May 31, 2012

proof rum, POP-tail ART, Vol. 87

Normally this post would come much later in the summer, but since our weather has been so unseasonably HOT and dry, we thought that we would give you a cool break with these refreshing treats. Want ‘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, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

watermelon pops 8 oz watermelon juice (from about 2 ½ cups chopped watermelon) • 2 oz fresh lime juice • 1 oz mint simple syrup* 
8 oz proof rum 
• 14 oz club soda

Blend watermelon in a food processor, until it is smooth, but still pulpy. Mix watermelon juice, lime juice, mint simple syrup and proof rum in a shaker and shake well. Pour mixture into popsicle molds (about ¾ full). Top with club soda and stir to combine. Freeze overnight for best results. To release popsicles run hot water on the outside of popsicle molds for a 2-3 seconds.

Mint simple syrup 1/2 cup water
 • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
Place sugar and water in a pot over heat until sugar dissolves. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature and place mint leaves in mixture and muddle. Allow mint leaves to steep for 20 minutes. Strain and discard leaves. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


bananas foster pops 1/2 cup cream • 3/4 cup milk • 3 tablespoons brown sugar • 2 oz proof whisky • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 • 4 bananas loosely chopped

Pour the milk, cream and brown sugar into a small saucepan and heat until just before it begins to boil. Add proof whisky and vanilla. Pour into a blender and add bananas. Blend quickly — the mixture can remain a little chunky. Let cool and refrigerate until cooled completely. Divide the mixture amongst the molds and freeze for 4-5 hours or overnight.


blueberry whisky and cream pops 1/2 cup plain yogurt • 1 cup whipping cream • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract • 1 cup mashed blueberries • 4 oz proof whisky • 1/4 cup agave
Combine mashed blueberries, proof whisky and the agave. Whip the whipping cream. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, whipped cream and vanilla extract. Fold in the blueberry mixture. Add more agave if you prefer a sweeter treat. Pour mixture into molds. Freeze 4-5 hours or overnight.

mojito pops 1 cup mint leaves • 1 cup water • 1 cup fresh lime juice • 1 cup superfine sugar • 3 oz proof rum
Purée all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour mixture into molds. Freeze 4-5 hours or overnight.


sweet tea pops 16 oz boiling water • 3 black tea bags • 2 tbsp sugar • 1 cup loosely-packed mint leaves • 4 oz proof whisky • juice of 1 lime • juice of 1 lemon

Boil water and add to tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes. Pour the hot tea into a large pitcher, along with the sugar. Add juice of one lemon and one lime. Loosely muddle the mint leaves in a glass or bowl. Into the pitcher of now-sweetened tea, stir in the proof whisky, lemon & lime juices and mint. Pour into molds.


fruit blasters 3 cups white grape juice • 2 oz proof rum • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Mix ingredients and pour about ¾ full in molds. Add fresh berries.


Experiment with your favourite juices. Just remember that a good ratio is 3 cups juice to 2 oz proof rum or whisky. If you add too much more alcohol, it just won’t freeze.
Also try different molds. You don't need popsicle molds to make any of these recipes. Dixie or any plastic cup will work (the smaller, the better) Just let the mixture freeze part-way in cup (about 1 1/2 - 2 hours) and insert a popsicle stick in the middle of your pop.

We really like using clear juice for mix – like white grape and cranberry. With these, you can see any inclusions, like mint, berries, citrus fruit, and herbs.

Once again, the Riverdale Art Walk is taking place this weekend (june 2nd & 3rd) This is your opportunity to experience the work of a wide variety of established and emerging artists – all in one area, all exhibiting over two great days. The majority of exhibiting artists can be found in Jimmie Simpson Park, located at Queen Street East and Booth Avenue. Other artists will be exhibiting in retail spaces and galleries along Queen, including the Hangman Art Gallery at 756 Queen Street East. Visit their site for map (


“I paint the way some people write an autobiography. The paintings, finished or not, are the pages from my diary.” —Pablo Picasso
If you would prefer to stay in an air-conditioned environment, do visit the Picasso Exhibit 
at the AGO. It’s an amazing exhibition of Picasso's works borrowed from his own private collection now in the holdings of the Musée National Picasso in Paris. (


proof's perfect day winner will be posted on Facebook this weekend!

Join Michael Riley for a drink tomorrow night, June 1st at the Maple Leaf Gardens LCBO from 4-8pm, and on Saturday, June 2nd at the Manulife LCBO from 4-8pm.

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Isolated showers and a high of 17 degrees
Sunday: Chance of thundershowers and a high of 20 degrees

May 24, 2012

proof rum, out with the old! Vol. 86

Well, it’s yard-sale season again. And because this year, we will be organizing and pricing our merch in much warmer than usual temperatures, we have decided to mix a simple and refreshing drink to enjoy while peddling our goods. Want '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, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

Here’s an easy, yet classic recipe that should help pass the time between customers. It's our twist on the Dark & Stormy.
Legend has it that this refreshing drink was originally concocted in Bermuda for a young sailor. The bartender poured the ginger beer and then, seeing that he had forgotten the rum, tipped the shot of dark rum on top.

bright & sunny 1 oz proof rum • 4 oz ginger beer • lime wedge
Pour the rum into a tall, ice-filled glass. Add the ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Once you have cleaned out some of your old dishes and furniture, you may find that your cupboards seem a little too bare. 
Perhaps some new patio accessories would fill the gap.

