Grand Traverse Distillery

Traverse City’s Top 6 Christmas Beverages

Christmas is just about a week away and plans are being made in excess. Whether you are going to visit your parents or your favorite aunt, no one wants to see you show up empty handed. Fear not, fellow Traverse Citians! There are plenty of drinkable, festive items to take along with you.

Egg Nog
For obvious reasons, this is my favorite holiday beverage. My bourbon of choice comes from Grand Traverse Distillery. This spirit is made with 70% Michigan corn, 20% Michigan Rye, and 10% malted barley to create an incredibly easy-to-drink nog accompaniment. Now for the richest, creamiest egg nog, Shetler Family Dairy of Kalkaska has no competition. Products from both Grand Traverse Distillery and Shetler Family Dairy can be found in many locations in Northern Michigan.

Cider with Rye Whiskey, compliments of Grand Traverse Distillery. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton
Cider with Rye Whiskey, compliments of Grand Traverse Distillery. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton

Spiced Cider
King Orchards in Kewadin (about 25 miles north of Traverse City) has an amazing apple cider. Heat that up and add a dash of Grand Traverse Distillery‘s Cherry Whiskey and you’ve got yourself a fruity, belly-warming beverage. If mixing the fruits is not your ideal situation, Grand Traverse also makes a a great rye whiskey that works wonderfully in the cider. No matter how you mix it, you are going to end up having a jolly Christmas.

Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton
Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton

Naughty and Nice
Chateau Chantal on Old Mission Peninsula makes a ridiculous amount of delicious wine. My favorites for the Holiday Season, however, are their Naughty and Nice reds. The Naughty is dry and designed to go with any meal, including ones featuring white meat. The Nice is sweet and exceptionally fruity. Not sure which one would appease the most people in your family? Get both. For a mere $12 per bottle, these wines are both tame enough to indulge anyone’s wine palate.

Witch’s Brew
I know, I know, Witch’s Brew sounds much more like a Halloween-inspired wine, but it is one of my favorite cold-weather wines, no matter which holiday it is. Leelanau Cellars has many seasonal wines, including the Winter White which are amazing. However, the Witch’s Brew is served warm, making it ideal for a cold, snowy Christmas morning (Or afternoon, if you insist upon waiting until noon to indulge). Witch’s Brew is made with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, making it smell just as good as it tastes. Bottles are only $5.99 and everyone will love it, so you might as well bring a whole case to Christmas dinner.

Bravo Zulu's Spiced Apple Ale. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton
Bravo Zulu’s Spiced Apple Ale. Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Hamilton

Spiced Apple Ale
Bravo Zulu Brewing in Williamsburg makes two of my favorite beers produced in Traverse City. One is the Acme Cherry Bomb, and the other is the Spiced Apple Ale. The Spiced Apple Ale is made with local apples from King Orchards and is crisp like a cider, yet maintains the beer flavor. At 3.8%, everyone can try a pint without becoming offensive. Growlers of this deliciousness are available and necessary.

The Naughty Girl Stout
This beer produced by Right Brain Brewery is thick, chocolaty, and full of mint flavor. It pairs perfectly with holiday desserts or can serve as dessert itself. Growlers of the Naughty Girl Stout are a perfect Christmas gift.

These are just a few of my favorite holiday beverages that are available in Traverse City. What do you like bringing to Christmas dinner?

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