7 Ways to Mix Up Holiday Cheer

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, a cocktail can help to make the season bright. And since travel is challenging right now, we hope to bring a little comfort and joy to you through these San Juan Islands-inspired recipes. They are our gift to you from the restaurants and resorts on Orcas Island, Lopez Island and San Juan Island, direct to your home.  Enjoy!

Here’s one way to guarantee yourself a white Christmas, the Lopez Islander peppermint white Russian. A local favorite and a holiday flair on a classic drink, this mix is the perfect blend of Kahlua, vodka, peppermint schnapps, and cream.  Enjoy this holiday cocktail along with imagining stunning views of Lopez Island’s Fisherman's Bay, but beware of the whiteout. It’s a smooth, creamy ride to Christmas bliss.


¾ oz Kahlúa

¾ oz Vodka

¾ oz Peppermint Schnapps

Half and half


Garnish with crushed candy canes and clear corn syrup


Fill an old-fashioned glass with ice (rimmed with crushed candy cane, if desired). Pour in Kahlúa, vodka and Peppermint Schnapps. Top off the glass with half and half to fill. 

To garnish: Lightly dip the edge of glass into corn syrup, then dip the glass into crushed candy canes to garnish. Finish with a candy cane stir stick.

Available to-go with food orders.

The weather outside is frightful, but this bourbon is so delightful! Enjoy Revel Stroke pecan whiskey, peanut butter (Downriggers makes their own peanut butter mix), brown sugar, nutmeg and honey, mixed to perfection.  As you enjoy this festive Downriggers drink, imagine you are watching the cheerfully-lit ferries arrive in Friday Harbor at night with their festive red and green running lights all aglow.


2 oz Roasted Pecan Infused Revel Stoke Whiskey

1 T Peanut Butter

1 tsp Honey

1 tsp Brown Sugar

Pinch of nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon


Shake well with ice, strain into a glass and top with whipped cream.

Available to-go with food orders.

In downtown Friday Harbor, Coho Restaurant is turning local island fruits into delicious holiday-inspired shrubs. This year, the Pear Smash cocktail features notes of ginger and cinnamon to spice up the sweet pear flavor. Add in a dash of lemon juice and top it off with Ghost Owl Whiskey from the Pacific Northwest’s Parliament Distillery - and voila! You've found your new favorite, perfectly balanced, holiday drink. 

The Pear Smash 

1 ½ oz housemade pear shrub 

1 ½  oz Ghost Owl Whiskey 

Juice of ½ a lemon 


  1. Prepare the lemon twist.
  2. Add one large ice cube or a few smaller cubes to a rocks glass.  Measure the pear shrub, whiskey, and lemon juice into the glass and stir well.
  3. Run the lemon twist around the mouth of the glass and then slip it into the drink.

Friday Harbor House is known for its exceptional cocktails, and this year's Shaken Egg Nog is no different. Sip this new favorite next to the fire and enjoy panoramic views of Friday Harbor. But you better watch out - this cocktail is so good, it might land you on the naughty list.


1 Pasteurized Raw Egg

1 TB + ¾ tsp. Brown Sugar

1/3 Cup Milk

¼ Cup Cream

¼ Cup Scotch, Brandy, Whiskey, or Rum

Pinch Ground Nutmeg

Pinch Ground Cinnamon

½ Pinch Ground Clove



In a cocktail shaker combine all the ingredients and shake vigorously 1-2 minutes until very well combined and frothy. Strain into glasses and sprinkle with nutmeg. 

*Friday Harbor House often makes an aged eggnog that takes months to mature. They like to use brandy with a splash of smoky scotch which makes it taste like you’re enjoying it next to a warm fire. Many cocktails are made with raw egg but using pasteurized eggs will help to prevent any foodborne illness.

Try out this fun, new cocktail recipe from San Juan Island Distillery. Whether it reminds you of San Juan Island's famous Pig War, or just your favorite breakfast treat, this "Christmas Pig" cocktail is sure to delight! But if mixed drinks aren't for you, try Westcott Bay Cider


2 oz Bacon infused apple brandy or bourbon

½ oz Chocolate liqueur 

½ oz Tangerine brandy

Dash of apple bitters


Serve over ice in an old-fashioned glass. All ingredients are available for purchased from the distillery’s online store.

Owner, Suzy Pingree, says it’s also easy to make your own bacon-infused liquor by adding bacon fat to your liquor of choice and then refrigerating and skimming off the fat. 

A double feature from Roche Harbor! Try out these favorite holiday drinks from the mixologists at San Juan Island's historic Roche Harbor Resort. Enjoy the Espresso Martini or the Whiskey Hot Toddy as you celebrate the holidays!

Espresso Martini 

1.5 oz Haiku vodka

 .5 oz Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur

 .5 oz Kahlua

 .5 oz Half and half

Shake well and pour into a glass mug, top with whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Whiskey Hot Toddy 

1.5 oz Bourbon 

1 tsp Honey

3 to 4 Drops bitters 

1/8 tsp Nutmeg 

6-8 oz Hot water

Mix ingredients into hot water, pour into a heat-proof glass, add cinnamon stick, and top with a lemon wheel.

Every year Rosario Resort & Spa on Orcas Island hosts The Festival of Trees fundraiser for local non-profits in its historic Moran Mansion lobby. This year they will forego the gathering but in honor of this island tradition, they’ve created a cocktail reminiscent of a walk in the forest. Picture yourself by a crackling fire in the arts and crafts style mansion bar, drink in hand. This wintery drink features Douglas Fir brandy, rosemary, and elderflower liqueur. Add in a bit of scotch, orange and lemon juice, and you might not be able to tell the forest for the trees. 


1.5 oz Scotch

.75 oz Elderflower Liqueur

.25 oz Douglas Fir Brandy

.25 oz Orange Juice

.25 ox Rosemary Simple Syrup

.5 oz Lemon Juice


Blend thoroughly and pour over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary or Douglas fir.

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