August 30, 2012

proof whisky, labour day – it’s okay to be crabby, Vol. 100

For our last summer hurrah, we will be serving caesars and a seafood boil at the beach. 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 old bay 1 ½ oz proof whisky • 4 oz Mott’s clamato juice • ½ tsp seafood sauce • 1 dash Tabasco • 1 dash Worcester • Old Bay Seasoning • lemon wedges

Coat the rim of a glass with lemon juice and then rim it with Old Bay Seasoning. Add ice to glass. Top with proof whisky, clamato juice, seafood sauce, Tabasco and Worcester. Stir and garnish with a cooked shrimp. (sprinkle more Old Bay on top for a spicier version)

For our last weekend in the Southern Georgian Bay area we are featuring some of the amazing sandy beaches.

Tiny Township Beaches The Township of Tiny has 70 km of shoreline. These beaches are marked as Concessions. Some of the most popular concession beaches in the area are the 10th to the 13th. We had our seafood boil at our favourite beach, the 13th Concession, also known as Wahnekewaning Beach (

Balm Beach (10th) Kitschy beach experience with go-karts, mini-putt and arcade

Awenda Park The beach area is located below the Nipissing Bluff, with five differing beautiful Georgian Bay beaches to choose from. (There’s even a pet friendly one!)  Access to the Awenda beaches is along a walking trail, so be prepared to carry your beach accessories! 

Wasaga Beach The world’s longest freshwater beach. Wasaga boasts 14 km of white sand beach, with shallow warm Georgian Bay waters for splashing about.  Enjoy the beach shops, rent a personal watercraft for some adventure, or stroll the boardwalk.

Old Bay Crab & Shrimp Boil 16 cups water • 1/2 cup Old Bay • 2 tablespoons salt • 8 medium red potatoes, quartered • 2 large onions, cut into wedges • 1 clove garlic, minced • 2 pounds lean smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces • 8 ears fresh corn, shucked and halved crosswise • 4 pounds unpeeled jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 count) • 2 lbs snow crab legs

Bring water, OLD BAY Seasoning and salt to boil in 12-quart stockpot on high heat. Add potatoes and onions. Cook 8 minutes. Add smoked sausage. Cook 5 minutes. Add corn. Cook 7 minutes. Stir in shrimp. Layer crab legs on top. Cook 6 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink and crab is heated through.

Drain cooking liquid. Pour contents of pot into large serving bowl or platter. Or, mound on paper-covered table. Sprinkle with additional OLD BAY Seasoning, if desired.

remoulade sauce 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise • 1/4 cup mustard • 1 tbsp sweet paprika • 1-2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning • 2 tsps prepared horseradish • 1 tsp pickle juice • 1 teaspoon tabasco sauce • 1 large clove garlic, minced

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. The remoulade is better if left for a few hours to let the flavors meld. Keep refrigerated. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Serve on toasts.

Best tool while travelling to the US, we discovered the steamer pots at Joe Crab Shack. The best discovery, however, were the little crab cutting tools that came with the meal. Obviously they are popular with most customers because the cheeky owners of Joe’s had them printed with “Stolen from Joe's Crab Shack.”

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Sunny and a high of 24 degrees
Sunday: Sunny and a high of 25 degrees
Monday: Thunderstorm and a high of 23 degrees

August 23, 2012

proof whisky, peaches, caves and coasters, Vol. 99

Collingwood, Ontario has become just as popular a destination in the hot months as it is in the winter months. Today, we will show you why. 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 georgian peach 2 slices peeled peach • fresh mint • 1 oz ginger syrup • 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • 1/4 oz Cinzano (optional) • ice

Add peaches, mint and ginger simple syrup to a glass. Muddle. Add proof whisky, Cinzano and lots of ice. Stir. Top with ginger ale and garnish with a grilled peach slices.

ginger simple syrup 1 cup sugar • 1 cup water • 1 piece (about 10 inches long and 4 ounces; or use several small pieces) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin rounds
Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add ginger; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let steep 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard ginger. Refrigerate up to 1 month.

The sweetness of fresh Ontario peaches goes perfectly with a bit of smoky flavour. Here are a couple of ways to grill peaches on the BBQ.

