Canadian sleigh ride cocktail

A warming and delicious cocktail!

Crisp nights and roaring fires are the perfect setting for warm-your-insides cocktails. While bourbon is a very popular drinks base these days, I often find Canadian or rye Whiskey to be even more beguiling. It boast a subtle yet distinctive flavour that can be enhanced in so many ways. Adding maple syrup makes this cocktail even more flag-wavingly proud. I also like to use whole berries from cranberry sauce as a garnish; while not quite as perfectly pretty as raw cranberries, they are softer and far more enjoyable to eat. They’re also a patriotic choice, given that Canada is the world’s second-largest producer of this tart red fruit! Don’t skip the dash or three of aromatic bitters – they add a wonderful complexity to the cocktail’s flavour.


  • 1 1/2 ounces (45 mL) Canadian or rye Whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce (15 mL) maple syrup
  • 1/4 ounce (7.5 mL) dry vermouth
  • dash or three of bitters
  • 3 – 5 whole cooked cranberries (from cranberry sauce) or other preferred garnish


  • Shake all ingredients together over ice for at least one minute to blend thoroughly. You don’t need a cocktail shaker to do this – simply use a canning jar with a tight fitting lid.
  • Strain into a cocktail glass which contains fresh ice.
  • Garnish as desired.

Makes one cocktail.

Note: If you’d like to make this drink your ‘signature cocktail’ for a party, you can prepare a larger batch ahead of time and refrigerate without ice in a glass pitcher. Pour over ice as needed.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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