This holiday season is all about shopping and supporting local.  

If you live in Ottawa or Canada’s Capital Region, you probably already know that it's a great place for any beer, wine, and spirits fan.

With tons of local breweries, distilleries, and wineries, Ottawa offers fun gift options to treat your fave home bartender. 

For those elsewhere in Canada, thanks to the wonders of online shopping, you can still snag some goodies for the drink connoisseurs in your life (or for yourself). 

Start checking off your holiday shopping list digitally or in-person itinerary with these seven unique present ideas.

1. Elevate Someone's Cocktail Game With Original Drink Mixes 

Why You Need To Get It: Sure, maybe you know someone who thinks they make a good cocktail, but the key is mixing alcohol with the right stuff.

They won't know what they've been missing until they try mixers (or "cordials") from Split Tree Cocktail Co.

The Ottawa-based company handcrafts small-batch, non-alcoholic cocktail and soda mixes, made with whole fresh ingredients, that are every home bartender's dream.

Split Tree has a cordial set for almost every spirit — browse them here. There's everything from Rhubarb & Elderflower and Ginger Vanilla to Lavender Lemon and even Cold-Brewed Coffee!

2. Give A Rum-Lover A Festive Version Of Their Fave Drink 

Why You Need To Get It: For something truly Canadian (that'll also make someone feel like they've been transported to a tropical place), the Leatherback Spiced Rum is a top choice.  

North of 7 is an Ottawa-based craft distillery that produces its own gin, vodka, whiskey and, of course, rum.

Leatherback Rum is a dark rum fermented from nothing but 100% molasses for an authentic rum taste. You won't find any caramel, vanilla, colouring, or other additives here. 

Their spiced version is flavoured with orange peels, cinnamon, cloves, real vanilla pods, and caramel, so it's got all the delicious festive notes you could want to enjoy by the fire this season.

3. Liven Up Your Latte With Vodkow Cream

Why You Need To Get It: Something about winter makes people crave cream liquor, whether to spice up a morning coffee or to live your best The Big Lebowski life with a tasty White Russian.

If you know someone who loves a new twist on an old favourite, support local with Dairy Distillery's lactose-free Vodkow Cream.

The distillery takes unused milk sugar from over 3,500 Ontario dairy farms and turns it into smooth spirits, reducing waste.

This is a good choice for the environmentalist on your list!

4. Spice Things Up With A Wine-Infused Hot Sauce 

Why You Need To Get It: A wine-based honey hot sauce? Yes, please!

Haico's Hot Sauce has the ideal gift for wine enthusiasts who also like it hot. 

Made with Soldier’s Pride white wine and honey (both from Smokie Ridge Vineyard), Heat and Honey is a tasty hot sauce with notes of jalapeno and dijon.

This Haico's Hot Sauce collab is sure to be your dad or sibling's new fave addition to every meal. 

5. Thrill Your Partner Every Day Of December With A Craft Holiday Beer Calendar

Why You Need To Get It: For the biggest hops fan you know, give the gift of experiencing 24 Ontario-made pints.

It's the third year that Nita Beer Company has released its Beer Calendar for craft beer lovers to sip their way from Ottawa to Hamilton, all from the comfort of their living room.

The prize for best gift-giving will definitely go to you.

6. Switch Up Your Mom's Hot Chocolate Habit With Chocolate Crème de Menthe

Why You Need To Get It: Chocolate and mint are the taste of the holidays.

Make it an adult hot chocolate with a nice splash of the limited-edition Chocolate Crème de menthe from Gatineau's Artist in Residence Distillerie.

Your mom can probably even find creative ways to incorporate this flavourful gem into baked seasonal treats.

7. Free Up Your Bestie's Hands With A Stylish Beer Bag 

Why You Need To Get It: You know that one friend of yours who's so into craft beer that they bring loads of their own basically anywhere they go? Well, this is for them.

Available in yellow or red, each beautifully handcrafted beer bag from Flora Hall Brewing is designed locally by James Michael Brooks and crew in Old Chelsea, Quebec.

These oversized bags feature leather accents plus sunproof and waterproof awning fabric — you know, to protect precious beer from all the elements.

Fill it with some Flora Hall craft beer and your bestie will be smiling ear to ear on Christmas Day. 

And that's how many people crossed off your shopping list?

Everyone loves a good present, especially when it's supporting local, so you'll be crowned the winner of giving the greatest gifts this season. 

When it's finally safe to travel again, don't forget to plan a weekend getaway to discover all that Ottawa has to offer!

For more details on all of the unique experiences available, check out the Ottawa Tourism website and follow them on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter

 
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