Thank you for joining us for our 12 Nights of Cocktails Calendar for 2022! Click on the number for each day as you go through the calendar to reveal details on what’s inside, along with recipe ideas and more. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, and from all of us at Vine Arts we are wishing you a very Happy Holidays!

Burwood x Phil & Sebastien Espresso Martini

What better way to kick off 12 nights of cocktails than with a little kick…in the form of a delicious, ready to rock Espresso Martini made in collaboration between two great Calgary companies – Burwood Distilling and Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters. This collaborative effort combines Burwood’s vodka paired with Phil & Sebastian coffee, with a touch of sweetness added for balance. The Espresso Martini has made a massive comeback in the last year, so we thought this was an appropriate way to start your 12 days off right. As a bonus, a portion of proceeds go to support The Magic of Christmas, a great local charity providing gifts to families in need this holiday season.

To make your Espresso Martini, first shake up the bottle of pre-made martini. Then pour 2 ounces into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled, 10 – 15 seconds, and strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with a few expresso beans (optional), and enjoy!

Amrut Old Port Deluxe Rum

We thought rum was an appropriate spirit to have on hand during the holiday season, and this unique bottling from Amrut will give a fun twist to your holiday libations. The Old Port Rum was the first product ever produced by Amrut, who have become known as one of the top distilleries in India today. Amrut is based in Bangalore, India, and has won critical acclaim for their single malt whiskies in recent years, which have won several awards and competitions against the best examples from Scotland and beyond.

India has been producing a form of rum since 300 BC, which is incredible! Old Port Rum is made from 100% Indian-sourced sugar cane and is aged in a combination of ex-whisky barrels and new oak. This rum is perfect for using in your holiday eggnog or Dark n’ Stormy cocktails. Watch for some additional uses for this rum coming later in this calendar as well = )

Sugar Water Spiced Yam Yam Syrup

This craft syrup was made by our friends at Sugar Water Bar, a great Calgary-based company offering fun cocktail events and ingredients. This syrup was made with the holiday season in mind, combining the rich and earthy flavour of yams with a combination of spices including ginger and cinnamon along with honey for added texture. Shake well before using and keep this in the fridge after opening.  Try this “unsimple” syrup in the following cocktails:

Rum Yam Yum Yum

  • 2 oz Amrut Old Port Rum (or other dark rum)
  • 3/4 oz Spiced Yam Yam Syrup
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds until chilled. Dump into a double rocks or wine glass. Top with ice and enjoy!

Yam Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz Bourbon or Rye Whiskey
  • 1/4 – 1/2 oz Spiced Yam Syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange peel (for garnish)

Combine whiskey, yam syrup and bitters in a rocks glass. Stir to combine. Fill with ice. Stir again to chill. Express an orange peel over the glass, and add the orange peel for garnish. Enjoy!

*Pro tip – you can also add this Yam Syrup to any recipe that calls for simple syrup to give it a holiday kick! You can also try adding this to your tea or to your holiday latte for extra flavour

Field Notes Sweet Pea Garden Amaro

The Sweet Pea Amaro is a totally unique product created right here in Alberta! The base for this unique bitter liqueur is made from distilled Alberta field peas infused with botanicals, flowers, herbs and roots from across the prairies. The result is an earthy, fresh and totally unique experience.

This is a naturally made product, so we recommend shaking it before serving to integrate the sediment. Here are a couple of fun ways to enjoy the Sweet Pea Garden Amaro:

On the rocks

Try this as a classic digestif after dinner by pouring Sweet Pea Garden Amaro over ice, stirring to chill and enjoy!

Sweet Pea Spritz

  • 3 oz Prosecco or Sparkling Wine
  • 2 oz Don’t Call me Sweet Pea Amaro
  • 1 oz Soda Water
  • Rosemary Sprig & Lemon Wedge for Garnish

Start with a large wine glass filled with ice. Add sparkling wine and Sweet Pea Amaro. Top with soda water, and stir to combine. Garnish with an orange slice and rosemary sprig and enjoy!

Negroni Verde

This recipe is courtesy of Faaiza from Field Notes and provides a unique take on the classic!

  • 1 oz Sweet Pea Amaro
  • 1 oz Gin
  • 1 oz Vermouth Blanc (also called Bianco or Blanco Vermouth)

Add all ingredients to a large rocks glass. Stir to combine. Add ice, and stir again to chill. Garnish with an orange slice or lemon peel, and enjoy!

We hope you enjoy this unique Alberta liqueur!

