There’s a reason that many restaurants committed to serving up local or organic cuisine also specialize in serving water on the side. Coming up with local drinks to wash down a home-grown delicacy isn’t easy, especially when your restaurant promotes natural drinks like seasonal fruit juices that appear on the menu during warmer months and enter hibernation when things get frosty.

As you’re creating the menu for this year’s holiday rush, instead of serving up a merry glass of water, on the rocks, why not consider serving up some festive favourites instead (with a twist, of course.) Here are a few delicious holiday drinks courtesy of suppliers around Ontario who use 100% organic or locally produced ingredients:

Organic Eggnog from Organic Meadow:

Who doesn’t love the creamy, nutty taste of eggnog this time of year? The perfect way to warm things up, Premium Organic Egg Nog from Harmony Organic or 3.2% Organic Eggnog from Organic Meadow is now available for purchase until the end of December. Organic Meadow is a co-op working with farmers throughout Ontario to produce quality organic dairy products and more. Available in 1 litre Cartons, restaurants looking to order some organic eggnog can find a product request form online. Read more about Organic Meadows in our interview with Jennifer Hyde, Product Manager of the Co-op, found here!

Organic Meadow Eggnog ingredients include: Organic milk, organic sugar, organic whole eggs, natural flavour, organic sugar gum, carrageenan, salt, organic locust bean gum, natural colour, nutmeg, vitamin D3. *May contain vitamin A palmitate.

Organic Hot Chocolate made with Ontario milk:

After a long day walking outside in the brisk winter weather, a nice cup of hot chocolate is soothing for adults and children alike! While local cocoa isn’t an option (for obvious reasons), hot chocolate mixes that are certified organic and fair-trade are available from Canadian suppliers like Camino. Stir in a cup or two of organic Ontario milk (also available from Organic Meadows) and you and your customers will be on your way to a very happy holiday.

Sweet Apple Cider:

Fill your restaurant with the goodness of a freshly baked apple pie – or at least the smell of it– by combining 100% pure apple juice with organic cinnamon sticks to form the perfect apple cider this holiday season.  Order your sugar-free, preservative-free Ontario apple juice (no water added) directly from a local supplier like Algoma Orchards Ltd, Martin’s Family Fruit Farm or Delhaven Orchards Ltd. For a full directory of Ontario orchards, visit the Orange Pippin website.

Feeling extra festive? Give your customers a treat with sweet sparkling apple cider from County Cider Company & Estate Winery, made from pure Ontario apples, with no sugar added.

Mulled Wine:

Give your customers the experience of a real European Christmas market by offering them a glass of mulled wine, also known as “Glühwein”. To make your mulled wine more sustainable, try using an organic bottle of Bioflavia organic red wine, a product of Southbrook Vineyards located in the wine region of Niagara, Ontario. To complete the process, visit the Fairtrade Canada website, where you’ll find a recipe for mulled wine using 100% certified Fairtrade ingredients.

Have yourself a responsible, local and organic holiday season and spread joy through drink! Do you know of a local festive drink we might have missed? Leave your questions or comments below!

 image credit: pastryaffair