December 18, 2013 8:03 pm
Updated: December 19, 2013 3:46 pm

Edmonton’s official drinks of winter revealed

A few of Edmonton's winter signature drink contenders

Jennifer Crosby, Global News

EDMONTON – The winners of the city’s first-ever winter signature drink contest, one of Edmonton’s WinterCity initiatives, have been chosen.

Mayor Don Iveson announced the winning alcoholic and non-alcoholic creations after a live taste-off at Hotel MacDonald Tuesday evening.

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“Here ye, here ye,” he began. “Whereas Edmonton is a winter city of hearty souls who embrace the contrast of winter sunshine and darkness, fire and ice; and whereas winter in Edmonton is special, and to be celebrated; and whereas Edmontonians require a winter signature drink to serve at winter festivities and social gatherings inside and outside…

“I, Don Iveson, mayor of the city of Edmonton – your winter wonderland – do hereby proclaim the Rosemary Ginger Beer…and the Birkie Break the official drinks of winter in Edmonton for 2014.”

The Rosemary Ginger Beer was concocted by Jasper Place Culinary Arts high school students, while the Birkie Break was brewed up by Transcend Coffee and CBC.

The winners appeared on Global Edmonton‘s Morning News on Thursday. You can watch the interview below:

The recipes for the two winning winter drinks are featured below. To find out more about the other drinks, visit Winter City Edmonton’s Facebook page (just look for the “Drink Contest” tabs at the top; you’ll have to “like” the page to see the content, though).

Rosemary Ginger Beer (unofficial name: Could-be-alcoholic-Ginger Beer-but-it’s-not-because-we-are-a-high school)

glass + scoop of ice + shot of simple syrup + top up with ginger beer


  • 6.5 liters water
  • 8 inches ginger root
  • 1.5 lemons
  • pinch of cinnamon, cloves, fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 champagne yeast
  • 3 cups sugar

(the ginger & herbs are locally grown at Jasper Place High School)


  • Wash and sterilize all tools and bottles
  • Wash and thinly slice ginger root
  • Bring water, ginger, lemon juice and sugar to a boil.
  • Add cinnamon, clove and grated fresh nutmeg.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Dissolve yeast in room temperature mixture, and pour mixture into sterilized bottles.
  • Wait three days for carbonation to occur (wait longer if you would like your beverage to become alcoholic.)

Rosemary Syrup 

  • Bunch of fresh Rosemary
  • Simple Syrup – 200 grams
  • Sugar – 100 grams
  • water
  • Bring sugar and water to a boil
  • Let cool slightly then pour over fresh herbs.
  • Let the herbs sit in syrup for 24 hours.
  • Add a little lemon juice if needed to prevent recrystallization. Or, Mint Syrup (made with bunch of fresh mint, 200 grams of simple syrup,  100 grams of sugar, and water)

And, the Alcoholic winner: The Birkie Break, a coffee cocktail served warm

“Inspired by the need to get warmed mid-way through skiing the Birkebeiner”


  •  3 oz of double strength coffee
  • 35 grams per 8oz  La Joya
  • 1 oz of Zacapa, 23 year rum
  • 1 oz of spiced syrup
  • Mix 10 grams of cinnamon bark, 5 grams of green cardamon seeds, and 5 grams of allspice.
  • Let steep in 500 ml of water for 2 hours.
  • Strain liquid into a pot.
  • Add 2 Tbsps of fresh grated ginger with 10 Tbsps of dark molasses sugar.
  • Simmer mixture at low temp for 1 hour.
  • Cool and strain.
  • Makes a 5oz cocktail.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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