The holiday party circuit is already underway, and if you’re planning on playing hostess, you’ll want to arm yourself with a selection of festive & tasty libations to treat your guests to. For our holiday cocktail inspiration, we visited Grand Marnier’s Cordon Rouge Room in Vancouver and Calgary – a pop-up speakeasy shrouded in secrecy, where guests were treated to an evening of old-style glamour and freshly mixed drinks paired with delightful sweets. The locations remained unknown until just 48 hours before the event, and a password was required for entry, to ensure the full speakeasy experience.
Once inside, we were greeted by bartenders clad in red bow ties and suspenders, serving up one of the signature cocktails of the evening: the Grand Sidecar. This ended up being a crowd favourite, with a nice sweet and sour taste, featuring Grand Marnier’s signature orange flavor.
The waitresses, in true speakeasy style, were decked out in flapper attire. They served up three Grand Marnier-featured craft cocktails and select treats throughout the evening, and even shared a little bit of history behind the rare and exotic Grand Marnier oranges, which are sourced in the Caribbean. Meanwhile, musical entertainment Fleur Seule (anyone else in love with her whole look?) serenaded us with prohibition-era tunes.
Personally, we’ve been fans of Grand Marnier for years. The premium orange liqueur, made up of a blend of fine cognacs and distilled essence of tropical oranges, is a must-have for our holiday drinks. The orange flavour pairs so perfectly with cranberry – a staple flavour of the holiday season. But this year, we’re thinking of changing things up in favour of one of these newly minted Grand Marnier recipes we experienced at the Cordon Rouge Room. We think your holiday guests will love them too!
Three Style.ca-approved cocktails to serve your guests this holiday season:
The Grand Side Car
by Aaron Male
1.5 oz Grand Marnier
Pink Lemonade Tea Syrup
Dehydrated Lime Wheel
Shaken with ice and served in a coupe glass.
The Grand Nuage
1 oz Grand Marnier
0.5 oz Tequila
0.5 oz Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice
The Watch Over Me
by Grant Sweeney – BC
0.5 oz Grand Marnier
0.5 oz Wild Turkey
0.5 oz Lemon Juice
0.5 dash Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach Bitters
2 oz Sparkling Water
Add all ingredients minus sparkling water to shaker with ice. Shake hard, then add sparkling water before double straining into a flute glass.
Or if your guests prefer their Grand Marnier neat or on the rocks, you can always serve them Grand Marnier’s Cuvée du Centenaire as an extra special treat. It can also certainly make a great conversation piece, as this blend of refined cognacs was first introduced in 1927 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Grand Marnier’s founding. This bottle is a newly unveiled modern presentation of that classic packaging. The cognac blends found in this bottle are aged up to 25 years, resulting in a beautiful balance of smoothness and flavours.
Grand Marnier has also just announced a limited edition gift box for this year, which highlights the 1880 year (the year Cordon Rouge was created) on the box. This would make a great gift for any cocktail connoisseurs on your holiday shopping list. Or, take is as a special host/hostess gift to one of your holiday parties. The gift box is available for a limited time at Canadian liquor retailers.
Photos Courtesy of Grand Mariner
Britta is the founder of VancouverVogue.com, a fashion and beauty blog based out of Vancouver, Canada. Britta is a prominent member of the Vancouver fashion and beauty community, and is also a luxury and lifestyle brand PR specialist with White Rabbit Communications.