You know all about Niagara’s award-winning, world-class wineries, but did you know the region also has an emerging cocktail culture?
In addition to the classic hotspots where you can enjoy a drink, local wineries, cider houses and distilleries provide the perfect ingredient shopping list to help you craft your own creative, delicious cocktails at home.
For something a little different, why not plan a day exploring some of Lincoln’s best wineries and craft beverage producers, where you can find all the elements you need to craft your own signature artisan cocktail.
Start your tour at Lincoln County Cider, a boutique cider house specializing in small batch, low-impact natural ciders. Lincoln County Cider operates out of a renovated 1940s barn, taking advantage of its location in the Niagara fruit belt, including its own apple orchard. Using a traditional winemaking approach, Lincoln County Cider crafts each small batch with 100% Ontario apples from estate and local heritage fruit. Reserve a tasting and take home some of these unique limited release ciders.
Must buy: Golden Jubilee is a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Town of Lincoln. Made with heritage apples from 50-year old trees, Golden Jubilee is dry and crisp with tart citrus flavours. It boasts aromas of white lilac, green mango and tropical fruit. Fermented with Sauvignon Blanc yeast, minimally filtered and bottle conditioned, Golden Jubilee has a generous amount of fine bubbles making it great for celebrating special occasions.
Next on your cocktail tour should be the family-owned, organic Tawse Winery. A multiple Canadian Winery of the Year winner, Tawse combines the latest technology with traditional winemaking techniques to create its renowned Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir varieties. You may not know that Tawse also makes organic vodka, gin, vermouth and whisky. Its Spark Blend, sparkling wine is a combination of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, aged for 30 months.
Must buy: Tawse Dry Gin is crafted with 10 botanicals and is fresh and aromatic with citrus, floral and juniper notes. Pair it with Tawse Lavender Bitters in your new favourite cocktail. Made from a base of La Pressatura Riesling, of which botanicals have been steeped for a lengthy time to produce an intense, aromatic and bitter concoction, Tawse Lavender Bitters are certified organic and biodynamic.
Must try: Taste of Tawse Cocktail:
~ A favourite of mobile bartending service, The Mobile Mixer
- 1 oz Tawse Dry Gin
- ½ oz Tawse Vermouth
- ¼ oz KVAS Lavender Jasmine Simple Syrup
- ½ oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 dashes of Tawse Lavender Bitters
- A splash of Tawse Spark Blend
Preparation: Combine gin, vermouth, simple syrup, lemon juice and bitters over ice in cocktail shaker. Shake well, strain into coupe glass. Top off with Tawse Spark Blend. Garnish with lemon for extra spritz or lavender for a great visual.
Next, head to Jordan Village to enjoy its boutique shops, galleries, restaurants and of course, the Cave Spring Vineyard Winery Tasting Room. Over more than three decades, Cave Spring Vineyard has built a reputation for crafting elegant, cool-climate wines, selectively hand-harvesting at the ideal moment of ripeness for wines that embody richness and depth.
Must buy: Cave Spring Indian Summer Riesling, which originates from grapes grown in selected vineyards along the south shore of Lake Ontario in the Niagara Peninsula. Selectively hand-harvested and pressed in a semi-frozen state, these grapes deliver a sweet wine with an ideal balance of luscious fruit flavours and crisp acidity.
~ A local favourite for our friends at The Mobile Mixer
- 1 oz VQA Riesling or Vidal Icewine
- 1 oz vodka
- 1 oz freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1⁄2 oz lemon juice
- Cinnamon stick for garnish
Preparation: In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add VQA icewine, vodka, freshly squeezed orange juice, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Shake sharply and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
If you want to bring the best of Lincoln’s cocktail culture to you, at home or a special venue, The Mobile Mixer mobile bartending service serves up local wine, craft beer and specialty cocktails, as well as premium coffee and espresso beverages for weddings, events and private parties. With Mobile Mixer, the party always comes to you.
These spots are just some of what the Town of Lincoln has to offer. For more outstanding taste adventures, download our new WanderLost scavenger hunt and loyalty app. Share your adventures with us on social media using #wanderlostlinc.
Protecting the health and safety of yourself and others is very important. As the COVID-19 situation in Ontario continues to change, a minute or two of extra planning is an important step in ensuring safe adventures. This activity is adapted with personal and public health COVID-19 measures in mind. All participants must adhere to the current restrictions and guidelines for the Niagara Region found in the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 response framework, including physical distancing, wearing a mask or face covering, frequent handwashing and staying home when ill. Enjoy this activity in a small group (with members of the same household) and avoid large crowds. Have fun and be safe.