October 14, 2010

proof whisky - William Premium Cider, Vol. 2

Welcome back to ‘the proof is in’. We hope that you had a fun-filled Thanksgiving weekend. Last week, we introduced you to a great new cocktail recipe, along with a few dish and food suggestions that would help to enhance the cocktail’s flavours. This week, we talk a bit more about the ingredients that formulate our drink. If you want to learn more about our brand, please visit www.proofbrands.com

Two great brands come together in today’s 
Thursty Thursday Cocktail:

The William Tell:
Here’s what you will need:
Single Size:
1 oz proof whisky
2 oz William Organic Cider
1 tbsp muddled wild berries
8 mint leaves
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz vanilla syrup
LOTS of ice

To a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz proof whisky, 1 tbsp wild berries, 8 mint leaves, 1/2 oz. lemon juice, and 1/2 oz. vanilla syrup, shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with approximately 2 oz of William Organic Cider.
Garnish with a mint sprig. 
 (created by www.martiniclub.com)

* Simple vanilla syrup recipe – Combine equal parts of sugar and boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour into a jar or bottle with a lid and drop in a 1“ piece of vanilla bean (you can substitute a 1/4 teaspoon of real vanilla extract for the bean). Let cool and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
(You can infuse your simple syrup with a variety of flavours by adding ingredients like cinnamon sticks, cloves and other extracts.)

HINT: Get your brain freeze on by adding icy frozen fruit to your drink instead of fresh. You can also add fruit, vegetables or fresh herbs to the water in your ice cube trays before freezing, to create interesting and functional mini ice sculptures. Once the ice melts, the inclusions will add an extra zing to your drink.

Yesterday we sat down with young entrepreneur and William Cider Producer, Guillaume Soulière.
William Premium Cider - www.williamcider.com
“William Premium Cider is certified organic and made in Quebec. It is the only single serve can of Canadian cider available at the LCBO. William Premium Cider is an English style cider with a light amber colour and a good balance of sweetness and acidity delivering a crisp clean taste, without any after taste. Only made with natural ingredients, William has a low sugar level with fewer calories than beers and most mixers. This easy drinking and slightly carbonated cider makes it a delight when chilled and served cold. William premium cider is a must have with appetizers, or light finger foods before a meal. The smooth taste harmonizes very well and adds another dimension to the palate. You can drink William with any meal or on any occasion, during a warm summer evening on a terrace, a hot summer day at the beach or a chilly autumn night in the pub.”
Format: 473 ml cans Alcohol level: 5.2 %

PROOF: What inspired you to produce and market this organic cider?
G.S: I always wanted to produce my own products and own my own cider house. My partners visited a few establishments in the UK and gave me the appetite to develop a Canadian version of cider that would compete with imported brands. I also wanted to differentiate myself from the rest of the crowd by providing a product that is organic in nature.

PROOF: What classifies you as 'certified organic' by Canadian Standards?
G.S: Ecocert is a well-recognized body in Canada for the certification of organic products. It guarantees that production and marketing rules for organic agricultural products have been respected throughout the entire manufacturing process. Ecocert is a listed certified agency and is recognized by the Canadian Food inspection agency.

PROOF: How do you think Canada measures up in the 'certified organic' market?
G.S: I cannot speak of other country’s organic certification practices but here in Canada we seem to have good guidelines in place to ensure adequate compliance.

PROOF: Does Canada have stricter laws & regulations?
G.S: I do not know as we have not applied in other countries, but at first bird’s eye view I would have to say that we have fair guidelines that ensure a good follow through.

PROOF: Is the Canadian Government very supportive of the organic farmers?
G.S: From our point of view we think that the Canadian government is doing a good job. We can see the growing number of producers that are more aware of these practices. It seems to be well communicated but a lot more work is needed to be supportive and find alternative farming practices that can feed the masses and make it profitable for farmers.

PROOF: Are you the first generation to produce this cider? Tell us a bit about your roots. Where are you from?
G.S: Yes, I am a first generation producer. In 2006, I left L’Oréal Canada to start my first company, Solar Bottling (Cidrerie Solar), with two long-lasting friends Maxim Ouellet and Frederic Lachance. We acquired Cidrerie Le Nordet. Our mission is to bring youth and passion to the alcoholic beverage market, through the launch of new and innovative products of exceptional quality. We specialize in the development of alcoholic beverages based on cider.  Our company acts as a co-packer and filler for many proprietary and non-proprietary products. Alcohol in cider is made from apples, which gives it a smoothness and crispness unachieved by other alcohol beverages (beer, vodka-based beverages, etc). Cider is now renowned as a traditional and refined product, is also an ideal basic ingredient for new and innovative alcohol beverages.

PROOF: Where do you select your apples? Do you press the apples, or purchase the juice?
G.S: Our apples come from various varieties, namely from Western states and provinces as the apples found in our area are not compatible with our recipe. We do not press any apples on premise. We buy bulk juices only.

PROOF: Which other products influenced you?
G.S: Strongbow, Blackthorn

PROOF: Which foods best compliment William Cider?
G.S: We think that the best pairing foods are Applewood Smoked Salmon (marinate the salmon in William Premium Cider and BBQ on an applewood plank)
Jerk Chicken, BBQ pork ribs and salads. We also think that it accompanies various finger foods and pizza very well.

PROOF: Do you plan on producing any other flavours or formats?
G.S: For the time being we have not looked at developing other products. We will look at this further down the road as we wish to develop more markets and not necessarily other products. We have considered producing lunch formats (250 ml to 300ml) for people that wish to have a quick bite and have a William during their meal.