BG Reynold’s Lush Grenadine

BG Reynolds is based out of Portland, Oregon, and is one of the top producers of craft cocktail spirits in North America!

Their Lush Grenadine is a brighter, fresher take on the classic grenadine syrup using hibiscus for extra aromatics and lift! Grenadine may have gotten a bad rap over the years, but it is making a big comeback lately with higher-quality options becoming available. Here are some cocktail ideas to us this lush grenadine:

Tabu Kapu

This recipe was supplied by BG Reynolds and can also help make use of your Old Port Rum!

  • 2 oz Dark Rum
  • 25 oz BG Reynold’s Lush Grenadine
  • 25 oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Lime Juice
  • 1 oz Grapefruit Juice
  • 1 oz Orange Juice
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into a tiki mug or rocks glass. Fill with ice, garnish with a speared cocktail charry and orange wedge. Enjoy!

The Scofflaw Cocktail

This classic cocktail takes its name from a term given to those who continued to enjoy spirits throughout prohibition despite the regulations. While this drink has an American reference, it was actually created at Harry’s  . This whiskey-based cocktail is perfectly poised, with dry vermouth and fresh lime juice adding acidity and freshness, with the grenadine adding bright fruit notes and a vibrant colour. As with many true classics, there are several iterations on the market, so feel free to experiment with the dimensions to find your perfect version.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 5 oz Whiskey (Bourbon or Rye)
  • 1 oz Dry Vermouth
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Grenadine
  • Orange peel for garnish

Combine the whiskey, dry vermouth, lemon juice and grenadine in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to combine. Strain into a coupe glass, garnish with an orange peel and enjoy!

El Guapo Crawfish Boil Bitters

If you’re like us, the occasional Caesar or Bloody Mary can be just the ticket for a Sunday brunch during the holidays, and we’ve included these incredibly unique bitters to help kick up your cocktail a notch! These bitters are aromatic and flavourful with a small kick of heat and are intended to capture the flavours of a traditional Cajun boil with notes of clove, anise, allspice, pepper, onion, garlic and bay leaf. These bitters are hand crafted in New Orleans, and appear on many expert’s lists for the best bitters in North America. We hope you enjoy this unique product! Here are some ideas for using it:

  • Add a few drops to your favourite Caesar or Bloody Mary recipe.
  • Try this in a dirty martini to add some extra kick.
  • Use in a classic Sazerac cocktail to amp up the New Orleans flair.

If you like Caesars and Bloody Marys, try this version for something a little different:

The Bloody Maria

This riff on the classic brunch favourite uses Tequila instead of Vodka for a unique experience! Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 oz Tequila or Mezcal
  • 4 oz Tomato Juice
  • 1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Horseradish
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 dashes Tobasco
  • 2 dashes Tapatio Hot Sauce (if you like a little extra heat)
  • 1 pinch Celery Salt
  • 1 pinch Ground Black Pepper

Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Dump into a pint glass (rimmed with salt if you’d like!), garnish with a lemon wedge and your favourite Caesar / Bloody Mary garnish, and enjoy!

Maker’s Mark Kentucky Straight Bourbon

You’ll find that this classic Kentucky Straight Bourbon will come in handy with future items in this calendar!

Maker’s Mark is one of the most iconic Bourbons around – in fact the distillery is designated as a National Historic Landmark. The Maker’s Mark recipe features soft winter wheat in place of the rye commonly found in most Bourbon mashbills with the goal of creating a softer, smoother style of Bourbon. Maker’s Mark is also one of the only distilleries to rotate their barrels throughout the warehouse as they age to expose them to different micro-climates throughout the levels of the warehouse (known as a rickhouse). This classic Bourbonis delicious on its own or on the rocks, and is also amazing in cocktails. Just make sure you save some for the days ahead.

Proof Holiday Old Fashioned Syrup

Our friends at Proof Cocktail Bar created this delicious syrup to easily craft a Holiday Old Fashioned cocktail with warm flavours of cinnamon, clove, allspice, nutmeg and ginger giving a burst of warm holiday flavour. They even included the bitters in the syrup to make your life even easier!

Just add 2 oz of Bourbon and 1/2 an oz of Holiday Old Fashioned syrup to a mixing glass with ice and stir for 10 – 15 seconds to chill. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass, garnish with an orange peel, and enjoy! If you’re comfy in your favourite holiday chair and don’t want the extra work, just add the Bourbon and Holiday Old Fashioned Syrup to a large rocks glass with ice. Stir until chilled and you’re all set.

