After that huge winter storm that hit much of the GTA earlier this week, the desire to hit the slopes for a skiing or snowboarding trip is real! One of the best parts of winter is getting to take part in fun winter activities like these, and the best part of that is the aprés-ski at the ski lodge. Anyone can tell you that there’s no satisfaction quite like stepping into a heated lodge after a long day on the mountains; hearing the crackling fire and indulging in comfort food like poutine and grilled cheese sandwiches. But of course, we can’t forget the drinks! We’ve gathered our list of aprés-ski crowd pleasing cocktails that are perfect to sip on after a day well spent on the slopes.
Winter Rosé Sangria
Who said sangria was only for summer? This wintery rosé sangria couldn’t be more perfect and is filled with apple cider, cranberry juice, cranberry cinnamon simple syrup, orange liquor, apples, oranges, and cinnamon sticks! It is absolutely delicious, even down to all of the boozy soaked fruit! If you wanted to make this ahead of time, say the morning of or the night before you hit the slopes for the day, you absolutely can. The longer it has to sit, the better the sangria gets. At the least, we recommend making it 2 to 4 hours before you plan on serving it and keeping it in the fridge to chill and for the flavours to mix-- if you can wait that long, that is! The Private Reserve Rosé 2017 from The Wine Shops has an amazingly smooth finish and has wonderful flavours of red berries and cherries throughout, which really pairs well with all the ingredients in this sangria. The subtle notes of red berry, currant and pomegranate also go hand in hand with some orange slices that complement the wine.
For the sangria
- 1 bottle rosé
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cup cranberry juice (unsweetened)
- ⅓ cup Grand Marnier
- Cranberry cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 1 orange, sliced, plus extra for garnish
- 3 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish
For the cranberry cinnamon simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 cinnamon sticks
For the sugared cranberries
- 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries
- ½ cup water
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, divided
Cranberry Cinnamon Simple Syrup Start with making the cranberry cinnamon simple syrup by bringing water, sugar, cranberries, and cinnamon sticks to a boil. Boil the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes until the cranberries begin to burst and the mixture turns into a deep red colour. Use a fine mesh strainer and strain into a bowl to set aside to cool. Remove the cranberries and cinnamon sticks and discard. Sangria In a large pitcher, combine the rosé, apple cider, cranberry juice, Grand Marnier, cooled cranberry cinnamon simple syrup, fresh cranberries, apple slices, orange slices, and cinnamon sticks. Put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 to 4 hours or until ready to serve. Sugared Cranberries Bring water and ½ cup of sugar to a boil. Once it’s boiling, stir the mixture until it dissolves (30 seconds). Remove from heat and add in cranberries. Stir until they are completely coated and transfer to a wire rack to dry. Dry them for an hour and roll them in leftover sugar. Transfer them back to the cooling rack and let them dry for another hour. Once it’s serving time, fill glasses with crushed ice and pour sangria. Use extra orange and apple slices, sugared cranberries, and a cinnamon stick to garnish.
Winter Mulled Rosé
If you’re looking for an excuse to keep drinking rosé all through the winter season, look no further (who needs an excuse, anyway)? Warming and fragrant, put a new spin on your classic red-wine based mulled wine and try this one with a rosé base instead.
This drink recipe is pretty simple because in a way, mulled wine is basically winter sangria. It’s warm, cozy, and has all the fruit in it too! Everything basically gets dumped into a pot and you simply let it simmer for a few hours (or if you have all day, use a slow cooker). In the meantime, shiny up your skis or snowboards and hit the slopes before returning home to an incredible winter cocktail that will warm you right up.
- 1 bottle of Thirty Bench Small Lot Rosé 2017 from The Wine Shop
- ¼ cup elderflower liqueur
- ⅛ cup grenadine
- ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- ¼ cup fresh halved cranberries
- 1 orange, sliced (bonus points if it's a pink Cara Cara orange)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cloves
- 8 cardamom pods
- Fresh orange slices, cranberries, and pom seeds for garnish
- cinnamon stick and star anise for garnish
Add all ingredients to a pot and bring it to a simmer over medium high heat. Once it begins to simmer, turn the heat to low and let it slowly simmer for at least half an hour (the longer the better). Strain the cooked fruit from the mixture and add fresh garnish, or leave it and serve as is.
Now you’ve got a few recipes to try on your next upcoming ski (or snowboard) weekend! We guarantee these boozy concoctions will make the perfect drink to have in hand as you sit by the crackling fire as you unwind for the night. Let us know in the comments down below if you’ve given any of these recipes a try!