35 holiday cocktails you’ll find this winter in Vancouver

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The Christmas season is full of ways to indulge, and that goes for in the cocktail department, too.

This is the time of year that wine is mulled, champagne is uncorked, and rum is buttered. Add in seasonal flavours and ingredients like candy cane, cranberry, and egg nog, and there is much to celebrate.

We’ve gathered up 35 seasonal cocktails you can order up in many of Vancouver’s favourite bars and restaurants this Christmas. Cheers!

1. Ancora: Sloe Down Santa

ancora sloe down santa
Sloe Down Santa (Photo courtesy Ancora)
Ancora Bartenders Philipp Karatsyupa and Nicolò Tognon have created this sparkling cocktail that brings together the festive flavours of peppermint, berries, and candied caramel, made with the exciting Salal Gin (a take on Sloe gin) from Vancouver distillery Odd Society, and includes mists of Absinthe.

2. Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar: Aquas Caliente

It’s going to get hot, hot, hot with Boulevard’s new festive cocktail for the 2017 holiday season. Aquas Caliente (Watch Out It’s Hot!) is a creamy blend of mescal, noilly pratt, ancho reyes, crème de cacao and Kahlua.

3. Café Medina: Pomme de Moluccas

A boozy take on a classic apple cider, Medina’s “Pomme de Moluccas” offers an enchanting blend of aged rum, apple brandy and a sweetly spiced homemade Moluccas syrup.

4-8. The Cascade Room

candy cane fizz cascade room vancouver
Candy Cane Fizz (Photo courtesy The Cascade Room)
Main Street mainstay The Cascade Room has a tasty set of seasonal cocktails, including their fundraiser drink, the Hot Buttered Rum.
  • Candy Cane Fizz: A twist on the Ramos Fizz with menthe pastille and cachaça
  • Bourbon Eggnog
  • Sage & Cranberry Collins
  • Mulled Wine
  • Hot Buttered Rum: Made with JT’s Hot Buttered Rum Mix, hot water, and bourbon. $2 from each one sold goes to support Fawkes Academy.
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9. Crowbar: Vivian Ward

crowbar vivian ward vancouver
Vivian Ward (Photo courtesy Crowbar)
The smooth beverage combines the nuttiness of pistachio-infused gin with floral undertones lent by delicate rosewater and a tart bite of lemon. Beetroot syrup lends a ruby hue and adds a subtly sweet earthiness. Finally, the coupe is topped with a healthy dose of bubbles, perfect for toasting the festive season.

10. Fat Mao: Chinatown Bourbon

fat mao cocktail
Chinatown Bourbon (Photo courtesy Fat Mao)

House-made spiced lime leaf bourbon, maraschino liquor, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, Angostura bitters. Shaken with ice, it’s poured into a chilled glass coupe and garnished with a lime wheel. The drink highlights warm spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

11. L’Abattoir: Punch the Smoking Bishop

Photo by Amy Ho/courtesy L’Abattoir
Taking its namesake from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this Victorian-era-style mulled wine is served hot and features an intoxicating mélange of Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon, full-bodied red wine, Sons of Vancouver No. 82 Amaretto, Olorosso Sherry, black tea and orange. With hints of cinnamon, clove, star anise and Bittered Sling Zinger Crabapple bitters, this warming punch is a very merry sipper to enjoy on a cold winter’s night.

12-17. Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

One of the city’s best places for cocktail sipping, the Lobby Lounge’s holiday cocktail list is pretty incredible. Cozy up in front of the fire with one (or more) of these:
  • Spiked Eggnog: VS Cognac, spiced rum, Oloroso sherry, house-made eggnog
  • Festive Punch: Spanish brandy, aged rum blend, Madeira, lemon, spiced cranberry cordial
  • Holiday Highball: Japanese Whisky, baked apple cordial, Amaro Montenegro, soda water, lemon peel
  • Scandinavian Glögg: Aquavit, pinot noir, port, raisins, spices, almonds
  • Hot Buttered Rum: Aged rum blend, buttered brown sugar, spices, hot water
  • Mulled Cider: Bourbon, apple cider, spices, lemon
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18. Maenam: Lady Macbeth

maenam
Lady MacBeth (Photo courtesy Maenam)

For a sweet and spicy twist, this warming beverage fits the bill. Made with bourbon, simple syrup (Maenam uses a homemade ginger-galangal infused syrup), chai tea, and cardamom bitters, this is a great drink to warm up with on a cold day.

