Monica’s Favorite Things: 2018 Holiday Beverage Guide

I’m rolling out my 2018 Holiday Guides in batches and will update links as each one is launched. This guide is all about beverages to buy, drink, and share. I’ve purchased products, some were sent to me to try, and I’ve tried some at special events. I have not been compensated for any product appearing on this list.

My holiday food guide can be found here.

Seattle Pickle Co.: Smitty’s Bloody Mary Mix

You’ve heard me talk about the fresh dill pickles from Seattle Pickle Co. but I’m also a fan of Smitty’s Bloody Mary Mix. I love a good bloody (or virgin mary) from time to time and this is one of my favorites! It’s got a “pop” of pepper and heat. The brine adds the kind of complexity I need in my life!

Price: $25 on the street or at retailers like Ken’s Market and Central Co-Op. Free shipping available for online orders!


Rachel’s Ginger Beer: White Peach Ginger Beer

I love a good ginger beer that has nice bite! Rachel’s Ginger Beer is made with water, lemons, organic sugar, and ginger. I’m a fan of the original but some of the other flavors have stolen my heart. White peach is pretty high up that list! I tend to drink it during winter because it reminds me of warmer days and often is a flavor that pairs well with holiday meals. I have a lot of people in my life that love interesting carbonated drinks. This is something they love and receiving a growler full of a crafted beverage is a treat!

Price: $29 for 64 ounces ($21 to refill) at Rachel’s locations.


Cedardale Orchards: Non-Alcoholic Cider

I remember driving by a big red barn off I-5 near Mt. Vernon with a big sign that said “Cider” for many years before my friend Cynthia got me to stop. Since then, I’ve regretted not stopping by Cedardale Orchards sooner. The cider is sweet and delicious but the experience of going to a unstaffed store based on the honor system will transport you to a different time.

Price: Buy by the gallon ($6), half gallon ($4), or drink ($2).


Tieton Cider Works: Sparkling Perry

In the fall, I had a chance to participate in the Washington Cider Week Grand Tasting. While there, I got to try different things outside my comfort zone. Tieton Cider Works had one of these products, called Sparkling Perry. I tend to lean towards sweeter alcoholic cider so this was a complete surprise to me! Tieton grows their own pears in their orchards and the only thing I love more than apple cider is pear cider! This drink is on the drier side and reminds me of champagne.

Price: $10.99 online or at authorized retailers.


Pike Brewing Company: IPA

I like IPAs and Pike Brewing Company has a great one! Citrus and malt are perfect for my beer drinking palate and pairs well with many snacks and foods. I recently got to celebrate Pike Brewing’s 29th Canniversary! Just look at this beautiful design!

Price: Varies by location.


Cascade Shrub Farm: Ginger Apple Shrub

I’m a fan of shrubs but they’re kind of an acquired taste. I recently tried Cascade shrubs at the Made In Washington Grand Reopening at Pike Place Market. I tend to drink my shrubs mixed with soda water but they make great cocktails as well. Ginger is a flavor that I lean into and the apple makes a perfect pairing!

Price: $25 for a 3-pack of 4-ounce bottles at Made In Washington Stores.


This concludes the first round of my 2018 Holiday Beverage Guide! Check back often for new additions. If you’re struggling for gift ideas, I recommend getting in on a tasting – wine, beer, spirits, etc. It’s a great way to choose gifts for others as well as yourself!


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