December 29, 2011

proof rum, Auld Lang Syne, Vol. 66

Okay, before we jump right into New Year’s Eve, let’s chat about Boxing Day. Picture this – 6 teams, six locations, 12 challenges and lots of food and drink. Today we are giving you a photo recap of our Amazing Race Boxing Day Bash, and leaving you with this sparkly New Year’s cocktail. Have a safe and Happy New Year! Like us on Facebook and Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

2012 1 1/2 oz proof white rum • 1/2 oz lime juice • 1/2 oz simple syrup • 2 oz pomegranate juice • 3 oz prosecco or sparkling water  • mint

To a shaker filled with ice add proof rum, lime juice, simple syrup and pomegranate juice. Shake and pour into a champagne glass.  Top with sparkling water or prosecco, garnish with a mint sprig and party like it’s 2012.


We are all shopped out after Christmas, so, for us, Boxing Day means – annual PARTY! This year’s theme was The Amazing Race Part II. And despite the lack of snow, we still managed to enjoy a tour around the chosen wintry locations of: Alaska, Netherlands, Russia, Nepal, Norway and Austria. Each team was assigned a location. Here is a little review of our fun evening. (Note: due to the 'shyness' of the group, most photos do not include people)

Our first stop was Alaska. We were served a ‘Welcome’ champagne and cranberry cocktail (or two) and proof whisky toddies, outside on the back patio. We snacked on chili, blueberry and maple glazed beef tenderloin toasts, sliders with carmelized onions, salmon bisque, maple-coated popcorn and arctic char grilled with a maple glaze. The activities were acorn slingshot shooting and find the gold-rush pieces. We finally roasted marshmallows by the fire before moving on.

Next stop was the Netherlands, for a kick-ass dutch cheese tray, deviled eggs with shrimp, french fries with herbed mayos, gingerbread cookies, Bols shots, and Heineken and Grolsch beer. The activities included bicycle races, a Dutch Oven bake-off (Iron Chef Style) and an art auction.


Then, on to Russia for some potato salad, perogi, proof vodka shots, Russian dancing, and table top hockey.


On to Nepal we travelled for some bbq pork momos, black sesame rice balls, and ginger & curried beef skewers. Here we did a little trivia and memory game.


Norway was a lot of fun – so much fun in fact that most photos were marked as classified. Meatballs, shots of akevitt, a Viking play, followed by a dance party.

Our last, but definitely not least stop, was Vienna, Austria. Rich tortes, decadent desserts and hot cocoa spiked with Golschlager and Peppermint Schnapps. It was a Sound of Music karaoke.


A BIG thank-you to all of our friends and family, for being such zany, interesting and imaginative people. The holidays would not be the same without you!

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 3 degrees.
Sunday: Cloudy with showers and a high of 4 degrees
Monday: Sunny with a few flurries and a high of -2 degrees

Happy 2012 everyone!

December 22, 2011

proof whisky, city sidewalks, Vol. 65

We’ve already been warned about a possible green Christmas this year. Although snow can add a magical backdrop to any holiday production, surrounding yourself with the right people is all it really takes. Here’s a cocktail recipe to, hopefully, share with your favourite friends and family. Happy Holidays! Like us on Facebook and Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

The ginger glow (group serving) 1 cup proof whisky • 2 tbsp fresh ginger • 2 tbsp honey
1 oz lemon juice • 4 cups fresh apple juice • pinch of allspice
Add all ingredients, except for whisky to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, strain and add proof whisky. Serve in heatproof cups and garnish with lemon slice.

The ginger glow (single) 1 oz proof whisky • 1 tsp fresh ginger • 1 tsp honey • 1/4 oz lemon juice • 4 oz fresh apple juice • pinch of allspice
Add all ingredients, except for whisky to a heatproof cup. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, and add proof whisky. Garnish with lemon slice. TIP: We used pepper berries to garnish these drinks. They are super seasonal in appearance and obviously very edible.

When it comes to garnishing a drink for your holiday party, there are several methods of doing so. You can thread them on a stick, float them, attach them to the rim of your glass, include them in your ice, use a powdered rimmer or just set them free in your drink. You can be quite creative with garnishes, but the key, is to always extract a flavour from your cocktail or a complimentary taste which when eaten, will enhance the drink itself. Here are a few easy garnishes for your Christmas Eve gathering.

