April 12, 2012

proof whisky, all tapped out, Vol. 80

This year’s maple syrup weather was more suitable for barbecue season than for tapping trees. Syrup producers, who normally extend maple season until now, ended it in late March yielding only 50%-75% of normal production. Another early-ending (and disappointing) season for a certain Canadian team, was hockey season. The Leafs did not make it to the playoffs. Here is a Canadian-inspired drink to mark both finals. If you would like 'the proof is in' to come straight to your inbox, sign-up is at the bottom of the page. For more information on proof brands, visit our website www.proofbrands.com, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on tastings, parties & events.

the maple leaf ¼ cup cranberries • ½ oz lemon juice • ½ oz maple syrup • 2 oz proof whisky • lots of ice

To a cocktail shaker, add ¼ cup cranberries, ½ oz lemon juice and ½ oz maple syrup. Muddle all ingredients with a spoon or muddler. Fill the shaker with ice and 2 oz proof whisky. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lemon twist. (TIP: Since it is not cranberry season, we used frozen. Make sure to let the berries thaw before using, reserving a few of the frozen ones for garnish and/or for chilling your drink.)

The new Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens is an amazing grocery store. It’s huge 85,000 square feet of space is subdivided into a market-style experience. Some of the best features are the ACE artisanal bakery, a pâtisserie, the wall of cheese, a sushi counter and a Tea Emporium tea bar and boutique.

Along with the restoration of the building's exterior, subtle reminders of the Gardens remain. A gigantic blue maple leaf statue, assembled out of old seats, is situated by the entrance. The font used to identify the main sections of the store is the same as the one originally used within the arena. A mural behind the checkout counter, the food court tables, store pillars and the exposed brick wall that reveals the old escalator tracts are also reminders of the old Gardens.

Maple Leaf Gardens was one of the original six arenas. We found this interesting site which highlights the fate of all six. (by Danny Gray http://theleafsnation.com)

Boston Garden The Bruins inhabited the Boston Garden from 1928 to 1995. The building sat vacant for two years after the Bruins moved next door to the Fleetcenter and was demolished in 1997. It is now a parking lot for the TD Garden and Boston Transit System.
Chicago Stadium The stadium was home to the Blackhawks from 1929 to 1994. When constructed it was the largest indoor stadium in the world. The Blackhawks left for the United Center in 1995 and the Stadium was demolished. It has been replaced by a parking lot for the United Center.

Detroit Olympia The Detroit Red Wings, then known as the Cougars, were the Olympia’s first tenant when it opened in 1927. They stayed there until 1979. Initially the Wings considered following the Lions to Pontiac but the city offered a water-front arena with lower rent and a stake in both Cobo Hall and parking facilities so the Wings moved to Joe Louis Arena.  The Wings' lease with the city barred them from operating Olympia Stadium in competition with either Joe Louis or Cobo Arenas. They were also forbidden to sell the building for use as a sports or entertainment venue. As a result the building was shuttered and eventually demolished in 1987. In its place is the Michigan National Guard’s Olympia Armory. All that remains is a commemorative plaque.

Madison Square Garden (the 3rd) The third building to bear the name: Madison Square Garden was home to the New York Rangers from 1925 to 1968. When the Rangers moved to Madison Square Garden IV the building was demolished. The site was a parking lot until the late 80s when One Worldwide Plaza, a skyscraper, was built on the site.

The Montreal Forum The Forum was perhaps the most storied of all the Original Six arenas. It was home to Les Canadiens from 1926 to 1996. After the Habs left Nicholas Cage filmed parts of the movie Snake Eyes there. The plot revolves around a boxer feigning a knockout after a phantom punch, hardly the first time someone took a dive at the Forum. The Forum is the only other Original Six arena still standing. It was gutted and transformed into an entertainment center called the Pepsi Forum. The building acknowledges its past life with memorabilia from the Forum and statues of former Habs.

Maple Leaf Garden (original) Built at the beginning of the Depression by Conn Smythe over six-months the Gardens was home to the Leafs from 1931 to 1999. When the Leafs moved out the building sat mostly dormant. The last major use was for season one of CBC’s Battle of the Blades. Yesterday the Loblaws opened. It is also the home of the Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre at the Gardens, home to the Ryerson hockey team as well as an athletic facility for its students.

If you could have the perfect day, just what would that day be? proof is now running its first-ever contest – the proof’s perfect day sweepstakes from April 1st to May 30th, 2012. To become eligible to win, all you have to do is LIKE US on Facebook. If you should win, you will begin this perfect day with a $50.00 haircut at Toronto’s trendiest Barber Shop, Garrison’s by the Park Barbershop (for him), and a $75.00 mani-pedi at Sunny Mummy Spa & Boutique (for her). A $500.00 shopping spree will follow, courtesy of Club Monaco. Later you will enjoy a $75.00 SoCal dinner at the Combine Eatery on the Danforth, and you will then finish your perfect day with a Cineplex Movie Night Out Pass for two. A few surprises await you along the way, but these we are keeping a secret. Value is over $750.00.

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Isolated showers and a high of 15 degrees
Sunday: Cloudy with showers and a high of 19 degrees

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