Spiced Canadian whisky Published on December 8, 2017

Photo by: Mark Holleron

It seems our renewed love of cocktails is still going strong, perhaps because there are so many creative mixologists in Ottawa crafting delicious drinks. Add your name to the list this holiday season by making a batch of spiced Canadian whisky – also known as rye – which you can bottle up and present as sure-to-be appreciated gifts.


  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Canadian whisky
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) seeds from green cardamom pods
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 1 strip lemon peel (1 x 2 inch / 2.5 x 5 cm)
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) whole cloves
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise


  • Put spices in a 2 cup /500 mL canning jar (or divide among two 1 cup / 250 mL) jars.
  • Pour whisky over spices; put lid on jar(s) and shake well to combine.
  • Let rest at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 7 days to infuse, shaking periodically to redistribute spices.
  • To package for gifting, strain the spiced whisky through cheesecloth or a coffee filter, discarding spices, into clear jars or bottles.

Holiday Spice Cocktail

  • Pour over ice in an old-fashioned (rocks) glass:
  • 2 ounces (60 mL) spiced whisky
  • 2 ounces (60 mL) cranberry juice
  • 3 ounces (90 mL) ginger ale
  • Garnish with a slice of orange and serve.


Paula Roy

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