Grilled peach salsa 4 ripe local peaches • 1 tbsp olive oil • kosher salt • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 1 small red onion • fresh mint
Brush pitted and peeled peach halves with some olive oil, and sprinkle a bit of salt all over. Grill over medium for about 2 minutes per side. Let cool, and then slice, and mix with a good squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of finely chopped red onion, a bit of chopped fresh mint, and salt to taste. This is beautiful with grilled pork, and will add a lot of life to an everyday grilled chicken breast.

Grilled peaches with ice cream 4 ripe local peaches • 2 tbsp melted butter • 4 tbsp brown sugar • salt
Coat the peaches in melted butter, and sprinkle on a generous coating of brown sugar, with a pinch of salt. Grill over medium for about 3-4 minutes per side, and serve warm, with a squeeze of fresh lemon, with a good quality vanilla ice cream. (for even more decadence, drizzle with dulce de leche)

Standing near the highest point of the Niagara Escarpment - more than 300 meters in elevation above Georgian Bay - the suspension bridge at Scenic Caves is Ontario's newest feature attraction. 

Not only will you venture deep inside Blue Mountain’s labyrinth of caves and crevices, at Collingwood’s Scenic Caves, you will have the option of riding a zip line through the trees, crossing Ontario's longest suspension footbridge, hiking through the lush trails or playing an 18-hole game of miniputt. (

After visiting the Scenic Caves, take a short drive back to the Blue Mountain village for dinner and to check out its many outdoor activities. Blue Mountain is no longer just a skier’s haven. With its mountain coaster, high ropes, golf, hiking adventures and many more summer activities, you will be set for hours of outdoor fun. 

It’s a great way to work up an appetite, before hitting one of the village’s many restos and patios. ( We had dinner at Oliver & Bonacini’s at the Weston. Both the food and the ambiance were perfect from their outdoor patio. (


Remember to check out where magazine for our summer contest & bi-weekly recipes. where is now featuring one proof recipe every other week until September.

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Sunny and a high of 29 degrees.
Sunday: Sunny and a high of 28 degrees.

August 16, 2012

proof rum, cranberry capitol Vol. 98

Today, we are visiting Bala, cranberry capitol of Ontario. 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 cranberry kee 2 oz proof rum • 4 oz iced-tea • 2 oz cranberry juice • ¼ tsp fresh lemon juice
Pour all ingredients into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with lemon and fresh cranberries. For a lighter version, use white cranberry juice.

iced-tea 4 teabags (black or green tea) • 8 cups of water (filtered water will give a far better taste) • 1 cup sugar
Boil half of the water (4 cups) and pour over tea bags. Allow the tea to steep for no more than 5 minutes, otherwise it may become bitter. In a large jug or bowl, place 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of cold (filtered) water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour your brewed tea into the sugar/water mixture and stir. Adding the hot tea to the cold water helps prevent the finished drink from becoming cloudy. Cool.


At the core of Muskoka, located about 160 km north of Toronto, is the town of Bala, a picturesque spot that several hundred people call home throughout the year, though this number can quadruple in the summer months.

We stopped in town for some lunch. There are a few quaint restaurants and shops in the centre of town, like Saturday Afternoons and Skirt. ( If you do visit, make sure to explore the town on foot – otherwise you will miss the great areas by the river.

Though most people head to Bala in the summertime to enjoy the lake, autumn is also a great season to visit, as the annual Cranberry Festival takes place on the weekend after the Canadian Thanksgiving. The festival features plenty of vendors, live entertainment and performances to keep everyone in the family busy.

“If you build it, they will come.” Long before the fictional movie Field of Dreams – where a farmer upon hearing a voice speaking to him, creates a baseball diamond in the middle of a field of corn – Gerry Patrick Dunn felt the same real-life urge to push ahead in 1941 with an idea so grandiose it left some people scratching their heads in amazement. Gerry erected the most ambitious summer dance pavilion ever built in Ontario cottage country: Dunn’s Pavilion – “Where All Muskoka Dances”  Over 70 years later, The Kee to Bala is still attracting top knotch talent and a big crowd. Check out this weekend’s performance.

An Evening with Drake Saturday August 18, 2012 Doors open at 10:00 pm Early-bird prices (prices subject to change without notice) TICKETS $100.00 + HST & Handling An Evening with Drake” at The KEE to Bala. Hosted and live performances by Drake and Dj Future The Prince. (

Remember to check out where magazine for our summer contest & bi-weekly recipes. where is now featuring one proof recipe every other week until September.

 Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Mainly sunny and a high of 23 degrees
Sunday: Cloudy periods and a high of 22 degrees