1 Ballyhoura Apple Farm’s Hot Friskey

This drink from Ballyhoura Apple Farm in Co Limerick is a game changer for anyone abstaining or cutting back from alcohol. It is indulgent, delicious and the perfect non-alcoholic solution to those who love a hot whiskey but can’t – for whatever reason – imbibe.

Ballyhoura Apple Farm's Hot Friskey.

Served hot, their ‘Hot Friskey’ is a unique blend of green tea, black pepper and seasonal spices with their award-winning Irish Apple Juice. If you’re hosting a party this Christmas, add it to a slow cooker or heat gently on the stove with some extra spices, like cinnamon sticks, and ladle into glass mugs.

SuperValu and ballyhouraapplefarm.com, €6

2 Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur

I’m not a huge fan of sweet drinks but sometimes an Irish cream over plenty of ice in front of a roaring fire just hits the spot. The first time I tasted Five Farms Irish Cream was in west Cork as a welcome drink at Inchydoney Resort. I was blown away by its smooth flavour and intense creaminess. It is made from fresh cream from five farms in west Cork and is produced within 48 hours of the cream being collected.

Combined with premium, triple distilled Irish whiskey, its flavour profile is bursting with butterscotch and vanilla tones. Five Farms has won numerous awards and accolades since its launch in 2018. Pictured is co-founder of Five Farms Irish Cream, Johnny Harte.

fivefarmsirishcream.com, €34.99

Whitefield Brewery have once again released their Christmas special, Yule Ól.

3 Whitefield Brewery Yule Ól

The idea of a special Christmas beer isn’t new, it actually goes back to pre-Christian times in Scandinavia where it was enjoyed for the winter solstice by the Norse people. After Christianity was introduced to the region, the winter solstice beer became one to be enjoyed for Christmas.

Whitefield Brewery have once again released their Christmas special, Yule Ól, which is a deeply flavoured beer made for savouring. It has a rich malty flavour with just the right amount of bitterness, for balance. I’d pair it with salted cashews, crisps or a savoury turkey pie.

whitefieldbrewery.ie, €3.69

Extra Stout is the first in Original 7’s ‘barrel aged series’ and is available in limited quantities.

4 Original 7 Beverage Co 07 Extra Stout

Cork city micro-brewery, Original 7 Beverage Co, recently launched its limited-edition Extra Stout aged in Jameson casks – the first in Original 7’s ‘barrel aged series’. It is available in limited quantities – only 1,000 bottles have been made for retail.

Brewed by Head Brewer, Páidí Scully, using Irish ale malt, flaked oats, malted wheat, roast barley, and dark crystal malts, this stout is full-bodied with notes of strong coffee and winter berry coupled with dark chocolate and coffee bean aromas. It has been matured for six months in six ex-bourbon Jameson whiskey casks, adding subtle undertones of caramel and a little spice.

This is a great beer to serve with an Irish farmhouse cheese board, or I would cheekily enjoy a glass with my sticky toffee pudding.

original7.ie, €29

Glendalough's Double Barrel whiskey has Christmassy aromas of rich dried fruits, citrus and warming spice.

Glendalough Distillery Double Barrel Whiskey

Named ‘Ireland Distillery of the Year’ in 2023 at the New York International Spirits Competition, Glendalough Distillery has had a great year.

Their Double Barrel whiskey is one I have already been enjoying in this holiday season, with its Christmassy aromas of rich dried fruits, citrus and warming spice. This single-grain craft Irish whiskey is matured in ex-bourbon barrels before being finished in select Oloroso casks from Montilla, Spain. It’s a crowd pleasing spirit and great to have on-hand for any holiday entertaining.

O’Briens Wines, Celtic Whiskey Shop and glendaloughdistillery.com, €37

You can expect a flavour profile of strawberry, passion fruit, almond, chocolate, hazelnut and even wine from Ponaire's 2023 Christmas coffee.

6 Ponaire Christmas Coffee

As a Tipperary woman, you will usually find Ponaire Coffee beans in my cupboard and this Christmas is no exception. Based in Newport, Co Tipperary, this small roastery has been in business since 2006. Christmas coffee blends come in different mediums – some add flavourings to the beans, like hazelnut or spice – but the best ones, in my opinion, take the natural flavours of the beans themselves (based on the terroir in which they are grown) to create something warming and festive.

Ponaire’s Christmas coffee for 2023 is from Colombia - this is as a result of two separate trips they made to coffee farms in Colombia this year. This coffee is grown in a high altitude area and is produced from old varieties such as Bourbon, Typica, Caturra, Castillo and Colombia, which are very rare today.

You can expect a flavour profile of strawberry, passion fruit, almond, chocolate, hazelnut and even wine from this Christmas coffee, which is produced by two cooperatives of indigenous coffee growers living and farming (a maximum of 4 hectares) in this region. By buying this coffee you are supporting small, family farms.

ponaire.ie, starting at €12.99

Wexbury Rose is Ireland's first vodka-based cream liqueur on the market.

7 Wexbury Rose Strawberry Cream

Looking to sip something a bit different in front of the Christmas tree this year? Wexbury Rose is Ireland’s first vodka-based cream liqueur and while the temperatures may be low outside, this delicious drink tastes like summer in a glass. That’s because Wexbury Rose is made with 100% Irish dairy, infused with sweet Wexford strawberries.

Created by entrepreneur Mark Kavanagh, who got his start selling Wexford strawberries on the roadside, Wexbury Rose is just sweet enough for an after-dinner tipple and is perfect served over plenty of ice.

wexbury.com, €28

*Please remember to drink responsibly. See drinkaware.ie for advice and support.

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