Eating holiday foods while sipping certain drinks can completely elevate the experience. And even if you’re not a wine connoisseur or a whisky aficionado, pairings are a fun way to turn a regular evening into a creative event at home.
There are just a few golden rules to follow. First, save your sweet wines to have with your sweet desserts. Second, salty and sweet is a combination everyone loves (salty foods and sweet fortified wines feel especially suited to the winter months). And third, of course, is to not take it all too seriously — just have fun!
JAK’s Beer Wine Spirits has so many unique products to get you in the festive spirit, and we have the perfect dessert pairings to go with them. Remember to leave some out for Santa.
Gingerbread porter and gingerbread cookies
Recommendation: Persephone Imperial Gingerbread Porter – $9.49
This seasonal beer is loaded with rich flavours of ginger spice, vanilla, and coffee. You can take off the ugly Christmas sweater for this one — it’ll have you feeling warm inside all on its own. This rich beer wants to be paired with something with a snap. Your homemade gingerbread house (or the gingerbread men that live inside) would be perfect.
Sherry and churros
Recommendation: Lustau East Indian Sherry – $32.99
Despite what its name might indicate, Lustau East Indian Sherry comes straight from Spain. This bottle is sweet and smooth with noteworthy flavours of roasted nuts, toffee, and fig. Pairing this with anything caramelized will enhance both, so why not stay in Spain? Enjoy with churros!
Port and truffles
Recommendation: Smith Woodhouse Late Bottled Vintage port 2004 – $39.99
Late bottled vintage ports are approachable and enjoyable, perfect for Christmas consuming. With rich notes of blackberries, peppery spice, prune, and raisins, this fortified wine matches with rich desserts with similar profiles. A buttery pecan tart with raisins and prunes would be tough to beat, though some decadent chocolate truffles couldn’t hurt, either.
Whisky and fruitcake or sticky toffee pudding
Recommendation: Muckle Flugga Speyside Whisky – $94.99
This whisky spirit is silky and smooth, and its barrelling in sherry casks only deepens the flavours in the final product. Baked pear, fruitcake, and honey notes shine through as if ideally distilled for the holiday season. Fruitcake makes a ton of sense here (see aforementioned tasting notes), but you can also enjoy Muckle Flugga Speyside alongside sticky toffee pudding.
Rum and sweet salted pretzels
Recommendation: Bumbu XO Rum – $69.99
You couldn’t go on a tropical vacation this winter, but you can have one in your glass. Warm spices and sweet flavours embody this rum, making it perfect for eating dessert fireside or beside the lights of the Christmas tree. Something sweet and a little salty would feel just right. A big bowl of chocolate- and caramel-covered salted pretzels and Bumbu XO Rum sounds so good it might just bring your snowman to life.
Amaretto and shortbread
Recommendation: Sons of Vancouver #82 Amaretto – $37.99
The #82 denotes the number of times it took Sons of Vancouver to perfect this delicious Amaretto, distilled right here in our city. Five is the total number of ingredients it takes them to make it. Hopefully it doesn’t take that many times to perfect your shortbread cookies, but there’s only five ingredients in those as well — and they pair brilliantly.
No matter what kind of sweet tooth you have, treat yourself this season to some holiday desserts — and even tastier spirits and wines to accompany them.
Explore more of the unique products available at JAK’s Beer Wine Spirits on their website.