Cowichan Winter Cocktail Recipes
Staying in this year? You can still #SupportLocal with these incredible festive cocktail recipes using award-winning Cowichan ingredients!
The holiday season looks a little different this year, we can still help support our many incredible local businesses in Cowichan and bring the flavours of the region home with us.
We compiled a list of some new releases and yummy festive cocktail recipes using mixes and ingredients from local Cowichan beverage producers that are sure to put you in the spirit and feel good about supporting local this season!
Mulled Wine Packs & Wine Shop from Rocky Creek Winery
Rocky Creek Winery has transformed their tasting room into a Winter Wonderland wine store for the season! You can browse the gift pack deal and pick up some great gifts or treat yourself to a bottle of their award-winning wine.
They’re also selling custom-made Mulled Wine Packs complete with everything you need to make your own festive mulled wine at home, including a bottle of their Wild Blackberry and their On the Mark.
Holiday Cider Fondue For Two & Cherri Berri Cocktail from Merridale Cidery & Distillery
Merridale Cidery & Distillery’s on-site Farm Store is chock full of great, housemade local products that are perfect for making festive cocktails and dishes at home.
From homemade jams and sauces, to mulling spice packs, you’ll find a variety of products to bring the flavours of Cowichan home with you.
One of our favourite recipes is their delicious fondue made with Merridale cider and brandy! Pair it with the Cherri Berri cocktail for a perfect festive spread.
HOLIDAY CIDER FONDUE FOR TWO RECIPE
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ cup Merridale Traditional cider
- 4 ounces Gruyere, grated
- 4 ounces Sharp Cheddar, grated
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or Merridale Cider Brandy
- Granny Smith Apples
- Sourdough Bread
- Roasted Mushrooms or Asparagus
- Chicken and Apple Sausage
- Chorizo sausage
- Bartlett Pears
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Stir in cider and vinegar. Reduce temperature to low.
- Slowly add both cheeses, stirring in one direction until melted. Add nutmeg.
- Continue to cook over low heat, stirring until mixture thickens and comes together, for 4 to 5 minutes. If it’s too thick, add some extra cider 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Transfer to a fondue pot; keep warm.
- Serve with sliced tart apples, like Granny Smith, sliced Barlett pears, roasted mushrooms or asparagus, sourdough bread cubes or Chorizo sausage.
CHERRI BERRI COCKTAIL
We love the Cherri Berry cocktail made with Cowichan Cider Brandy and Merri Berri Cider. The perfect warm-up cocktail for cozy evenings by the fire!
- Merridale’s Cowichan Cherry Brandy
- Merridale’s Cowichan Cherry Liqueur
- Merridale’s Merri Berri Cider
- Esquimalt Wine Co. Rosso Vermouth
- 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Combine all ingredients (excluding cider) in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into martini glass and top with Merri Berri Cider. Can be served warm or cold.
Farm Fresh Foch from Emandare Vineyard
Rolling out their popular reds and this year’s special limited release, Alice, coming from Emandare Vineyard! Mike and Robyn, owners of Emandare in Duncan, have just released some reds blends, perfect for cozy winter nights.
Made from 90% Marechal Foch and 10% Pinot Noir, this fresh, Nouveau (French for “New”) style of wine is a very youthful and juicy style of red wine. Using 100% Carbonic Maceration on the Foch and straight to press barrel fermented Pinot, this wine is singing with vibrant notes of bright red cherry, fresh wild flowers and juicy plums. How Mike describes this wine: “Juicy and Chuggable!
You can pick it up at their wine store Saturday & Sunday 12-4pm or buy online!
Cranberry-Lime Charme de L’ile Cocktail
France has Champagne, Italy has Prosecco, and Cowichan has Charme de L’ile! This light and airy sparkling wine is made with only grapes grown in the Cowichan or Saltspring regions. With the cool growing climate that made Champagne famous, Charme de L’ile exploded onto the wine market in 2010 and has grown steadily in popularity since then. The process uses very high pressure which produces more bubbles and gives a better quality sparkling experience. It also makes a great holiday cocktail and is perfect for mixing with citrus flavours!