For best results shake the syrup before use and refrigerate after opening.

Ms. Better’s Banana Bergamot Bitters

Vancouver-based Ms. Better’s Bitters has become one of our favourite lines of cocktail bitters and is used by top bartenders across North America! Their bitters are prized for the unique combination of ingredients they use and vibrant flavours they capture. When we saw they had just released a brand new flavour, we had to jump on it!

When speaking to Sam, one part of the father / daughter team that created Ms. Better’s, she told me she thought this was the best flavour they had ever created. The recipe features caramelized fresh banana with rich umami and fragrant Bergamot citrus for balance.

These bitters have a wide application and can be used in a variety of cocktails. This plays particularly well with rum and whisky but would also work with a wide range of other spirits. Ms. Better’s recommends adding a few drops to your next Zombie, Mai Tai, Caipirinha or Old Fashioned cocktail. It would also be great in a classic Daiquiri, or would be a fun addition to a classic rum & eggnog.We hope you have fun experimenting with this unique new bitter!

Giffard Guignolet Cherry Liqueur

This delicious aperitif is made using the traditional method of macerating Montmorency griottes cherries in alcohol along with darker, sweeter cherries. This recipe dates back to the 17th century in Angers, France. It is aromatic and refreshing, and at only 16% alcohol it is a great option for an aperitif. Here are some additional notes from Giffard on the Guignolet:

“Born in Angers in the 17th century at the Couvent de la Fidélité where the Benedictines macerated cherries in eau de vie, particularly the “petite guigne” which gave its name to the Guignolet. After the Revolution, the relay was taken over by the corporation of confectioners-liquorists and apothecaries, and the manufacture of Guignolet was more widely developed in the 19th century by the liquorists of the region.
This is how Emile Giffard, an Angevin pharmacist who became a liqueur maker in 1885 with the creation of the Menthe-Pastille, produced the GUIGNOLET D’ANGERS.

This is a delicious option for after dinner – keep a bottle chilled in the fridge and serve over ice. Here are a couple of other ideas to play around with:

Chéri Cherry

  • 25 oz Guignolet d’Angers
  • 5 oz Gin
  • 4 oz Fever Tree Tonic Water (adjust quantity to taste)

Add all ingredients to large wine glass or other glass with ice. Stir to combine. Enjoy!

Whisky Cherry Sour

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • 1/2 oz Guignolet d’Angers
  • 3/4 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 oz Simple Syrup
  • 1 Egg White (you can leave this out if you prefer, but it adds a great texture)

Add all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a cherry and enjoy!

Willibald Gingerbread Gin

Our friends at Willibald produce some outstanding spirits, seltzers and beer! We were lucky enough to be the only ones in Alberta to get this lovely holiday gin, and we think it’s a great addition to the calendar.

Willibald is a farm distillery in Ayr, Ontario. They created this gin with a classic blend of gin botanicals along with warm flavours of cinnamon, clove and ginger. They then add a touch of sweetness to accentuate the holiday flavours creating a versatile spirit to sip over the holidays.

When I asked Cam, owner of Willibald, what his favourite use for the Gingerbread Gin is he said he loves adding it to hot apple cider to make delicious and easy holiday beverage. He also loves it to create a Holiday Mule by using 2 oz of Gingerbread Gin in a mule mug topped with ginger beer (Fentimens or Fever Tree are great options) garnished with a cinnamon stick if you’re feeling fancy. Feel free to experiment by substituting this in other classic gin cocktails, and please share with us if you have any winners.

Cocktail Concierge Chai Negroni

For the last day of our calendar, we wanted to make your life easy with this outstanding bottled cocktail from the Cocktail Concierge! The Cocktail Concierge Chai Negroni is made from a blend of Indian chain infused gin, premium Italian bitters, sweet vermouth – which are blended and then barrel-aged to add extra depth and complexity. Cocktail Concierge takes their drinks seriously, and they even made their own Chai Masala by combining pure Indian Assam tea leaves with organic cinnamon, ginger, cardamom & pink peppercorns…now that’s dedication.

JD Darnes, the brains behind Cocktail Concierge, is a world-class bartender who has travelled the globe working at top bars including at the Savoy Hotel in London. He wanted to create a line of high-end bottled cocktails that could be served in top hotels and bars, and also enjoyed at home.

To enjoy this Chai Negroni, keep it in the fridge until chilled. Shake before opening and pour over a single large ice cube in your favourite rocks glass. Then just sit back, sip and enjoy!