The holiday season is upon us again, and with it, the choices abound as to what spirits to choose to celebrate the good times with friends, family and colleagues. Lucky for you, Pursuit’s got you covered, recommending the best of the best in beverages – everything from the cocktail, hard liquors to the greatest wines to toast the New Year with.
Here’s our list – and Happy Holidays!
J.P Wiser’s Canadian whiskies are known for being blended with exacting care and aged to perfection in white oak barrels. Their newest product is the ready to serve Manhattan cocktail – crafted with quality whisky, vermouth, and natural flavours, to match what you could get at the finest cocktail bars, but enjoy it from the comfort of your home. Simply pour over ice, stir, and garnish with a maraschino cherry for an easy drink that can be prepped in seconds.
Bearface whisky, is a new Canadian brand aged in three different oak barrels: ex-bourbon charred American Oak for seven years, French Oak for seven years, and Hungarian Oak. The spirit stood bravely against the best in the country, and won Best New Whisky as well as Gold Medal for Excellence at the recent Canadian Whisky Awards in Victoria, B.C. The prestigious Best New Whisky award was decided following a blind taste test of more than 100 Canadian whiskies by a panel of 10 independent judges. Just 5 months since its launch, the award is a strong endorsement of the brand’s achievement. Its notes include smooth vanilla, a rich Bordeaux wine, and dry fruit.
Hayman’s London Dry Gin
A perfect nose of juniper and fresh citrus, Hayman’s is the oldest gin still created in London proper. Unlike other London Dry Gins available, theirs is distilled to a 150 year old family recipe using a traditional two-day process. Steeping the long-standing family recipe of just ten botanicals in English wheat spirit for a full day, before distillation creates a fresh, bright and classically balanced gin with crisp citrus, subtle notes of exotic spice and the remarkable depth and complexity. Uniquely suited to the classic cocktails of the 19th and early 20th Century that were built around the style.
Hayman’s Sloe Gin
Sloe Gin is made from wild harvested English Sloe Berries steeped in classic London Dry Gin for three to four months. This is a classic girls’ night cocktail and can be served on its own or with sparkling wine. Not too sweet, not too tart, using gently steepwild harvested English Sloe berries. The result is a Sloe Gin of exceptional balance with plummy aromas, hints of almond and delicious fruity notes from the wild-foraged berries – all underpinned by a classic English Gin feel.
Aged for 10 years under the Caribbean sun, blended with caramelized vanilla, banana, pear and lemon, Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez is the luxurious rum to gift to those who want to sip and savour.
Treat yourself to the enticing butterscotch, caramel and sweet spice aromas and flavours which are complemented by a rich creamy palate and a smooth finish. Aged for 8 years in American white oak barrels, this distinct rum is perfect for holiday fireside sipping.
Golden amber colour, aromas of spice, honey, vanilla and brown sugar, Bacardi Anejo is a versatile rum, great on its own or mixed in drinks.
Lohr Vineyards & Wines was founded five decades ago and still family-owned, established itself as one of the industry’s most respected wine brands, featuring award-winning Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Los Osos Merlot and the Arroyo Vista Chardonnay, and more. From their rich and diverse sustainably farmed estate fruit, J. Lohr crafts wine showcasing bold, concentrated flavors and a vibrant sense of place.
This Cabernet is built each vintage on the notion of a Bordeaux blend, with soft and silky tannins crafted for immediate enjoyment. Aromas of lavender and clove join flavors of dark red fruit led by boysenberry, huckleberry, raspberry, black cherry and evident oak spice are joined with more traditional Knights Valley tones of black and blue fruits. Fine acidity and elegant structure lead to a touch of licorice and mocha, rounding out a lingering, pleasant finish.
Rodney Strong Estate Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc
Both Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits have rated this vintage 90 points in July, 2019. Fresh, bright and crisp, this Sauvignon Blanc is a wine of balance, richness and aromatic complexity. Leading with zesty citrus notes of grapefruit, Meyer lemon and a light grassiness, this wine gives way to more tropical fruit and melon characteristics. This classic Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc ends with clean, refreshing acidity. Pairs well with white lasagna, fresh crab, sea bass, green herbs, goat or feta cheese, vegetable quiche, oysters, baked chicken or turkey.
Rodney Strong 2016 Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Wine Spectator rated the Rodney Strong Estate Russian River Pinot Noir 91 points in March 2019 and Wine Enthusiast rated it 91 points in August 2019. With a soft and silky texture, on the palate dark cherry, cranberry and baking spice characteristics shine through the balance, acidity and a nice lingering finish. The medium bodied wine was aged for 14 months in small French oak barrels, which added a hint of toasty vanilla and spice complexity. Pairs well with pulled pork, charcuterie, duck, goat or mild blue cheese.