Here we are, with the holiday season fast approaching, and it’s quite likely that you will want to celebrate with a few festive drinks. For me, winter with its cold makes me feel the need for warming ingredients such as ginger, cloves, molasses, and chocolate. The recipes that follow are full of these warm flavours.

Have you heard of falernum? It’s a liqueur (or it can be a non-alcoholic syrup) from the Caribbean. It’s made from lime, ginger, almonds, cloves and, sometimes, rum. I love John D. Taylor’s “Velvet Falernum” from Barbados, but it is difficult to find here in the Yukon. The name velvet falernum is used to describe the velvety mouthfeel of this spirit, with its sweet, warm notes.

Velvet  December

Velvet December

Yukon Cocktail & Bar Supplies in Whitehorse sells a Canadian-made, alcohol-free falernum syrup made by a company called Prosyro. I have used it in the first recipe instead of the liqueur. Dubonnet is available locally, and it is a truly magical cocktail ingredient. A wine-based apératif created in Paris in 1846 with a top-secret recipe, it has a warm spiciness that is fitting for these cold months.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz rum (Havana Club 7-year old rum is great here)
  • 1/2 oz falernum syrup
  • 2 oz Dubonnet
  • 2 oz soda water
  • 1/3 oz lime juice
  • 8 drops Free Pour Jenny’s Labrador Tea & Lime Bitters

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients except soda water to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into a tumbler or large goblet filled with fresh ice, and top with soda water. Stir gently. May be garnished with a thick piece of lime zest or left unadorned.

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Lavender Hot Chocolate

Lavender Hot Chocolate

Ingredients

  • Generous dollop of lavender whipped cream (see NOTES)
  • 7 oz prepared hot chocolate
  • 1 oz Cognac
  • 12 drops Free Pour Jenny’s Limited-Edition Lovely Lavender Bitters
  • Several dried lavender flowers (food-grade lavender only)

Instructions

  1. Pour hot chocolate into a mug and make sure it’s piping hot!
    Add Cognac and bitters, stirring gently to blend.
  2. Top with a dollop of lavender whipped cream and garnish with dried flowers. If flowers are not available, top with freshly shaved chocolate or metallic cake decorating sprinkles.

Notes

Lavender Whipped Cream


1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 tsp Free Pour Jenny’s Limited-Edition Lovely Lavender Bitters

Add the bitters to the whipping cream in a small bowl. Using a hand blender, whip until peaks form. This will make enough lavender whipped cream for several hot chocolates depending on your taste!

Yukon Holiday Punch

Yukon Holiday Punch

Yield: 16 6 oz drinks

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Pimms No.1 Cup
  • 10 oz Tanqueray London Dry Gin
  • 25 oz sparkling apple juice
  • 24 oz pomegranate juice
  • 8 oz ginger simple syrup (see NOTES)
  • 8 oz orange juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 oranges, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 8 star anise
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 4-6 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp Free Pour Jenny’s Solstice Bitters
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Chill all ingredients for at least several hours. In a large punch bowl, combine all liquid ingredients, including bitters. Stir until well blended.
  2. Add orange, lemon, and lime slices, pomegranate seeds, cranberries and star anise.
  3. Keep punch cold until serving time. Garnish punch bowl with fresh rosemary sprigs prior to serving.
  4. You may add ice as needed, but try to avoid adding an excessive amount, or the punch will become watered down. A large piece of ice or a decorative ice block is preferred over small cubes.
  5. Serve punch with a ladle into punch glasses, vintage teacups, or wine glasses. Anything goes for glassware here!

Notes

Ginger Simple Syrup

1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup sliced, washed ginger root (you don’t need to peel it. Just give it a scrub!)

Place all syrup ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture comes to a simmer. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Remove from heat, and let the syrup cool completely.
Strain syrup into a clean jar, label, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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A few notes on alcohol consumption. These cocktails are strong, and they should be consumed in moderation. One serving of spirits is 1 ½ oz. A good rule of thumb is to have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage. Cheers!