City Living: Holiday Cocktails

Ok, ok, we know the posts have been a
little booze-heavy lately but what do you expect? Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa,
Christmukkah, Festivus and every other culturally inclusive holiday can lead us toward the
liquor cabinet. That said, why not share these tasty holiday cocktails with your family and k
eep everyone in a holly, jolly festive mood?
Winter Pimm’s
Just when we thought we wouldn’t be able to
enjoy another fresh and delicious Pimm’s cup until next summer, Firkin Pubs
comes along and offers a winter version. All you’ll need is an ounce of Pimm’s,
half an ounce of brandy, 1.5 ounces of apple juice and a squeeze of fresh
orange juice. Shake all the ingredients together and pour over ice. Garnish
with a cinnamon stick or orange wheel (or both, if you’re feeling fancy).  

Pimm’s cups all year-round! Image source.
Mulled Wine
Evoking feelings of comfort, spice and everything nice, mulled wine is essentially a winter version of sangria that has been around since the 1800s (read: people have been drinking during the holidays for centuries). In a pot, add a bottle of wine (or two), two ounces of brandy, a dash of Angostura bitters (see here for where to buy), two or three cloves, three cinnamon sticks, three whole star anise, three whole peppercorns, a sliced orange and a handful of cranberries. Heat until steaming and serve punch-style or pour into individual glasses. Tip: use a full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.
 Mmm, holiday in a cup. Image source.
Sidecar Reposado
“Tequila for the holidays?” you ask? Yes! Newly revamped REDS Wine Tavern has us covered for this simple winter cocktail. Combine 1.25 ounces of tequila, one ounce of Cointreau, half an ounce of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of egg white in a chilled shaker. Now shake it like a Polaroid picture and pour into a coupe glass. Top with lemon twist and a dash of orange bitters.

Tequila for the holidays, olé! Image source: REDS Wine Tavern.
Julep
This one comes courtesy of SPiN Torontoanother winter take on a Southern summer favourite. Can you can tell we’d trade in our jackets for jean shorts in a snap? Muddle three orange wedges with two bar spoons of brown sugar. Add ice, half an ounce of lemon juice, two ounces of peppermint tea, a dash of lemon bitters and (our favourite part) two ounces of Bulleit bourbon. Shake vigorously and serve in a mason jar topped with fresh mint and a wedge of orange.
This Julep is sure to make family dinners more fun. Image source: SPiN Toronto.

Hot Toddy
A classic cold weather drink, we’re sure Hot Toddies have cameo’d your holiday family gatherings. (Apparently they’re good for colds, wink wink.) In a mug, add one ounce of bourbon (but scotch or brandy will do too), a tablespoon of honey and two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.
Warm up with a classic Hot Toddy. Image source.

What’s your favourite holiday drink? Tweet us @rockitpromo.

Yum, yum: The Dakota Tavern’s Mint Julep

From time to time, we like to get down to some live music. One of the best music spots in the city is The Dakota Tavern, known for Sunday Bluegrass brunch, The Beauties, surprise musical appearances by Ron Sexsmith, Serena Ryder, and members of The Barenaked Ladies, and just generally as a place for good, ol’ fashioned fun. No BS, no club beats, no frilly drinks (motto: “Unless Malibu comes in a bottle of Wild Turkey, we don’t have it.”).

Aside from a massive beer selection, they boast some great whiskey and bourbon cocktails. One of the best is their Mint Julep. Simple, refreshing and makes you feel right at home with the guitars and banjos.

Insider’s tip: The Dakota Tavern has an amazing menu. They make their own sausage and burgers from different types of game (like venison), use local fish in their fish tacos, and have a mean three-cheese macaroni dish. Nearly everything is housemade, and they use as few pre-mixed ingredients as possible. Go early enough for dinner – you’ll be glad you did. Dinner is served from 6 p.m. to midnight, daily.

The Dakota Tavern’s Mint Julep

1½ oz. bourbon
½ oz. simple syrup
10 mint sprigs, muddled

Mix all in a tall, thin glass. Top with crushed ice.

To get into the true Dakota spirit: pour 1 oz. bourbon in a short glass. Drink. Repeat.