Feeling Festive?

Feeling Festive? Holiday Cocktails that Stir the Soul

For a holiday celebration, or at any time of the year, sometimes it is a cocktail that is called for to fill your glass.

Benson has a number of suggestions on this front thanks to our creative spirits clients — and we’ve added ideas for wine cocktails, too!

Keep it Simple: Pour Over Ice & Serve – Veuve du Vernay Ice Rosé SRP: $14.99
A quick and easy cocktail, this wine was crafted to be enjoyed over ice so pour away and enjoy! The Ice Rosé is slightly sweet with red fruit aromas to match its pink hue. From the bottle to the glass, this wine epitomizes a fun, flirty Parisian lifestyle. Enjoy on its own or in a more complex cocktail like the High-Altitude Airmail and Sparkling Vodka Gimlet, created by Beautiful Booze.

Spiced Pear Old Fashioned. PC: Nicolas Paris

Spiced Pear Old Fashioned

Feeling Festive
St. George Spirits Pear Brandy SRP: $40 and St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur SRP: $35
Pear brandy has been St. George’s flagship spirit since 1982. It is made from the most aromatic dry-farmed, organic Bartlett pears to be found, and about 30 pounds of fruit are packed into every 750ml bottle! The pear liqueur is both elegant and earthy, with all of the complexity of perfectly ripe Bartlett pear. Cinnamon and clove add a warm touch of spice.

Try these in a cocktail for the holidays, find recipes here and here. Pro tip – give the Spiced Pear Old Fashioned a whirl, featuring the Spice Pear Liqueur and St. George Spirits Breaking & Entering American Whiskey.


Whiskey cocktails to warm you up
The Ballervardier is equal parts Baller Single Malt Whiskey SRP: $50, Bruto Americano SRP: $30, and Dolin Sweet Vermouth. Baller is “a California take on the Japanese spin on Scotch whisky” and Bruto Americano brings a bracing dose of bitterness, a bright pop of citrus, and intriguing sylvan notes inspired by St. George’s master distiller Lance Winter’s formative experiences growing up in California in the 1970s.

Sage Advice

Our friends at Redwood Empire offer some Sage Advice by way of this cocktail featuring their Emerald Giant Rye SRP: $45, black walnut bitters, and muddled sage leaves.




How to Enjoy Your Coffee, Any Time of the Day or Night
St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur SRP: $30 was inspired by a love of New Orleans-style coffee, Yirgacheffe coffee beans provide bright berry and chocolate qualities complemented by chicory root.

One of the most delicious ways to enjoy it is in an Affogato. Other cocktail ideas for the liqueur here.

Morning Fog

For something with a little more caffeine kick, the team at Redwood Empire suggest Morning Fog, a delicious blend of their Pipe Dream Bourbon SRP: $45 and cold brew coffee. The salted maple whipped cream doesn’t hurt either! See this recipe and others on the product webpage.

Earth Day Everyday; Environmentally Conscious Wines and Spirits

While Earth Day and Arbor Day are celebrated in the spring, when it comes to drinking consciously, that is an everyday endeavor. From sustainable certifications to the backstories of turtles, butterflies and forests, here’s our guide to what your readers should drink in honor of Mother Earth. For more information (images and samples), contact account coordinator Alex Parker at

Hahn Family Wines, Sustainable Winegrowing is the Family’s Commitment…
Pioneers in the Santa Lucia Highlands, celebrating 40 years, Hahn Family Wines is a 100% solar-powered winery. It was also one of the first wineries in the state to have all its estate vineyards certified under the rigorous Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Program, a strict third-party program that sets the gold standard for sustainable certification. From falconry abatement to energy conservation, this independent, family-owned, and operated wine company focuses on growing and producing luxury and ultra-premium wines. Ask us about the newest release: 2019 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir ($30).

Redwood Empire Whiskey, Buy a Bottle; We’ll Plant a Tree…
New client Redwood Empire Whiskey is putting their money where their values are. Living and working among the giant redwoods is a constant reminder of what trees do for our planet’s environment and climate, so the Sonoma County distillery has partnered with Trees for the Future, an NGO responsible for planting over 189 million trees since 1989. So far, through the partnership, Redwood Empire Whiskey has planted more than 225,000 trees. Try one of Master Distiller Jeff Duckhorn’s bottlings, all priced at $44.99: Pipe Dream Bourbon Whiskey, Emerald Giant Rye Whiskey, or Lost Monarch Blend of Straight Whiskies (60% & 40% Bourbon). Or watch for the distillery’s first Bottled in Bond bottlings from the spring 2016 distilling season this fall.

