their own brews mixed with exciting flavours in the form of spirits, fruits, and syrups. Whitewater Brewing Co. has standard cocktails at their Riverside location, but they also offer two beer cocktails like the Happy Gilmour, which incorporates elements of a Moscow Mule (ginger beer and lime) with the new twist of whisky, lime bitters, and their KLR 93 brew. In Haliburton County, Boshkung Social serves up “beer-tails” like a refreshing radler or spicy Michelada.
Mix Your Own
Be your own mixologist this year and create some swanky drinks for your friends and family. Be the host with the most by busting out the good stuff, like Dairy Distillery’s signature Vodkow. Despite being made from milk rather than grains, Vodkow looks, smells, and tastes like vodka, but goes down smoother. Pick up a bottle from their Almonte distillery and mix up a ‘Cosmoo’, White Russian, or any of your favourite vodka-based cocktails to impress your guests. Head south to Top Shelf Distillers in Perth, where you’re not likely to leave empty handed. Choose from classic vodka and gin, exciting flavours of moonshine ranging from Ontario cherry to chocolate peanut butter, plus a whole line of bitters to take your cocktail to the next level.