Hot cocktails: cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, vanilla bean, lemon or orange peel, cranberry skewers, small tuile cookies, gingerbread cookies, vanilla wafers, pocky, apple slices, candy canes, chocolates, mint leaves, top with meringue, roasted marshmallows, whipped cream or chocolate slivers, sprinkle a powdered stencil on top, sliced figs
Cold cocktails: cucumber slices, mint, raspberries, pomegranate seeds, starfruit, edible flowers, fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, chives), pineapple spears, fruits slices, cherries, rock candy sticks, gooseberries, red or white currants, lemon curls, wheels & wedges, cherries, hibiscus or other edible flowers
Savoury cocktails: pearl onions, pickles, bacon strip, shrimp, peppers, rim with finely chopped herbs, hot peppers, pepperettes, prosciutto-wrapped breasticks, cherry tomatoes, green beans, radishes
Rimmers: crushed candycane or candy, coloured sugars, pumpkin pie spices, cinnamon and sugar, ginger and sugar, salts, crushed gingersnaps, chocolate shavings, cocoa powder

Spend a little time with your local florist. Edible flowers are the hot new garnish in the cocktail world, and your florist will probably be happy to give you a 101 on which ones are the best for consumption. This is how we found these awesome pepper berries.


We had many people asking about the frozen cups featured on BT last week and because we bought them several years ago, they may be a little tricky to locate. We can however offer you a solution by making your own frozen ice cups. Purchase any two sizes of beer/drink plastic cups, place the smaller once inside the large one, fill them both with water, and place them in the freezer overnight. Voilà – ice cups! Add inclusions if you would like. We did a whole segment on ice sculptures on the January 6th, Ice Age blog – check it out for more ice ideas.


If you prefer spending Christmas Eve outdoors, there are many simple and ‘snow-free’ activities going on in the city. Toronto has several public skating rinks, some of which are open on December 24th.  See the TP schedule: (

One of our favourite rinks is located at the Brickworks. If you haven't already been, try getting out there this winter. Afterwards you can have a bite at Café Belong. ( 

What about simply taking a walk. Many of Toronto’s neighbourhoods are decorated beautifully for the holidays, and in the busyness of life, you never get a chance to actually see them. 

Check out the Bay’s classic windows, stroll along Yonge Street to the illuminated Dundas Square or take a jaunt through Nathan Phillips Square to watch the skaters.


Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Sunny with a few flurries (please please) and a high of 1 degree
Christmas Day: Sunny with a few flurries (please please) and a high of 2 degrees

Enjoy your holiday!
And may all your Christmases be white.

December 15, 2011

proof whisky, Breakfast Television recap, Vol. 64

We had a great time at Breakfast Television on Monday! Here is a list of the proof cocktail recipes and food recipes from Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. If you would like to watch it for yourself, check out these links from Monday’s show:
Like us on Facebook and Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

the spiked mistletoe 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • 3 oz apple juice or cider • 2 oz cranberry juice
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add proof whisky, apple juice & cranberry juice.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and cranberries.  This drink can also be served warm, just omit the ice and warm in the microwave in a heat-proof mug or on the stove top.

proof cocktails from Monday’s BT show – Make your own proof spiced rum 
Give it as a gift or put the ingredients into a pouch and attach it to the neck of a proof rum or whisky bottle.
1 500 ml bottle proof rum  • 1 (3-inch) piece vanilla bean  • 1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick  
1 point star anise  • 2 cloves  • 1 piece allspice  • 1 piece orange zest 
Add all the spices to a 500 ml bottle of proof rum or pour rum and spices into a large jar with a lid, close, and let steep 24 hours. Use in your favourite rum-based cocktails.


the pom-champagne punch 1/2 cup water • 1/2 cup sugar • 2 750-ml bottles chilled brut Champagne or sparkling wine • 1 1/2 cups proof rum • 1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced • pomegranate seeds • fresh mint leaves • 2-3 cups ice
Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely. Combine Champagne, proof rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl. Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste. Mix in lemon slices & pom seeds.

spice in a pear tree 1 1/2 oz proof homemade spiced rum • 1 oz Ceres pear juice  • 3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup • Angostura bitters • clove nutmeg
In cocktail shaker filled with ice, add proof rum, pear juice, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for about 6 seconds and strain into 6 oz. cocktail glass. Top with dash bitters, a few gratings of nutmeg and a lime twist.

