Recent Posts

Cocktails

Diablo Cocktail

While I was thinking about what to write, I glanced up and notices my collection of Food & Drink magazines from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). I decided somewhere in one of those magazines there must be something that would inspire me to write. The first issue I pulled out was from the summer of 2004 and had a recipe for the Mint Divine, a rye, mint and lemonade recipe. Basically it’s a […]

Cocktails

Protonic Cocktail

Having a good name for a cocktail is essential, especially if you want to get it into a bar or publication. Part of the fun, if you can call it that, is creating a name with a meaning. The problem with that is people just don’t get the connections and then the name gets lost to time. Well, the Internet has fixed that, so creatively is a must. Here is an example of how I […]

Cocktails

The Bull

Some days I like an ice cold beer. It is easy to make, especially when it is a twist top. Most of the beer I stock is microbrew because I like flavour. After I had come home today, I went to the fridge and popped the top off of a J.R. Brickman Pilsner and headed to the computer to read my email, news and the usual list of cocktail blogs I frequent. Then it occurred […]

Cocktails

Burnt Island Cocktail

This drink was wholly inspired by aged whisky. When creating a new drink, the inspiration should come from something, and not just the random mixing of fruit juices, which is happening too much lately. Whisky can be intimidating to a new drinker, partially because they usually buy the cheapest stuff and secondly because the modern palate is geared towards sweet, sugary drinks. To overcome some of these issues, this drink was created to ease people […]

Cocktails

Hussar Sour

Bullets and grenades was what I was thinking when I whipped up this cocktail. As samples arrive on my desk, they sometimes gather into little groups. The Bulleit Bourbon and Zwack bitters were hanging out, which looked like they were plotting a coup or something. For those in the dark, Zwack is a Hungarian company that makes a range of bitters and sells them in bottles that resemble an M67 hand grenade. The Bulleit should speak […]

Bitters

Union Bitters

Once a proprietary “medicine” once sold as “Seabury’s Union Bitters” that would be found “grateful and comforting” in all cases where manhood needs to be restored, or where men have lost their self-respect and interest in each other’s welfare. This is pretty typical marketing for these types of “medicine” in the 1800s. Some historical documents claim it was to be “put up in the best Bourbon Whiskey”. Union Bitters Recipe: Gentian 120 g Peruvian Bark […]

Ingredient

Turin Vermouth

Historically referred to as stomachic or aromatic wines, Turin type vermouth is typically a sweet or sweetened wine with a high alcohol level. The alcohol content should be 42° underproof. Grape based wines are traditional, but fruit wine is also allowed if it is declared. The sugar should be dissolved in wine as the wine itself must not be diluted. Turin Vermouth Recipe: Cardamom ½ oz Cinnamon ½ oz Cloves ½ oz Coriander 2 oz […]

Bitters

Royal Bitters

Possibly of Canadian origin from the 1875 to 1885 time period. Royal Bitters Recipe: Fennel 6 oz Coriander 6 oz Cloves 6 oz Cassia Cinnamon 6 oz Bitter Orange Peel 1¼ lbs Lemon Peel 1¼ lbs Calisaya Bark 1½ lbs Peppermint Leaves 2 lbs Balm Leaves 2½ lbs Instructions To make Ivan Bitters take 60 ml (2 oz) of the bitter essence and mix with 1.75 litres of 40% alcohol and 230 ml of simple syrup.

Bitters

Riga Balsam

A Latvian specialty bitter / liqueur. It is considered to be a good cold remedy and is used to treat digestive problems. Riga Balsam Recipe: Oil of Mustard Seed 1 tsp Oil of Thyme, red 2 oz Oil of Marjoram 1 oz Oil of Lovage 2 oz Lemon Oil 2 oz Oil of Elecampane 8 oz Saffron Tincture 2 oz Instructions Take 1 ounce of the oil mixture and dilute with 1 pint of 57% alcohol. Take one […]

History

Haymaker’s Punch (Switchel)

After a day of working in the hot sun, a cool, refreshing drink is usually in order. What happens when you discover you have no lemons or limes? Beer is always an option, but there are other choices. If you look back a few hundred years, one of the common refreshers was Switchel. If you go back even further you’ll come across its precursor Oxymel. What do these two drinks have in common? They both […]