December 2, 2010

proof whisky, mixtresses Michelle and Laura, Vol. 9

December is here and ‘heavens to murgatroyd’ is it going to be a fun-filled month for Thursty Thursday! We will be running about for most of it, so hang onto your picnic basket Yogi. Our first stop will be the Distillery District ( 55 Mill Street, Toronto), where mixtresses Michelle and Laura will shake our world at the Martini Club headquarters. ( We will get a glimpse into a land where the creative juices flow as rampantly as the spirits. For today’s Thursty Thursday cocktail we are featuring an original Martini Club spin on a classic, The Pomegranate Sour. To learn more about our brand visit Become a friend on Facebook and Twitter to get last minute updates on all of our tastings, parties and events.

The Pomegranate Sour
1 oz proof whisky
½ oz Pama Pomegranate Liquor
2 oz limeade
Pomegranate seeds
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 oz. proof whisky

½ oz. Pama Pomegranate Liquor and 2 oz. limeade.
Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. 
Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Created by Michelle Hunt and Laura Panter in 1996, the Martini Club’s team consists of professional and passionate mixologists who are devoted to the craft of the cocktail. They are beverage alcohol experts, custom drink designers, mixology trainers and specialty bar caterers. (read their blog

The Martini Club is located at the Distillery District. Its office is tucked away inside one of the restored buildings, where original brick detailing and windows bring warmth to the modern space. Hundreds of bottles of spirits line the walls in the otherwise minimalist office.

With discerning palates and an unparalleled passion for cocktails and flavours, Michelle and Laura are industry leaders. Their love for food, drink and travel is evident in their recipes. These alchemists are not only savvy, but also brim with charm. Laura is a warm and gracious hostess, Michelle an animated storyteller. Drinks aside, it is always a true pleasure spending time with these ladies.

The purpose of our visit was to sample some of Michelle and Laura’s creations developed with proof vodka and proof rum (what a tough job) Although I will not be a spoiler and reveal any of the other ingredients (you will have to wait for Thursty Thursday 2011), I will say that each one was extremely delicious and unique.

As usual, we had a few questions for the girls.
PROOF: What first inspired you to get into this business?
M&L: The desire for a well made Classic Martini

PROOF: What is your favourite classic cocktail and why?
M&L: Negroni, Sidecar, Corpse Reviver #2, Mai Tai; just a few of the true and most perfectly balanced cocktails ever.

PROOF: What cocktail creation are you the most proud of and why?
M&L: This answer constantly changes as we come up with new ideas, but most recently, the Cucumber Jasmine Collins. It’s classically styled but completely unique.

PROOF:  Which mix is the most versatile in your opinion?
M&L: Ocean Spray white cranberry juice is an excellent suspension & provides balance to everything from fruits to herbs.

PROOF: Have you ever had any bizarre requests in terms of using certain ingredients? What was the strangest cocktail that you ever created?
M&L: We designed a cocktail to match a hostesses dress colour. We have tried to make cocktails with just about everything - some more successful than others!

PROOF: Do you ever feel like you will run out of mix combinations?
M&L: Never. The universe keeps giving us inspiration.

PROOF:  What are the latest in cocktail trends?
M&L: Classic cocktails are still a big trend, as are punches. But the serious Prohibition-style cocktails (short & structured) are also starting to give way to more fun concoctions, such as the resurgence of Tiki.

PROOF: Which city in the world is the most revolutionary in cocktail creating? Is this where you draw your inspiration?
M&L: The triptych of London, New York and San Francisco still dominates, but inspirational bartenders are working magic all over the world.

PROOF: Where businesses all evolve and change, in which direction do you see this business taking you?
M&L: So much has changed in the last decade - more than we ever imagined - no idea what the next 10 years will bring, but bring it on!

PROOF:  Do you prefer your martini shaken or stirred?
M&L: Always stirred. No question.

Thank-you & cheers mixtresses Michelle and Laura!

The Distillery Historic District opened in 2003, after forty-seven buildings, known as the Gooderham & Worts Distillery, were restored and transformed into a dramatic fusion of old and new. The combined Victorian Industrial architecture and stunning 21st century design is widely regarded as one of Canada's premier arts, culture and entertainment destinations.

Toronto Christmas Market
Don’t forget to visit the Lowe's Toronto Christmas Market at The Distillery District (Friday December 3 to Sunday December 12
Noon to 8pm daily). There will be a variety of ‘european’ food stands, beer gardens, workshops and even a ferris wheel.