Do you remember lining up for brunch at Mildred Pierce? Well, we certainly do, which is why it was an honour to meet Donna Dooher on Monday. She was an absolute pleasure to work with. Not surprising that her personal motto is ‘Cook with Love and Reckless Abandon.’ 
Here are the Mildred Temple Kitchen recipes that she prepared on the show.

Whisky Egg Nog by Mildred’s Temple Kitchen 6 large eggs, separated • 3/4 cup sugar • 1 vanilla pod • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg • 2 cups 2% milk • 3 cups 35% cream • 3 oz proof whisky  • Marshmallows

METHOD: Whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow ribbon forms. Heat cream, milk and vanilla pod over medium heat. Remove vanilla pod. Pour 8 ounces of warm liquid into egg yolk mixture and whisk (this is called tempering the eggs and it prevents eggs from curdling). Add egg mixture into pot with the remaining warm milk and cream. Whisk over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Cool mixture to room temperature and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours. Beat egg whites into stiff peaks. Whisk egg whites into chilled egg mixture. Add proof whisky and mix. Top with marshmallows (use a handheld blow torch to toast your marshmallows) or whipped cream and a pinch of grated nutmeg. Enjoy. MAKES 12 SERVINGS

Mildred’s Cheddar Shortbreads 1 tsp cayenne pepper • 1 tsp smoked paprika • 1 tsp salt • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour • 1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened • 1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated

METHOD: Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together the cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and the all purpose flour. Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft and light. Add the cheddar cheese and mix to combine. Add the dry ingredients gradually and continue to mix well. Roll the dough into 1” thick cylinders. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. Slice into disks 1/4” thick. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden. MAKES 3 DOZEN


Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Tart  1 - 10” No Fail Pastry pie shell, chilled • 1 lb assorted sliced mushrooms, lightly sautéed  • 3/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled • 1 T fresh marjoram, chopped • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped • 1 1/2 cup 35% cream • 3 eggs • 1 tsp dijon mustard • 1/2 tsp salt

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 400º F. Whisk together eggs and Dijon mustard. Add the cream to the egg mixture and whisk gently (take care not to over mix as you don’t want to incorporate too much air into the eggs). Add herbs and salt to egg mixture. Pour mixture into tart shell. Add sautéed mushrooms and crumbled goat cheese to the top of the mixture distributing evenly. Bake for 10 minutes at 400º F. Reduce the oven to 350 ºF and bake for 20 minutes or until the tart is golden and the middle jiggles slightly when tapped.


No Fail Pastry 3 cups all purpose flour • ¼ tsp salt • ¼ lb unsalted butter, cold • ½ lb shortening, cold • ½ cup ice water           

METHOD: Sift the flour and salt into a large, stainless steel bowl. Grate in the butter and shortening using a box grater. Work the butter and shortening into the flour using your fingertips   until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Add the ice cold water, a little at a time, bringing the dough into a rough ball (you may not need all the water, use only as much as it takes to bind the dough). Divide in half and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 - 30 minutes or until needed. This pastry freezes beautifully as well. MAKES PASTRY FOR 4 x 10” PIE SHELLS


Pick up the perfect gift for your foodie friend or budding chef – Out to Brunch by Donna Dooher. (


If you want to take a break from your hectic holiday shopping, stop into Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village for a delicious lunch or dinner break (

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen opened with a heart-felt philosophy. We’re here because we love food, people and the simple pleasures of life: our temple is the place where we practice our devotion. Here you’ll find seasonal fare, prepared with reverence for its source, and served with pleasure. Dedicated to providing Toronto with a gathering place that offers warmth, great service, and unique culinary memories. It’s a place for the times. We’re glad you discovered us. Mildred’s will be taking part in the January Winterlicious from January 29th until February 11th. Check out this link:

Want to customize your Mildred Temple Kitchen pastry pouches or your proof cocktail bottles? Just click and drag these files to your desktop to print out your very own customized recipe gift tags:

Make sure to visit proof Owner, Michael Riley at the Summerhill LCBO on Saturday between 11:30am - 3:30pm. He will be serving the spiked mistletoe and spice in a pear tree and giving away spice-packs to make your own spiced proof whisky and rum.

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 1 degree
Sunday: Variable cloudiness and a high of 4 degrees