3 min

Naughty and ice cocktail guide

Six Toronto bars get festive with some tasty holiday drink ideas

F Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Here’s to alcohol, the rose-coloured glasses of life,” and during the holiday season, wouldn’t it be nice to have a sturdy pair? The most wonderful time of the year can be hectic and stressful, but it’s also a time of celebration and a great excuse to have a drink or 10. We asked bartenders at six of our favourite Toronto establishments to create a festive concoction. Drop in and try one out or start your own party at home.

Bartender and whipped-cream enthusiast Chris Catalan.


Cocktail name
You’re Nuts


  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Vanilla vodka
  • Chambord
  • Brewed coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate-covered coffee beans

Booze and coffee for the winter is the best thing ever.

How many do I need to drink before my pants come off?
Three will get the pants off; four will have you singing “Jingle Bells” on top of the bar.

Henhouse head honcho and bartender Bobby Valen.


Cocktail name
The Roncy


  • Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
  • Cold-pressed apple cider
  • Lemon juice
  • Cinnamon simple syrup
  • Rim with crushed salted pretzels
  • Garnish with a thin slice of apple and a lemon curl

This cocktail is inspired by a shot served in the old-school Polish bars on Roncesvalles Avenue back in the day. It was called a szarlotka — you have to scream it out before you shoot it.

How many do I need to drink before my pants come off?
They go down fast and they’re so easy, just like your last Grindr date. You will be feeling good after two and ready to do just about anything after four.

Server and cocktail creator Megan Foss and co-owner Heather MacKenzie.


Cocktail name
Ginger Beaver Martini


  • Butter Ripple Schnapps
  • Spiced rum
  • Black River organic cider
  • Rim with brown sugar and cinnamon
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick and candy cane
  • Serve it hot or cold: it just depends on how you like your Beaver

“My mom used to give us warm apple cider every Christmas Eve,” says Meagan. “So we tried to think of a drink that would remind us of that special tradition, and we came up with this yummy martini.”

How many do I need to drink before my pants come off?
Pants would fall off after only two of these because the sweetness really hits home.

Bar manager and cult-TV geek Patrick McKeegan.


Cocktail name
The Log Lady


  • Wild Turkey rye
  • Apple cider
  • Lemon juice
  • Winter syrup (cinnamon, clove, ginger, black pepper)
  • One egg white
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick (the log)

This drink is inspired by a character from Twin Peaks, which I was watching with friends while drinking cocktails. This is a quote from the Log Lady herself: “Behind all things are reasons. Reasons can never explain the absurd.”

How many do I need to drink before my pants come off?
You should always be ready to take your pants off at The Beaver!

Santa’s little helper Matt.


Cocktail name
Frost Bite


  • Absolut Vanilia
  • Malibu coconut rum
  • Blue Curaçao
  • Pineapple juice
  • Eggnog
  • Rim with coconut flakes
  • Garnish with a rosemary twig and three sugar-dusted cranberries on a stir stick

A take on the tropical-style cocktails you’d have at a beach resort. Eggnog gives it a seasonal twist while avoiding the “go to” candy-cane peppermint flavour. The sugar-dusted cranberries with the rosemary twig is a visually satisfying holiday treat.

How many do I need to drink before my pants come off?
Are we doing shots of tequila with it? Then I’d say five . . . yes, five (tequilas and cocktails).

Barman of our dreams Tom Exton.


Cocktail name
The Cure


  • Fresh cold-pressed juice: beetroot, granny smith apple, lemon and ginger
  • Tarragon
  • Shrub wildflower honey
  • White chestnut Bach floral remedy
  • Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • Victoria gin

This drink gives a euphoric feeling of well-being and calm: the gin gives you a warm sensation, while the beet cleans your blood and gives you stamina for the night to come.

How many do I need to drink before my pants come off?
Two drinks. Once the pants are off, prepare for a long night. Beets are shown to give you stamina during exercise. We’re winking with both eyes.

Photos by Jamo Best
Cheers to all the bars and their staff for coming up with the brilliant cocktails.