Valley Bounty: Festive Drinks

Festive Drinks

Local ciders, beers, wines and liqueur infusions make great gifts and good treats to serve to out-of-towners. Mulled ciders are easy to make in a crock pot with local apple cider, cinnamon, clove, and allspice. Serving punch? Remember to incorporate locally produced frozen fruit (blueberries are my favorite) into the mix. Going for holiday nog? Local eggs, cream, or ice cream are essentials—remember to only use raw eggs if you trust the source!

By Abby Getman of Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

Find apples, cordials, syrups, wine, mead, eggnog, cider and hard cider, and more at winter farmers’ markets or retailers that stock local products.


Try this punch recipe on Edible Pioneer Valley’s winter cover (flip through to page 3, or pick up the beautiful publication when you’re out and about!)

Mulled wine (glogg) was a holiday tradition I greatly enjoyed while living in Scandanavia. Try this recipe from the New York Times for your next big party!

Margaret Christie swears by this Wassail recipe from Jed Proujansky of Northfield in honor of the English custom of toasting the apple trees in order to ensure a good harvest for the next year’s cider. It has resulted in dozens of songs and many variations on the recipe for wassail.


Bug Hill Farm makes delicious cordials (and has recipes available on their site!), and Mapleline Farm makes eggnog.

On Valley Malt’s website, you’ll find a list of breweries using their regionally grown barley, malted in Hadley.

Old Friends Farm has ginger syrup now available at River Valley Market & Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market.

Don’t have any cordial, but do have home-canned peaches or pears? The syrupy juice from the canned fruit makes a good substitute for juice in drinks like a cosmopolitan—great advice from Margaret Christie!