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HOLIDAY CHEER T


Special Drinks Help Make a Party Memorable by Judith Fertig


his year, glass- es of choice holiday cheer


might help everyone feel jollier the morn- ing after, as well as during festive get- togethers. As party hosts or guests, we can stock or bring gluten-free bever- ages and organic spirits, wines, mixers and cocktails that avoid sugary syrups to help keep our “fa-


Musician Dave Matthews’ Dreaming Tree wines of


Sonoma County, California, tout lighter bottles for a smaller carbon footprint, labels made of 100 per- cent recycled paper and sustainably grown corks. He recently partnered with The Wilderness Society.


la-la” spirit going stronger and longer. Leave it to award-winning author A.J. Rathbun, a Seattle-based wine and spirits expert, to steer us away from ingredients that can turn naughty on those that are nice. He leads us off with some of his favorite beverages.


Organic Spirits In the category of organic spirits, Rath- bun likes Square One organic vodka, Casa Noble tequila and Juniper gin. “Also, if you can find their products,” he advises, “great organic and sustain- ably made spirit-makers from the state of Washington include Bainbridge Organic


Distillery, Side Track Distillery, Sound Spirits and the Woodinville Whis- key Company.”


Organic Wines


and Bubbly “Much like spirits,” Rathbun says, “you may have to do some research on wines and spar- kling wines, and then find the finest


organic options in your area.” Some good choices for organic wines include Nuova Cappelletta, from Italy’s Pied- mont region and Snoqualmie wines from Washington State. Also, the Or- ganic Wine Company of San Francisco imports a variety of organically pro- duced French Languedoc wines. For a sparkling wine, Rathbun suggests La Cantina Pizzolato’s prosecco, produced in Italy’s Vento region.


Organic and Low-Sugar Mixers


Keeping the artificial ingredients to a minimum in mixers is important, too. “I


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