Glassware 101:
Here is a little walk-through of some of the glassware that you will want to stock in your bar or give as a gift. For a great selection of high and low-end glassware, visit some these Toronto retailers:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

Beer mug The traditional beer container.
Brandy snifter
The shape of this glass concentrates the alcoholic odors to the top of the glass as your hands warm the brandy.
Champagne flute
This tulip shaped glass is designed to show off the waltzing bubbles of the wine as they brush against the side of the glass and spread out into a sparkling mousse.

Cocktail glass
This glass has a triangle-bowl design with a long stem, and is used for a wide range of straight-up (without ice) cocktails, including martinis, manhattans, metropolitans, and gimlets. Also known as a martini glass.
Coffee mug
The traditional mug used for hot coffee.
Collins glass
Shaped similarly to a highball glass, only taller, the collins glass was originally used for the line of collins gin drinks, and is now also commonly used for soft drinks, alcoholic juice, and tropical/exotic juices such as Mai Tai's.
Cordial glass
Small and stemmed glasses used for serving small portions of your favourite liquors at times such as after a meal.
Highball glass
A straight-sided glass, often an elegant way to serve many types of mixed drinks, like those served on the rocks, shots, and mixer combined liquor drinks (ie. gin and tonic).
Hurricane glass
A tall, elegantly cut glass named after it's hurricane-lamp-like shape, used for exotic/tropical drinks.
Margarita/coupette glass
This slightly larger and rounded approach to a cocktail glass has a broad-rim for holding salt, ideal for margarita's. It is also used in daiquiris and other fruit drinks.
Mason jar
These large square containers are effective in keeping their contents sealed in an air tight environment. 
They're designed for home canning, being used for preserves and jam amongst other things.
Old-fashioned glass
A short, round so called "rocks" glass, suitable for cocktails or liquor served on the rocks, or "with a splash".
Parfait glass
This glass has a similar inwards curve to that of a hurricane glass, with a steeper outwards rim and larger, rounded bowl. Often used for drinks containing fruit or ice cream.
Pousse-cafe glass
A narrow glass essentially used for pousse cafés and other layered dessert drinks. It's shape increases the ease of layering ingredients.
Punch bowl
A large demispherical bowl suitable for punches or large mixes.
Red wine glass
A clear, thin, stemmed glass with a round bowl tapering inward at the rim.
Sherry glass
The preferred glass for aperitifs, ports, and sherry. The copita, with it's aroma enhancing narrow taper, is a type of sherry glass.
Shot glass
A small glass suitable for vodka, whiskey and other liquors. Many "shot" mixed drinks also call for shot glasses.
Whiskey sour glass
Also known as a delmonico glass, this is a stemmed, wide opening glass, alike to a small version of a champagne flute.
White wine glass
A clear, thin, stemmed glass with an elongated oval bowl tapering inward at the rim.

Thanks to all of the Sarnians who paid us a visit at the Exmouth LCBO on Saturday night. WOW – you guys really know how to party! (stay-tuned for our ‘Return to Sarnia’ sequel)

We would like to respectfully thank Andy Brandt for stopping in to see us. It was an honour to have you present.

Andrew S. "Andy" Brandt is a former politician and public administrator who has served in a number of roles in the province of Ontario, Canada. He served in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario as a Progressive Conservative from 1981 to 1990, and was a cabinet minister in the governments of Bill Davis and Frank Miller. He later served as interim leader of the Progressive Conservative Party from 1987 to 1990 before being appointed as Chairman and CEO of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and serving in that capacity longer than anyone. Before making the leap to provincial politics, he got his feet wet at the municipal level as both alderman and then mayor for the city of Sarnia.

Purdy’s Fish Market: ( - 1 Riverfront Road, Point Edward, ON 519-344-3732)
To serve along with our fine cocktails, we were lucky enough to get our hands on a steaming hot kettle of Purdy’s special custom-made (with proof whisky) Smoked Salmon Chowder. It was fantastic!
Purdy’s is a family-run business that has been around since 1900. Not only do they supply some to Toronto’s well-known restaurants (Canoe is very familiar with their fish) with Ontario’s best fresh-lake fish, they now have three retail locations, a catering service and offer cooking classes at the Point Edward Community Hall.

Do you live in the Midland area? Do you have a cottage around Georgian Bay? Well then, nothing is stopping you from dropping in to see us at Ciboulette et Cie in Midland on Saturday December 4th from noon to 4pm. As usual, we will be shaking up some great cocktails and serving some wonderful local bites created by owner/chef André of C et C. Check out events page for details.

Weekend forecast:
Saturday: Sunny with cloudy periods and a high of 0 degrees
Sunday: Sunny with a few flurries and a high of -1 degree

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