Christmas Cheers! The Best Holiday Drinks on the Beach

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The holidays are about more than the sights, sounds and smells. Yes the Christmas lights, holiday carols and the aroma of gingerbread cookies fresh from the oven are all familiar holiday rites that excite the senses, so why not enjoy some liquid refreshments to add to the spirit of the season?

North Beach guests don't have to go very far to find the ultimate in holiday-themed drinks. In addition to the on-site poolside cafe and 21 Main Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, which serve outstanding food to go with tasty beverages, North Beach is surrounded by great places to have a refreshing drink after a hectic day of shopping or a fun night out on the town.

For starters, walk into any bar on the Grand Strand and order up one of these holiday treats: The Christmas Cookie (a blend of Bailey's, Kahlua and Peppermint Schnapps) that tastes surprisingly like a Girl Scout Thin Mint; or the Peppermint Stick (White Creme de Cocao and Peppermint Schnapps) that just tastes like Christmas. For folks with fruitier taste buds, spice up some hot apple cider with a shot of bourbon, rum or even some Fireball, and stir it with a cinnamon stick for a little extra kick.

Of course, Christmastime and wintertime are great for hot drinks, especially coffees and cordials. Starbucks offers seasonal specials that include Carmel Brulee Latte, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha, Gingerbread and Egg Nog Lattes and the popular Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino. The nearby Boardwalk Coffee House, Canoli’s Café, Fresh Brewed Coffee House and Second Cup also serve non-alcoholic seasonal favorites, such as Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and Candy Cane Cappuccino.

For a stiffer coffee drink, visit Collector’s Café & Gallery and its European-style coffeehouse. Featuring a wide selection of international coffees spiked with the liquor of your choice, Collector’s doubles (or triples) as an art gallery and fine-dining restaurant so you can enjoy a nice dinner, great art and a nightcap of Irish coffee and a cordial. Other great places to enjoy dinner and a hot toddy for dessert are Villa Tuscanna, Sea Blue, and Eighty-Eights at Rossi’s.

Although the weather outside might be a bit on the chilly side, beach lovers insist upon having frozen drinks during their trip to the coast. Margaritas may be best known for hot summer days, but those who prefer something tropical have lots of options. Take a break from shopping at Coastal Grand Mall and try Abuelo’s famous Sangria Margarita, frozen or on the rocks. If you are at Market Common, Nacho Hippo makes a wide selection of margaritas that are only $3 all the time.

But the best place for frozen daiquiris can be found at Broadway at the Beach, where Wet Wllie’s and Fat Tuesday serve frozen drinks from the tap. Try a Mudslide, White Russian or Wet Willie’s world-famous Dreamsicle, or go for Fat Tuesday’s popular Pina Colada, Amaretto Pineapple or Banana Banshee. Other nearby bars that serve great frozen drinks with an ocean view include Ocean Annie’s, OD Lounge, the Banana Boat Lounge and Bandito’s Cantina.

Perhaps the most classic Christmas beverage is wine, and North Beach guests don’t have to travel far to find excellent local vintages. Located at Barefoot Landing, Duplin Winery recently opened its first satellite winery last summer. The largest winery in the South is famous for its award-winning Muscadine and Scuppernong dessert wines, which you can taste while taking a tour of the new facility. If you prefer a smaller and more rural setting, La Belle Amie Vineyard in Little River offers tours and tastings, as well as bonfire parties where you can keep warm while you sample.

No matter your beverage of choice, say a toast and enjoy your winter vacation on the coast. Cheers and happy holidays from North Beach Plantation!