 We have looked around a few Toronto shops to see what is on offer this patio season. Here are some of our favourites:(,,,,,


Don’t forget to walk over to Kensington Market for the first Pedestrian Sunday of the year, 12-7pm. This year they are also trying something new...
Join them Sunday afternoons from 12 to 6pm in August & September for Market Sundays - a pedestrian friendly shopping environment that allows more room for people to enjoy and support Kensington Market's over 245 local, independent businesses. (

Join Michael Riley for a drink tomorrow evening (Friday, May 25th), from 4-8pm at the Liberty Village LCBO.

proof's perfect day sweepstakes will be closing in 6 days. If you have not yet entered, LIKE US on Facebook todayWe will be announcing the winner next week.

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Sunny with cloudy periods and a high of 25 degrees
Sunday: Chance of thundershower and a high of 26 degrees

May 17, 2012

proof whisky, may! two! four! Vol. 85

Whether you are opening your cottage, setting up a tent at a Provincial campsite or soaking up the sun in a city park this weekend, you can be sure of one thing – it's going to be an AWESOME Victoria Day weekend! Since it would be a shame to step inside even for a minute this holiday, we have supplied you with a tasty (and simple) outdoor menu. For more information on proof brands, visit our website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get last minute updates on tastings, parties & events.

the victoria 4 mint leaves  • ½ oz maple syrup • 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • lemon wedge
Place mint and maple syrup in a glass and muddle. Fill glass with crushed ice and add proof whisky. 
Give it a squeeze of lemon and garnish with mint leaf.

proof whisky-maple salmon 1 cedar cooking plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour • 1/2 cup proof whisky • 1 cup real maple syrup • 1 tsp crushed hot red chilies • 1 tbsp butter, room temperature • 1 whole, boned fillet wild Pacific salmon (about 3 lbs.), skin on • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper • 1 tsp onion powder • 2 lemons, halved

Combine the proof whisky and maple syrup to make the sauce. In a saucepan, bring the mixture to a slow boil and reduce by about half, until you have a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon. Add the chilies and butter and stir until just combined. Set aside and keep warm. Season the skinless side of the salmon with salt, pepper and onion powder. Let the salmon sit for 10 or 15 minutes at room temperature, until the rub is moistened. Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5 or 10 minutes or until the temperature rises above 260 C. Rinse the plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4 or 5 minutes, or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Season the plank with kosher salt and place the salmon, skin side down, on the plank. Cover the grill and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish has an internal temperature of 55 C. Check periodically to make sure the plank doesn't catch fire, and spray the burning edges with water if it does, making sure to close the lid afterwards. When the salmon is done, squeeze half a lemon along its length and carefully transfer to a platter. Garnish with remaining lemon cut into slices. (NOTE: we found our planks at Costco in pkgs of 5)

wild side rice 2 cups wild rice • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice • 3 tablespoons chopped shallot • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil • 1 cup long-grain white rice • 1 1/2 cups water • 2 cups hickory-smoked almonds • 1 1/4 cups chopped parsley • 3/4 cup dried apples or apricots, thinly sliced • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or blueberries

Rince wild rice under cold water, then combine with cold water (follow cooking instructions on package). Simmer, covered, until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Whisk together juice, shallot, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Gradually whisk in oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. After wild rice has been simmering 20 minutes, boil white rice and 1 1/2 cups water in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered and undisturbed, until steam holes appear on surface, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to very low and cook, covered and undisturbed, 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Rinse cooked wild rice in a sieve under cold water and drain. Stir together rices, vinaigrette, nuts, parsley, dried fruit, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

 grilled asparagus 2 large bunches fresh asparagus • 2 teaspoons olive oil • 1 cup fresh basil • 2 garlic cloves • 1 tbsp grated lemon peel • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese • 1/4 cup pine nuts • 1/2 cup olive oil • Fine kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Toss the asparagus with olive oil and place in a perforated grill basket or wok set on a baking sheet. For the Pesto, combine basil, garlic, lemon peel, cheese, and nuts in a food processor and pulse to puree. Slowly add the olive oil with the processor running until the mixture thickens and emulsifies, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place the grill wok or basket directly over the fire and stir-grill tossing the beans with wooden paddles or grill spatulas until crisp-tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the grilled beans to a large bowl and toss with about 1/4 cup of the pesto or to taste. (You can use same recipe for green beans)

Visit Michael Riley for a sample, on your way to the cottage this Saturday, May 19th at the Barrie, Bayfield Street LCBO from 4-8pm!

proof's perfect day sweepstakes will be closing next week. If you have not yet entered, LIKE US on Facebook today. 
We will be announcing the winner next week.

 Here’s another salmon recipe to try on the Barbie. Thanks Leslie for sending us your date night recipes! If anyone else has any great proof recipes or stories, send them our way. Check out Leslie's blog:

Weekend Forecast
Saturday: Sunny and 21 degrees!
Sunday: Sunny and 25 degrees!
Monday: Sunny and 26 degrees!!

Happy Victoria Day!!