Thank-you Guillaume. We love your product!

Worldwide: www.ecocert.com/

To sample The William Tell, visit our booth at Whisky Live, October 22nd, 2010
Ticket Details:
Friday 22nd October, VIP Ticket 4pm to 10pm. $95
Including Whisky Live tasting glass, show guide,10 vouchers and food.
On door price $110.
Friday 22nd October, Evening Ticket, 7pm to 10pm. $60
Including Whisky Live tasting glass, show guide, 5 vouchers and food.
On door price $70. Masterclass tickets $20 (valid with a VIP or Evening ticket) * Ticket price includes PST and excludes GST and booking fee of $2.30

Just to prove how much we love William Cider, we have sourced out these yummy organic recipes & books with recipes that we think will perfectly match the flavours and philosophies of William's Cider and The William Tell. Don't forget to make the most of our last few beautiful October weekends, by sparking up the bbq & eating outdoors.

Organic agriculture is a holistic system of production that takes farming back to basics. Organic farmers strive to incorporate practices that are mindful of their effect on the Earth to create a minimal adverse effect on the environment. Organic practices generally include growing food in harmony with nature, without the use of pesticides to create a community within soil organisms, plants, livestock and people. According to the National Standard of Canada, Organic Agriculture (www.planetorganic.com)

Coconut Yam Fritters
These Asian-inspired fritters, developed for a Planet Organic Cooking class, are an excellent way to enjoy the sweet earthy taste and nutritional goodness of yams.
1/2 lb Yams (about 1/2 of a large yam) 250 g
1/2 cup Unbleached white flour 125 ml
1/2 cup Rice flour 125 ml
1/2 tsp Turmeric, ground 2 ml
1/2 tsp Sea salt 2 ml
1/2 tsp Baking powder 2 ml
1 cup Coconut milk 250 ml
Canola oil (enough to pan-fry)

Peel the yam, grate coarsely and extract as much moisture as possible by squeezing in your hands. In a large mixing bowl, mix the two flours with the baking powder, salt and turmeric. Toss in the grated yam. Gradually add enough coconut milk to moisten. If the mixture becomes too dry, add more coconut milk; however, it should be solid enough to hold its shape.
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of the oil to medium-high heat. Lightly form a heaping teaspoon of the fritter mixture and fry on both sides until golden brown. Flatten slightly with a spatula to ensure the inside is cooked. You may need to add small amounts of oil as you go.
Once made, keep them in a warming dish in a preheated oven. Serve fritters with a plate of soft lettuce, herbs, bean sprouts and dipping sauces. Yields 4 servings.

Caraway Yogourt Dip
½ cup plain organic yogourt 125ml
1 tsp paprika 5 grams
½ tsp caraway seeds 2.5 grams

Here are a few great organic cookbook suggestions which can be purchased at most bookstores:

Pick up ‘Earth to Table’ by Jeff Crump & Bettina Schormann
The ‘Chicken Under a Brick’ with ‘Piri Piri Sauce’ is both delectable and
As easy to prepare as it sounds. www.randomhouse.ca/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307356840 you can also follow chef Jeff Crump on Twitter
There are wonderful recipes in 'Fresh From the Farmers’ Market by Janet Fletcher.
The book is divided into growing seasons. There is a great ‘autumn arugula’ recipe,
‘Pizza with mozzarella and arugula’, on page 135.

Try the Fresh Burger Mix from the ReFresh Cookbook by Ruth Tal
These burger Patties are so delicious and filling they can be served without the bun.
The burger mix keeps for up to three days in the fridge and can be safely frozen 

On Saturday, we stopped at the Evergreen Brick Works Farmer’s Market at 550 Bayview Avenue in Toronto for some last minute food items for Thanksgiving. It was awesome! (Saturdays from 8am – 1pm)

Starting November 6th 2010, the Farmer’s Market will be open year round!
The Brick Works Farmers’ Market features the best of the season, with a fabulous assortment of fruits, vegetables, wild fish, meat, cheese, milled flours, eggs and oils—all from local farmers. You can see a list of all the vendors on the EBW website.

Although we were driving, on our way out of the city, there are many transportation alternatives to getting there, such as a FREE shuttle bus from Broadview Station. Visit the EBW website for a schedule and other walking, biking, shuttling options. http://ebw.evergreen.ca/visit/
Not only can you buy some of the freshest organic foods & baked goods, many vendors are offering a variety of prepared foods. You can pick up your lunch and eat it right in the middle of the action at one of the many wooden indoor/outdoor tables. In our experience, we nibbled on some hot roasted chestnuts from P & H Farms’ www.phorganics.com, before committing to a Toasted Organic Panini from the Waffle Bar’ www.thewafflebar.ca Both were fresh and delicious. Next week we may try an Organic Hot Dog from Buddha Dog’ www.buddhafoodha.com
If you are thinking of pulling on your hunter boots and traipsing out, make sure to bring Spike along for the trip. He'll be licking his chops for some Muttballs, which are meatballs for dogs. www.pablothedog.com

Even though most markets are now closing for the winter, you can still learn more about locally grown foods by visiting these great resources:

This weekend’s fabulous Weather Forecast:
Saturday - Sunny with a high of 14 degrees
Sunday - Mainly sunny with a high of 15 degrees

Here's a recap of our great Thanksgiving weekend:

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