The Spirit of the Season: Our 8 Favorite Holiday Beverages

Are you serving local this holiday season? Michigan is home to an incredible array of dedicated distillers, mead makers and more that deserve a place of pride at your bar. Check out these bar upgrades to impress your guests.

For Winter flavor, Ann Arbor Distilling Company’s Arbor Winter Gin

No need to think about how to create Winter flavor for cocktails when this gin does it for you! Fresh Norwegian Spruce needles, peppermint, cacao nibs, cloves, sweet orange, vanilla bean and rosemary are just a few of the botanicals of this seasonal gin made with 100% locally grown Michigan grain. Available across the state, ask any licensed spirits retailer to source it for you! Learn more on their website

For a unique mixer, Fruitbelt Fruit Tonic

Sweetened with a drop of honey, enlivened with their ‘Orchard Bitters’ with aronia berries, chicory, dandelion, propolis, and half a dozen heirloom apple varieties, these sparkling fruit tonics blend the juice from tart apples and other varietals to create a unique, light and aromatic mixer. You can order directly from this woman-owned company out of Sawyer on their website

For the classic cocktail, Mammoth Distilling’s Northern Rye 

Hailing from Northern Michigan, Mammoth Northern Rye Whiskey is distilled from a mash bill of 91% rye and 9% barley, and matured in a combination of carefully selected new and second-fill casks. Perfect for classic cocktails like Manhattans and Sazeracs, this whiskey shares characteristics of Old World style spirits. Find out more on their website

For the twist on a classic, Grand Traverse Distillery’s Maple Finished Ole George Rye Whiskey

Aged for almost 6.5 years, the first in a series of limited release Ole George Rye Whiskeys is finished in maple syrup barrels, entering with notes of vanilla, pepper and spice to the maple barrel and leaving with sweet maple cream, caramel, leather, wintergreen and a sweet baking spice finish. The mild dissipating heat is perfect for cold winter nights or afternoons by the fire. This spirit is exclusively available at their Traverse City and Frankenmuth tasting rooms. Learn more on their website

For local floral flavor, St. Steve’s Cordials

Easily bring creative flavors to cocktails, hot teas and more! Made using ingredients from their West Michigan farm, St. Steve’s Cordials are available in flavors from elderflower to chamomile, or even pineapple sage. You can order a two-pack directly from their website

To get in the spirit(s), Bløm’s Christmas Mead

A carbonated, medium-sweet mead chock full of Michigan cranberries and ginger, this is the perfect addition to your fridge for special Christmas flavor. It’s bright, it’s juicy and it’s all kinds of festive. Learn more on their website

For the zero proof crowd, Casamara Club’s Amaro Leisure Sodas

Perfect for special occasions and daily enjoyment, these spritzy non-alcoholic takes on Italian amaro and aperitivo drinks taste like nothing you’ve had before. Not too sweet, herbal, and quaffable, Casamara Clubs sodas are a delightful refresher. Order their variety pack on their website!

For the morning after, Brewt’s Bloody Mary mixes

Perfect for Boxing Day breakfast cocktails, Brewt’s Double Pack of Bloody Mary and Bloody Caesar mixes gives your guests or family all they need for a refreshing brunch. Not only that, but the two-pack can be shipped with an adorable choice in tote bags! Order your Michigan-made mixes on their website.

What Michigan bottles are on your home bar?

Claire Butler is the Content Strategy Specialist for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at [email protected].

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