19-28. Reflections Garden Terrace Winter Pop-Up

Since they’re open for just this special time of year, Reflections Garden Terrace at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia has an impressive line up of hot, cold, sparkling, and boozy holiday cocktails:

  • Little Helper: Mount Gay Xo rum, house made egg nog
  • Winter Daisy: Botantist gin, pomegranate, lemon, vanilla
  • Penicillin: Bruichladdich Classic Laddie & Port Charlotte, lemon, ginger honey syrup
  • Christmas G&T: Botanist gin, cranberries, clove studded orange swath
  • Scrooged Up: Grey Goose vodka, mandarin, lemon, winter spices, sparkling wine
  • Poinsettia: Cointreau, pomegranate, sparkling wine, cranberry bitters
  • Winter Wonderland: Remy Martin VSOP cognac, lemon, winter spices, sparkling wine
  • Little Rummer Boy: Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, Spiced compound butter
  • True North: Ezra Brooks bourbon, Mount Gay Black Barrel rum, Fernet Branca Menta, hot chocolate
  • Hot Toddy: Bruichladdich Classic Laddie, lemon, ginger honey

29. UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar: Rum Pa-Pa Pomme

Sabrine Dhaliwal’s signature Christmastime cocktail is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! The frothy, easy-drinking cocktail features Appleton VX Rum, manzana verde (wild apple liqueur), cinnamon, lemon, Bittered Sling plum and root beer bitters, and a whole egg.

30. Vancouver TheatreSports: North Pole

Every holiday season Vancouver TheatreSports comes up with festive drinks to match their festive programming. On the roster is the North Pole, made with Rumchata, spiced rum, eggnog with a sprinkle of cinnamon, garnished with a mini candy cane – frosty white.

31. West Restaurant: Una Paloma Blanco

This riff on a classic Paloma brings together Cazadores Blanco Tequila, Aperol, and grapefruit reduction (featuring notes of vanilla and star anise) served with a cinnamon sugar rim for a festive sweet and sour tipple.

32. Wildebeest: Cashew on the Flip-side

holiday cocktail wildebeest
Cashew on the Flip Side (Photo by JonathanNorton/courtesy Wildebeest)
A unique twist on the classic rum-and-eggnog, Wildebeest’s Cashew on the Flip-side is a mix of rum, dessert wine, cashew milk, whole egg and house-made winter spice syrup. Shaken with egg to create a frothy consistency and finished with a grating of tonka bean, the creamy concoction is sweet-and-smooth libation to enjoy during the Yuletide season.

33-35. YEW seafood + bar

cog nog moose mug yew vancouver
Cog Nog in a Moose Mug (Photo courtesy YEW seafood + bar)
  • Cog Nog: Spiked with Cognac, YEW’s house-made eggnog is served in a nostalgic Christmas Vacation moose mug.
  • Enchanted Widow: A refreshing sipper featuring Veuve Clicquot Rich, Pineapple Reduction, and Thyme Tealeaves ‘Nutcracker’ Tea for a seasonal twist.
  • YEW Hot Buttered Rum: Bacardi Black Rum, Buttered Batter, Angostura Bitters, Pimento Honey Syrup, Gingerbread cookie.
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Lindsay is a Senior Writer at Vancouver Is Awesome. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she was previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive and Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz. Lindsay grew up in Vancouver and Toronto, then spent over 20 years in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city’s top blog, earned her Masters in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay’s first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com