The arrival of the holiday season means different things to different people. To children, it means Christmas lists and gifts they’ll grow bored of within the week. To wannabe domestic goddesses, it’s a chance to indulge Pinterest addictions in homemade cookies and crafty holiday decorations. To us, it’s time to drink – because that’s the only way to survive everything else.
This year we’ve given up on the 12 days of Christmas. If you need us, we’ll be swigging our way through the 12 drinks of Christmas.
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Hoegaarden White Beer
Belgium’s infamous wheat beer takes a turn for the white. Hoegaarden White Beer is subtly flavoured with coriander, Curaçao, lemony fruit, spices and a hint of white chocolate for the holidays. It’s easy on the palate, which is exactly what you’ll want when Christmas with the relatives makes heavy drinking a necessity.
Drink This: The Summer Hoedown, a beer cocktail that mixes maraschino liqueur and refreshing watermelon into your brew.
Johnnie Walker Blue
Johnnie Walker Blue needs no introduction. The House of Walker’s top-of-the-line label is created using the rarest casks from the Johnnie Walker stocks, all hand-selected for their exceptional quality, character and flavour. This stuff sets the standard for smooth.
Drink This: The Blue Zinger, a blend of chocolate liqueur, vanilla and orange that’s basically dessert in whiskey form.
Mr Black Cold Drip Coffee Liqueur
Mr Black began in 2013 as two men in a shed, and in just a year has become a thriving spirits company with a presence throughout Australia. The flagship product is Mr Black Cold Drip Coffee Liqueur, which took 6 months and over 240 iterations to perfect.
Drink This: The Mr Black Espresso Martini, the “the vodka Red Bull for people that don’t drink vodka Red Bull.”
Bollinger Special Cuvee
Forget about sparkling wine. It’s time to class it up with some actual Champagne. Bollinger Special Cuvée is one of France’s finest. The Bollinger bubbly is distinctive for its full-bodied blend of a high proportion of Pinot Noir and a base wine that has been matured in oak.
Drink This: The French 75, a classic cocktail with a fizzy texture and a lemony taste. Can be made with either cognac or gin.
Four Pillars Gin
Four Pillars is aiming to elevate the art of distilling with the four pillars from which the company takes its name: their copper still, water from the Yarra Yalley, botanicals sourced both locally and internationally, and love for the craft. These guys are yet another reason to be proud of Australia’s craft spirits culture.
Drink This: The Australian Summer Cup, a tasty Aussie twist on a Summer Cup made with home-grown gin, vermouth and crème de cassis, topped with seasonal fruit.
Stolen Spiced Rum
Inspired by ‘Coffee and Cigarettes,’ the series of short films from Jim Jarmusch, Stolen is an independent and innovative rum company founded in New Zealand. The holidays practically demand spiced booze, and Stolen Spiced Rum delivers.
Drink This: The Stolen Collins, made with Stolen Spiced Rum, lemon juice, simple syrup and club soda. Simply combine in a glass and stir.
Henney’s Dry Cider
Mike Henney began making cider as a hobby in 1996. Today the business has blown up, but is still run by Mike himself in conjunction with a few key collaborators. Try Henney’s most popular product, the Dry Cider – a bittersweet sip with just the right mix of sweet and spice.
Drink This: The Young Buck, which mixes semi-dry sparking cider with ginger beer for a cocktail that is flavourful but not overly alcoholic – in case you’re having Christmas dinner with the future in-laws and can’t risk any embarrassing accidents.
Belvedere is certainly no undiscovered treasure, but it’s one of the world’s biggest vodkas for a reason. All Polish vodka is made 100% on Polish soil, with locally-sourced raw ingredients. Belvedere uses Dankowskie Rye from the Mazovian plains of Poland and water from its own proprietary wells to create its legendary luxury vodka.
Drink This: The Jack Horner, a tasty blackberry, cinnamon and egg white concoction that gives you a chance to show off your muddling skills. Girlfriends will love it.
Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Reposado Tequila
Milagro means ‘miracle’ in Spanish, and that’s exactly how you’ll describe this tequila after you take a sip. The company was founded by two friends from Mexico City and now makes some of the most exquisite tequilas around. We recommend the Select Barrel Reserve Reposado, made from hand-selected 100% blue agave.
Drink This: The Mayan Mule, a fresh twist on the classic Moscow version. Eat your heart out, Putin. We’ve moved on to warmer, more tequila-filled pastures.
Borsao Tocado Grenache Blend
The Grenache grape is one of the most popular red wine varieties in the world. It ripens late, making the hot, dry conditions of Spain, where it probably originated, ideal. Borsao’s Tocado Grenache Blend is a top choice both inside and out, thanks to its slick vintage film poster-style label.
Drink This: A Borsao sangria, which promises a maximum level of impressing your friends with a minimum level of mixological know-how.
Hennessy VS Cognac
Inspired by a decorative handle on his office window, Maurice Hennessy created the star symbol that classifies his Cognacs back in 1856. Today that 3-Star Cognac is better known as Hennessy VS, and you’ll definitely want to add it to your Christmas drinking list.
Drink This: The Egg Nog Cocktail, which is exactly what it sounds like. Three steps, gents: make egg nog, add brandy, enjoy.
The name says it all: Aperol is the perfect (and oh-so-orange) aperitif. Its unique taste comes from a secret recipe that’s never been changed, with infusions of selected ingredients including bitter and sweet oranges, and a handful of herbs and roots in careful proportions.
Drink This: The Aperol Spritz, a classic cocktail composed of Aperol, Prosecco and a splash of soda.