Three Cowichan wineries make Charme de L’ile: Unsworth Vineyards, Enrico Winery, and Averill Creek Vineyards. Unsworth Vineyards also offers a rose Chame de L’ile that is a popular choice for festive drinks.
RECIPE (courtesy of Kitchen Treaty)
- 1/2 cup cranberry juice – you can use sweetened or unsweetened. We prefer sweetened as the dryness of the Charme de L’ile offsets it nicely.
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice – we recommend using fresh limes and not bottled lime juice.
- 2 cups Charme de L’ile
- Frozen cranberries and thin slices of lime for garnish
- Optional: a dash of lime cordial or a dash of bitters gives this cocktail an extra kick!
Holiday Wine Punch
Cowichan wines have exploded across BC in recent years, and the Valley reds are top choice on many Christmas dinner tables. With a heavy volcanic soil, and a cool, dry climate, deep burgundy reds like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Marechal Foch are prevalent at most wineries in the region.
This Holiday Wine Punch is a fun way to take a classic bottle of Cowichan red and make it fun and festive! We love the kick of cinnamon to give it a warm spice feeling. This recipe makes a large serving so cut down accordingly, but it also stores very well in the fridge.
RECIPE (courtesy of A Spicy Perspective)
- 1.5 litres Cowichan red wine – we recommend using a deep red like the ones mentioned about to give the punch a nice finish
- 4 cups Cran-apple juice – you can use just cranberry juice as well but the hint of apple really mixes nicely with a deep red wine
- 3 cups Orange juice
- 36 ounces ginger beer – you can use a strong ginger ale, but the ginger beer is best
- 5 tsp vanilla extract
- Garnish: frozen cranberries, orange slices, cinnamon sticks to taste
Vortex Robust Porter from Riot Brewing
Back for Christmas! The popular Vortex Porter from Riot Brewing is back in stock at their on-site store and liquor stores. This american porter is perfect for chilly winter days and features notes of dark roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee. Sweet, but balanced.
Hot Tawny from Averill Creek Vineyards
A twist on the popular Hot Toddy winter bevy using Averill Creek’s popular Somenos Tawny wine…which just so happens to be 20% off right now for a pack of six. Which is just enough to get through December 😉
Averill Creek Vineyard is known for keeping their yields low, which helps to increase the quality of fruit harvested.
Their tasting room is open 7-days a week by reservation only and the wine store does not need a reservation.
- 4 cups Cloudy apple juice
- 1 bottle Tawny
- 1/2 stick Cinnamon
- 10 whole Cloves
- 1 pod Star Anise
Add the apple juice and spices into a pot on the stove, or in a crockpot, on low heat for an hour minimum. Add Tawny just before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Candy Cane Martini from Bridgemans Bistro
Bridgemans Bistro in Mill Bay has a great and festive holiday menu complete with some great cocktails! One of our favourites is their new Candy Cane Cocktail. Celebrate the season with a great meal, an amazing view and treat yourself to one of these new Holiday favourites with flavours of egg nog, cinnamon spice and candy cane.
CANDY CANE MARTINI
Rim the martini glass with grenadine then dip into crushed candy canes.
In a cocktail shaker..
- Fill with ice
- ½ oz Ampersand Per Se Vodka, voted BC’s Best Vodka 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019
- ¾ oz white cacao
- ¾ oz peppermint schnapps
- Splash of milk
- Drizzle of grenadine
Shake and strain into a martini glass and hang a candy cane off the side of the glass and serve!
We hope these recipes will help you bring the flavours of Cowichan home with this Christmas season! Please ensure that you contact businesses ahead of time to be aware of changes in holiday hours, if you are drinking out, please check to see if reservations are required and consume responsibly. Cheers!