October 5, 2017

proof whisky, Murray's Farm, Vol. 173

In preparation of Thanksgiving we are visiting a farm in the GTA, and have mixed up a sweet and salty cocktail to kick off your fall festivities.

apple caramel cocktail 1 ½ oz apple infused proof whisky* • ½ tsp lemon juice • 3 oz apple cider • 1 oz caramel syrup** • salted caramel rimmer*** • apple slices for garnish
Rub lemon slice around rim of glass. Rub wet rim in a plateful of caramel rimmer until well coated. Set aside. Pour first four ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake and pour into a rimmed glass. Garnish with an apple slice.

*apple-infused proof whisky mason jar • dried apples • cinnamon sticks • 500 mL proof whisky (2 cups) •

**homemade caramel syrup 1 cup sugar • 3/4 cup water, divided • 1 teaspoon corn syrup • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • Pinch of salt
In a small, sturdy pot, combine the sugar, 1/4 cup of the water, and the corn syrup. Stir over low heat until dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, turn the heat up to medium high, cover the pot, and let boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the cover and stir vigorously as the caramel continues to cook. Stir over heat until mixture is a light amber color. Remove the caramel from heat. Carefully pour in the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Be very careful when stirring the water into the caramel as it can splatter. Stir in the vanilla and a small pinch of salt. The syrup will keep in the fridge for a few months.

***salted caramel rimmer Pour sugar into a nonstick frying pan, place over medium-high heat. Shake pan often until most of the sugar liquefies, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; tilt pan to mix hot caramel with sugar until all is melted and the color is deep amber, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately pour hot caramel into foil-lined pan. Tilt pan to spread caramel in thin layer. Sprinkle 1/2 tps flour de del over hot caramel. Set aside until hard and completely cool, about 30 minutes. When cool, lift foil from pan; peel foil from caramel. Break caramel into chunks. To make powder, whirl chunks in a blender or food processor fitted with metal blade (container must be completely dry). If you use a blender, you may need to make powder in several batches. Use, or store airtight at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to visit Murray’s Farm in the rolling countryside of Cambridge, Ontario. The rain did not stop us from visiting with some prized piglets. Murray is the only farmer in Canada with registered herds of Gloucestershire Old Spot, Herefords, and British Saddlebacks. His pigs run freely around a hilly green pasture, foraging for goodies in the yard. He raises only about 400 head per year – with care, compassion, and respect for their natures, wants, and comfort. 

You might recognize him from one of the many farmer’s markets in the GTA. He is at Withrow Park, Cabbagetown, Brickworks and many others. His eggs and pork are also on the menus of some of Toronto’s best restaurants and butchers. For more information on where to purchase his great products, visit murraysfarm.ca

Speaking of Farmer’s Markets Although some of the city’s best Farmers’ Markets closed for the season this week, many great ones remain open until the end of the month. This Thanksgiving shop for autumn’s bounty at one of the many farmers markets across the city. Along with offering farm-fresh food, markets are a great way to support local agriculture, meet your neighbours and spend quality time outdoors at the park.

MONDAY Sorauren’s Farmers’ Market (50 Wabash Ave., 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.- Oct. 30th) TUESDAY Trinity Bellwoods Farmers’ Market (Trinity Bellwoods Park, 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. - Oct. 31st) • East York Farmers’ Market (East York Civic Centre, 8 a.m until 2 p.m. - Oct. 31st) WEDNESDAY Nathan Phillip’s Square Farmers’ Market (Nathan Phillips Square, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. - Oct. 18th) • Greenwood Farmers’ Market (Greenwood Park, 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. – Oct. 25) • Bloor/Borden Farmers’ Market (Parking lot at Bloor and Lippincott, 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.) • UTSC Farmers’ Market (University of Toronto Scarborough, 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. end of October) • Yorkville Farmers’ Market (136 Yorkville Ave., 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. – Oct 7th) THURSDAY Dufferin Grove Farmers’ Market (Dufferin Grove Park, 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. – Dec. 28th) • Toronto Botanical Gardens Farmers’ Market (Toronto Botanical Gardens, 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. year round) • Metro Hall Farmers’ Market (Metro Hall, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. – Oct. 13th) • East Lynn Farmers’ Market (East Lynn Park, 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.-Oct 19th) • North York Farmers’ Market (Mel Lastman Square, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.-Oct. 26th) FRIDAY Sherway Farmers’ Market (1536 The Queensway, 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.-Oct 27th) SATURDAY Stop Farmers’ Market at Wychwood Barns (Artscape Wychwood Barns, 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. – Dec.) • Junction Farmers’ Market (2960 Dundas St. W., 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. – Nov. 4th)
Evergreen Brickworks Farmers’ Market (550 Bayview Ave., 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. – year round)
St. Lawrence Market Farmers’ Market (St. Lawrence Market., 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. –year round) • Weston Farmers’ Market (GO Parking Lot at 1865 Weston Rd., 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. end of Oct.) • Withrow Park Farmers’ Market (Withrow Park, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.-Oct 14th)
SUNDAY The Leslieville Farmers’ Market (Jonathan Ashbridge Park, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m, -Oct. 29th) • Liberty Village Farmers’ Market (Green P Hanna Street, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. – Nov. 26th)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families!

