Today I finished up all my major Christmas shopping, now I only have a few little things to pick up to finish up gifts; humble-bragging for the win. I did a lot of online shopping this year and (admittedly) more of it ended up being for myself than for others. I always have the best intentions of spending frugally over the buying season but then the ‘I love giving’ feeling gets to me plus I get so tempted with all the sales and holiday products that I splurge on myself as well. Don’t tell my mother, she is a Christmas purest, never buy for yourself at this time of the year. I can hear her now…what if someone was going to surprise you with this, that or the other-thing you like? But I’m over here like ooohhaii can I get a fancy latte with that please…thanks.
I love adding a bit of the homemade into the season, and if I were more organized I would make all my gifts I give. Here’s the thing, making stuff on a deadline and making it perfect is wayyy stressful and often more expensive than just buying something within your budget that your peeps want. It’s a sad reality I learned the hard way. It doesn’t mean you can’t make fabulous homemade gifts because you totally can, but when you are as OCD as me, sometimes it better for everyone if you just shop. I do have baking and candy making planned out for the coming weeks for a few people I know would totally enjoy some sweet treats more than any product I could buy them. Pick your battles.
I feel like a mini-superhero today because this Christmas grouch even got the tree out of the basement and up (Grouch whispers…it only has 3 decorations on it due to the fact I have no clue where our decorations are packed and have no will to play jenga with my storage…. but it’s up!). I also may have written/signed about 50 cards 10 of which will hopefully be sent out in the mail tomorrow.
After this busy day I wanted to chill out with a holiday libation and found this curious addition to the NSLC. Bulwark’s brand cider is a local company that also produces Stutz and they are currently selling a limited edition winter cider which is the perfect thing to relax with after a trip to the mall.
The holiday version seems sweeter than their regular apple cider and I’m not sure if that is due to the mulling spices they use to flavour it, or just because they have intentionally made it less dry. I usually like a cider to be drier but the sweetness complements the spice well and really does bring on the holiday cheer. Because it is sweeter it tastes more apple-y and really reminds me of apple brandy.
The cider seemed less carbonated to me than its original version, but again I don’t mind, it tastes like a completely different product. As far as I know, you can only buy these in individual bottles (500mls) for under $5 a bottle. I chilled mine well before serving but you could serve this warm by gently heating it over the stove. Be careful not to bring to a boil otherwise the alcohol will evaporate. At 7% it has a nice kick and while I did enjoy this holiday beverage, one was definitely enough. Next up I think I’m going to try making a winter sangria with a buttery California chardonnay, this cider and loads of apples.
If you like sweeter drinks or just want to try a beer alternative, or even if you are just a huge cider fan this is definitely worth checking out. Get it while you can, as it won’t be around for long!