The most enchanted time of the year is here—festivities, twinkling lights, cinnamon cookies, and cocktails galore. While we might have to hold off on those lovely dinner parties this year, we can certainly still enjoy all the yummy food and drinks. The festive season is a great time to rest and recoup your batteries, and relish quality time with your family or small isolation crew.
Chilly nights call for some hearty food and a delicious adult beverage for much-needed warmth because there are days that demand something a bit stronger than pumpkin-spiced coffee. So whip out those flannels, light some candles, and spend a cozy night in. Transitioning into winter, we’re all about boozy beverages that pair well with the cold weather and bring all those convivial hygge vibes.
Savor cuddled up in blankets inside, or sip by a bonfire outside – they’re yum either way. Here are some of our favorite festive spirits (and recipes!) to try this season….
Vido Vodka by Goose Ridge Estate
VIDO Premium Vodka is a handcrafted, small-batch vodka made locally using Goose Ridge Estate wine grapes. The Monson Family, who owns and operates Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery, has been sowing the land of Washington’s Yakima Valley for four generations. But why branch out from wine to vodka? Taylor Monson, Brand & Sales Manager at Goose Ridge said, “VIDO Vodka was the dream of Monson Family patriarch Arvid ‘Vido’ Monson, who always wanted to produce a premium vodka from his estate grapes. Today, VIDO Vodka is the Monson Family’s tribute to fulfilling his dream.” It is wonderfully smooth and has a touch of sweetness, with hints of pepper, and is smashing in a dirty martini. Try VIDO in a Lola Rose Orange Cocktail or a Blackberry Spritzer or keep things simple with good old’ club soda and a dash of lime. It is delicious either way, However, mixed with one of Goose Ridge’s delicious ciders for a seasonal cocktail, it is pure sorcery in a glass.
Special Ciders by Goose Ridge Estate
Cider, simply putting, is autumn in a bottle. Classic ciders are synonymous with fall, but these seasonal spins make them even more fun and delicious. At Goose Ridge Estate, the family has been growing apples in the Yakima Valley since the 1950s, and are well-known for the outstanding quality of their fruit. “We treat our apples much like our grapes, with careful attention to natural resources and seasonal growing conditions, allowing for maximum production of exceptional fruit every year. Our ciders are refreshing, balanced, and versatile—they drink well alone or paired with spicy and savory foods such as chili, marinated grilled meats, or pizza,” said Monson. Think delicious infused-ciders like apple-spiced pecan, pomegarnate and pear. These are fruity, effervescent and just perfect for easy, fall drinking. They pair very well with hearty fall fare like shepherd’s pie and roasted squash.
Here are a scrumptious vodka-cider cocktail recipe for all the fall feels—
Spiced Apple Pecan Mule
- 2oz VIDO vodka
- ½ oz lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 8oz Goose Ridge Spiced Apple Pecan Hard Cider
Squeeze lime juice into a copper mug. Add ice cubes, then pour in VIDO Vodka and fill with cold spiced apple pecan cider. Stir and garnish with a lime wedge.
Pumpkin beers by Elysian Brewing
Love pumpkin-flavored everything during fall. You’re in luck! One of Seattle’s favorite breweries, Elysian Brewing has come with some solid pumpkin beers for autumn drinking. The only thing better than a pumpkin-spiced latte is a pumpkin-spiced beer. Check out their seasonal releases here. For fall fanatics, they have four unique pumpkin-based offerings – Night owl, Punkuccino, the Great Pumpkin and Dark ‘O The Moon. From a fruity IPA to a chocolate-y stout, there is something for every kind of beer lover in there.
Traditional Mead by Hierophant Meadery
Made by fermenting honey, mead is a drink that is almost as old as civilisation itself. Hierophant Meadery makes some extraordinary meads with just a little help from the honeybees. With locally sourced-honey, their dry meads are all about showcasing the very best of regional terroir.The mead is so sublime and robustly-flavored that you don’t need much to pair with. Hierophant specializes in creating meads almost exclusively in the historic Metheglin/ Metheglyn style – which means they infuse their meads with botanicals.
Jeremy Kyncl, mead maker, said, “One of our favorite things about mead is how versatile it is. Our session mead line focuses on seasonally blended flavors, produced with an eye toward traditional herbal blending techniques. One of our fall specials – Butterbee with butterscotch and marshmallow root, because sometimes what’s really most important is having something that flat out tastes awesome, esoteric blending principles be damned. For us, in mead as in life, everything rests in a balanced, tempered approach.”
A glass of their rose-cardamom mead is like travelling back in time, through a rose-tinted (pun intended!) haze. It is a great sip for lazy winter afternoons, with some coffee cake to pair with. For the festive season, try their sparkling offerings – Butterbee (a sparkling mead with Marshmallow root and Butterscotch distillate) and Spiced Apple ( a Sparkling Apple Mead) for an unconventional but delicious drink for thanksgiving dinner.
You can enjoy them just as you would drink a glass of wine, or mix in a cocktail to take it to another level altogether. The still mead is also great when warmed a bit, and infused with some warming spices like clove and cinnamon, served mulled-wine style. For maximum enjoyment, drink this elegant honeyed beverage in front of a crackling fire.
Craft cocktails by Gourmondo Co.
The best kind of cocktails are the ones that someone else makes for you, something that you can just sit back and enjoy! This holiday season, give yourself a much-deserved break and let Gourmondo Co. do the heavy lifting (or shaking and stirring, in this case!) If you’re like us, you probably can’t wait to enjoy some cocktails at your favorite local bar. Till then, Gourmondo’s got your back with specially crafted cocktails that you can cheers to, with your quarantine crew or on virtual zoom parties. Think Cosmopolitans, Negronis and Rosemary Ginger Gimlets. Order your holiday flight here. Salud!
From the Andes Mountains, Diplomático Rum is all about that deep, fruity flavor that reflects its rich distillation heritage. Straight from field to bottle, this tastes of molasses and honey, and is completely at home in a classic old-fashioned.
- 1.5 oz Diplomatico Rum
- .2 oz Sugar syrup
- 3 lrg dashes of Angostura bitter’s
Add all ingredients to a stirring glass, fill with ice, stir and strain. Garnish with orange peel.
Broken Shed Vodka
Being gluten-free shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying some craft cocktails. Broken Shed Vodka is a New-Zealand based vodka that has no added sugar and is also gluten free. This crystal-clear, pour distilled vodka with a citrusy palate and a spicy finish. Try it in a pumpkin-based cocktail to add a yummy, autumnal spin.
Broken Pumpkin Cider
- 2 oz. Broken Shed Vodka
- 1.5 oz. Apple Cider
- 1 oz Real, Pumpkin Puree Infused Syrup
Fill a shaker with all the ingredients, strain, and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with crushed graham cracker.
Disaronno, one of the most popular (and delicious!)Italian liquors in the world is known for its amaretto-style taste. This viscous spirit has a lingering, almond taste and a nutty aroma to boot. While Disaronno Fizz and Amaretto Sours are great classic cocktails, try this sweet tasting spirit in a blood orange based cocktail for a refreshing citrusy drink.
Blood Moon Sour
- 1.5 oz whiskey
- .5 oz Disaronno
- 3 oz Blood Orange Juice
- .5 oz Simple Syrup
- .5 oz Lemon Juice
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain over fresh ice in Collins glass. Garnish with blood orange.
Cheers to the festive season!