September 19, 2017

proof whisky & vodka, likin' them apples, Vol. 172

Last Sunday we spent a balmy afternoon at our local orchard. Because of the sucky cool and wet summer that we had, a lot of varieties were still not available for picking. We were however able to get our hands on some delicious Macs and Cortlands. One of our favourite ingredients for both whisky and vodka drinks are apples after all. Here are a few tasty recipes.

orchard mule 1 1/2 oz apple-infused proof vodka* • 2 oz apple cider • 3 oz ginger beer • 1/4 oz lemon juice • cinnamon sticks and apples for garnish

*For vodka infusion: 3 sliced apples • 2 cinnamon sticks • 500 ml proof vodka 
Fill a 1L Mason jar with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Add 500ml proof vodka. Seal and shake. Refrigerate for at least 48 hours (no more than 3 weeks). Pour the mixture through a fine strainer to remove the solids.

For cocktail In a copper cup filled with ice, add the infused proof vodkaapple cider,  lemon juice and ginger beer. Stir and garnish with apple slices and/or a cinnamon stick.

Infuse proof whisky the same way as above for delicious apple pie shots. A great drink to kick off your Thanksgiving celebrations.

Eve's sangria 1/2 sliced orange • 1 chopped pear • 2 chopped apples • 3 sticks cinnamon • freshly grated nutmeg • 1 cup proof whisky • 1 bottle white wine • 3 cups apple cider • 1 341 ML bottle of ginger beer

Mix all ingredients, except for ginger beer into a large pitcher or dispenser. Just before serving add lots of ice and top with ginger beer. NOTE: you may want to remove cinnamon sticks if flavour becomes too strong.

the apple crisp single 1 oz proof whisky • 1/2 oz Goldschlager • 5 oz apple cider 

To a highball glass filled with ice, add proof whisky, Goldschlager and apple cider. Garnish drink with cinnamon stick. This cocktail can be served warm as well, just omit the ice and warm in a heat-resistant mug. (note: you can replace Goldschalger with *cinnamon simple syrup)

the apple crisp pitcher 8 oz proof whisky • 4 oz Goldschlager • 40 oz apple cider 

To a pitcher, add proof whisky, Goldschlager and apple cider. Serve in highballs glasses filled with ice or a heat-resistant mug. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. (note: you can replace Goldschalger with *cinnamon simple syrup)

*cinnamon simple syrup: Combine equal parts sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into a clean bottle and add a cinnamon stick. Let cool. Can be store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

pomme-tini 2 oz proof vodka • 2 oz fresh apple cider • 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice • 1/2 oz cinnamon simple syrup • apple slice for garnish

Add ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake hard and pour into a cinnamon-sugar rimmed martini glass • garnish with apple slice

*cinnamon simple syrup: Combine equal parts sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into a clean bottle and add a cinnamon stick. Let cool. Can be store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

the applewood 1 1/2 oz saddleback maple bacon whisky • 4 oz fresh apple cider • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Pour ingredients into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with apple.

If you're down for some apple picking of your own, here's a list of farms in the GTA:
www.applewoodfarmwinery.com   www.organicsfarm.ca   www.pinefarmsorchard.com www.albionorchards.com   www.brooksfarms.com   www.chudleighs.com

Have fun apple-picking!