Happy Hour Holiday Gift Guide 2018
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We all have that one person that’s really hard to buy for. They have the latest and greatest of everything and their wish list is narrowed down to only a few items and we just can’t seem to pick what gift to get them.

Usually, that’s where we end up opting for a gift card or cash so that they can buy their gift of choice.

But if you’re wanting to switch it up this year and that hard-to-buy-for person in your life loves a good drink, then we can help you out. If not, well, perhaps check in with A&D Fresh Market or Eden. 

First on our list is the Skate Whisky. 

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This whisky is great for the hockey lover in your life. The name basically says it all, it’s Canadian whisky inside a bottle that’s shaped like a skate. So, once you’re done with the whisky inside, you can use the bottle for decoration year round either empty or by filling it back up with water and colouring for cool effect. 

As for the whisky itself, it’s described as spicy and oaky in flavour. 

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For the wine lover in your life, may we recommend the McMicheal Collection Group of Seven. This gift box comes with two bottles of wine, a cabernet merlot and a chardonnay. Included in the box is replicas of works of art from Canada’s famous “group of seven.” You’re also giving back as a portion of sales from the boxes go toward preserving the art collection. 

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Got a beer lover? Give them a growler! There’s nothing like letting someone explore the world of local craft beer, you can even get them started with a gift card of any amount to try some of the great local beers we always have on tap at Happy Hour. Growlers come in 32oz (about two beers) and 64oz (about four beers) and can be reused over and over. Just rinse them out with scorching hot water, we’ll take care of the rest. 

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Rum is so hot right now and the options are better than ever. One bottle that may way wow someone this holiday season is the Bacardi Reserva Limitada. This rum is a blend of Puerto Rican rums that are aged for 12 years in barrels under the Caribbean sun. Aging the rum for so long results in an incredibly smooth, easy drinking rum with notes of dried fruit and butterscotch. It’s great neat or on ice but can still be used for cocktails if you wish. 

Of course, these are just some ideas for that hard-to-buy-for person in your life, if none of these catch your eye, then come on in to the store and someone from the Happy Hour Crew would be pleased to help you out. 

Joel Gasson
A few hints for the perfect Holiday season dinner party
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There’s a lot to love about the holiday season. There’s a certain something in the air, people are generally happier (unless you’re trying to get in and out of a busy shopping centre parking lot) and for good reason. 

There’s no other time of year when we gather when friends and family for no other reason than just because. Throughout the year we gather for for birthdays, family occasions and so on. This time of year, we gather with friends, families, even co-workers to celebrate the season. 

While Christmas parties might be the most popular way to celebrate, there’s still nothing quite like an old fashioned dinner party. It’s generally more intimate and allows for great conversation, food, drink and a memorable evening. 

When planning a dinner party, one of the hardest things might be where to start. Well, good news! We’re here to help. 

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While everyone has their favourites, a dinner party is always a good time to try and force, I mean suggest, your guests try something different. There’s all kinds of different twists on the classic cocktails to fit the season. One that might be worth a try is this Apple Cider Old Fashioned. All you need is whisky, apple cider, bitters, apple slices and cinnamon sticks. 

Other ideas include adding flavours like cranberry, butterscotch or caramel to some of your favourite cocktails. Why not get creative and take a risk!?

Alright, you got a signature cocktail picked out? What next? The food! 

Our sister store A&D Fresh Market will be able to help you out no matter what you need. 

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The perfect start comes courtesy their deli manager Rhonda and her picturesque and delicious charcuterie boards filled with any kind of cheese, meat, fruits, and other snacks that you want. Just stop by the store and talk to her to see the endless possibilities.

Rhonda will be very happy to help you and can’t wait to get started on her next board, she’s a little crazy but we love her for it.

Be sure to ask Rhonda for dessert advice as well! 

For the main event, Tim and Sylvia in the meat department can get whatever you need. Thanks to a variety of cool toys, they can come up with something that will wow your guests. How about a marinated roast? No problem. Their vacuum tumbler can marinate anything with any flavours you want. 

Once all the fun is wrapping up, it’s time to make sure your guests have a safe ride home or a place to crash for the night. Offer to pay for cab rides or even ask your guests to spend the night if need be. If your guests have been drinking, make sure they don’t drive home. 

Joel Gasson
Grey Cup: our national, one of a kind, party
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Grey Cup week, there’s nothing else like in Canada. 

Heck, there’s nothing else like it in the world of sports. No where else do fans from across the country, dawning colours of their favourite teams to create a mosaic of fandom everywhere they go take over a city for five days. The game itself is basically secondary. 

In Saskatchewan, we might not get the full effect. When the big game is here, we tend to see a lot of green and perhaps not so much of everyone else. This province is so CFL crazy that the locals basically dominate the scene when the show makes it’s way here. 

If you haven’t travelled to a Grey Cup yet, then it should definitely be on your bucket list. I’ve been to three of them away from home now, and each time you’re left with nothing but good memories and usually some new friends along way. 

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This year, Edmonton played host to the 106th edition of the Grey Cup. Edmonton is one of the hubs of the CFL, so there’s no doubt that the week was going to be a good one. 

As usual, everywhere you go, be it bars, restaurants, team parties, fan events or even just walking down the street. You see people dressed in colours from across the league, walking together in unison. It was impossible to walk down Jasper Avenue and surrounding areas without seeing some kind of CFL merchandise. Even teams like Toronto and Montreal, who currently don’t have the most robust fanbases were represented. 

The heart of Grey Cup week remains the team parties. Spirit of Edmonton is basically always the headliner, especially in Edmonton, but Riderville, the Down East Kitchen Party and Stamps House remain as popular as ever. Add in the B.C Lions Den, R-Nation party and a Ti-Cats pub crawl, there’s always something different to check out every night. And yes, the party goes on every night. 

The team parties are what they are at this point. Plenty of drinks, some games, usually a few bands and all in all a good time. I would like to see these parties expand their drink list as it’s a lot of the same stuff at every party and the same stuff you find everywhere else. The usual favourites. That’s just me, though.

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As a craft beer nut, I enjoy exploring everywhere I go. While I would have liked to have had more time to get off the beaten trail, but other priorities and people generally wanting to hit the team parties got in the way. I did manage to find some time to head to Beer Revolution in the Oliver Square area of Edmonton. If you love beer, then this place is for you. The beer menus around the bar tell you when a beer was tapped and roughly how much is left. I thought that was really good. There’s a couple of locations in Calgary too, if you happen to be out that way. 

At the end of Grey Cup week, there’s always that weird feeling that it’s over. Like most football seasons, it’s just long enough to make it worth it, but short enough to leaving you wanting more. There’s nothing else like it. 

See you next year, Calgary. I can’t wait. 

Joel Gasson