Our Daily Wines, the #1-selling USDA Organic-certified wine…
For more than 30 years, USDA Organic Certified Our Daily Wines is the trusted source for organic, vegan and gluten free wines with no detectible sulfites. Being USDA Organic means that in addition to using organic grapes, the wines are produced in a certified organic winemaking facility and any ingredient used to make the wine – including yeast – is certified organic. Fun Fact: Each bottle of Our Daily Wine removes its weight worth of carbon from the air (Source: Our Daily Wine sources 300+ acres of USDA organic vineyards, each acre of USDA Organic farming removes an avg of 7,000lbs of carbon dioxide annually). Try Our Daily Cabernet Sauvignon ($10.99/750ml bottle) or cut down on your own carbon footprint with fewer trips to the store. The Our Daily 1.5L bag-in-box is available at popular wine retailers and stays fresh for up to four weeks! ($17.99).

Chateau Magnol, Practicing Sustainability Thanks to a Turtle…
While Barton & Guestier’s flagship property in Bordeaux, Chateau Magnol, is known for its commitment to sustainable development and environmental practices – both ISO 14001 certification and an HVE 3 label, some of the most demanding French certifications to hold in the wine industry, it was nothing more than a turtle that set them on this path. In the 1970s, when Barton & Guestier acquired the property, a highway construction project threatened the adjacent marshland, home to a turtle species whose population was also threatened. Eventually, the marsh was set up as a nature reserve and the highway project rejected. Since this victory, Chateau Magnol has not stopped working to protect its environment, so try the Chateau Magnol AOC Haut-Medoc 2016, SRP $29.99, and let’s hear it for the turtles!

Veuve du Vernay, Uses Organic Ink and Recycled Paper on its NEW Sparkling Brut Organic NV
Veuve du Vernay, the #1 French sparkling wine brand under $20 in the U.S., channeling classic Parisian lifestyle and joie de vivre, launched Veuve du Vernay Sparkling Organic NV (SRP $18.99), a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Ugni Blanc vinified with the Charmat Method. The Sparkling Brut Organic was created using organic and sustainable agricultural practices and is certified organic with the NOP3 designation from France, a certification recognized in the U.S. Check out the wine’s packaging as the label is made from recycled paper and the writing is done with organic ink.

Biltmore Winery, Celebrating A Legacy of Conservation and Forestry
Biltmore Winery, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina on George Vanderbilt’s 8,000-acre estate, strives for environmental stewardship and sustainability in winemaking. When it comes to grapes, nothing goes unused. All remaining parts -the skins, seeds and woody stems — are combined with recycled plants and other organic matter at a large compost site, making for a great fertilizer that is used across Biltmore Estate’s gardens as well as for field crops that feed wildlife on the estate. Other practices include milkweed plantings to support Monarch butterfly populations on their migration, solar panels on the estate to offset more than 20% of the energy needs, and cooking oil waste collected to recycle into biodiesel to powers vehicles used in the estate’s farming and agricultural (and viticulture) practices. But before all that, did you know that a large portion of what is now the Pisgah National Forest can be directly attributed to George Vanderbilt? With Frederick Law Olmstead designing the surrounding grounds, over 300 trees were planted and eventually the Biltmore Forest School was established, the first of its kind. Its pupils would go to be the first generation of American forestry professionals. Check out the Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Chardonnay (SRP $25) made from grapes grown in vineyards on the estate.

Graham Beck, Multi-Faceted Conservation Efforts in South Africa
Graham Beck, one of South Africa’s premier producers of Méthode Cap Classique wines, has established pioneering programs to nurture, protect and conserve the precious natural heritage of the Western Cape and Robertson Valley. Among some of the more noteworthy or unusual, a WWF Certification from the World Wildlife Fund, as they continue to protect over 39,000 acres of the unique Cape Floral Kingdom, designated as one of 34 global ecological hotspots and the smallest of only six floral kingdoms on Earth. Pop open the Brut or the Graham Beck Brut Rosé NV – SRP $20 or  Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2015 – SRP $30.