November 27, 2014

proof whisky, Have a holly jolly hipst-mas, Vol. 147

We spent the weekend in Brooklyn shopping for the holidays, and although the markets and stores were stocked with a surplus of amazing items, we are nowhere near the finish line. Thankfully we have several more resources to cover and a month of delivery time still left for our online orders. For more information on proof brands visit

prospect park sour 2 oz proof whisky • ½ oz fresh lemon • ½ oz fresh orange • ¼ oz maple syrup • ¼ oz Amaro Lucano
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a sour glass. Garnich with an orange twist.

the royal tannenbaum 2 oz proof whisky • 3/4 oz grapefruit juice • 1/2 oz Cynar • 1/4 fresh lemon juice • 3 dash pine tincture*
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a rocks or sour glass. (*pine tincture can be purchased at the Big Carrot dispensary in Toronto)

Because gift buying can be quite exhausting, frequent breaks are always in order. We managed many refreshment stops throughout our expedition, but the winning stop was at the Clover Club in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Here, the bartender was even kind enough to share his recipes with us. We paired these cocktails with a ‘bacon tasting’ – a selection of three styles of thick cut bacon. (Maple bacon, black pepper bacon and duck bacon.)
Clover Club opened in 2009 and is now rated as one of the top 25 cocktail bars in America. This casual Brooklyn-style joint has a speakeasy feel without being overdone. The more serious the cocktail the more fun the night out: this is the guiding principle of the Clover Club, a Smith Street bar that serves what are now known as pre-Prohibition drinks, a professorial assortment of fizzes, smashes, swizzles and sours. New York Times (210 Smith Street (718) 855-7939

Saturday was a full day of shopping. Our first stop was the Brooklyn Flea. November through March, Brooklyn Flea moves indoors for the Winter Flea + Holiday Market with 100 vintage/antique vendors plus 25 vendors selling food every Saturday + Sunday, 10am-6pm. 

The 30,000+sf space is in Crown Heights at 1000 Dean St. (btw. Classon + Franklin) and next to Berg'n beer hall.

Next, we cabbed it over to the Williamsburg Smorgasborg for a light lunch. It was quite chilly on the East River, but the place was packed. Droves of visitors were lined up at one smoky booth. As true Canadians that we are, we jumped into this long lineup. We were pleasantly surprised that we had picked a good line. Ramen burgers are fresh hand-made beef burgers served on ‘bun’ made of molded and fried ramen noodles. It was the best thing ever. Another highlight was a fish taco made of tilapia ceviche. It was super fresh and spicy. (

We then stopped by the Artists & Fleas Williamsburg Holiday Market on North 7th street and spent the rest of the day shopping the streets of Williamsburg. Our shopping ended at the Clover Club. (

This weekend, we’re off to the Leslieville Flea. (Sunday November 30th from 10am to 5pm at the SH Armstong Community Centre and the opening of the Toronto Christmas market at the Distillery (

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Scattered flurries and a high of 4 degrees

Sunday: Cloudy with showers and a high of 10 degrees

November 20, 2014

proof whisky, I’m dreaming of a low-impact Christmas, Vol. 146

This year, we will try our best to purchase only recycled, hand-made, local and/or refurbished gifts for our friends and loved ones. So for the next few weeks we will be visiting some great flea-markets and local vintage stores. Let the shopping begin! For more information on proof brands visit

the annex 1 ½ oz proof whisky  5 oz Bistrotea Apple Cinnamon (very strong) • ½ oz ginger syrup •  ¼ oz fresh lemon juice

Add 1 L of boiling water to 3 Bistrotea Apple Cinnamon pods and let brew until it is very black and cold.  Add proof whisky, 5 oz Bistrotea Apple Cinnamon tea, ginger syrup and fresh lemon juice to your favourite vintage glass filled with ice. Stir and enjoy! And if the weather outside is frightful, drink it hot! (you can use any kind of tea if you cannot find Bistrotea (


ginger syrup Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a saucepan. Peel and grate a 1 inch piece of ginger into the saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Let cool.  This will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Last Sunday, we eagerly pushed our way through the SC parade crowd to reach our destination, The Annex Flea. And it was definitely worth all the aggravation of getting there. For the winter months, the flea is set up in the Centre for Social Innovation on Bathurst. There were lots of goodies to be found, including some awesome vintage glassware.

In the grand tradition of Toronto’s neighbourhood markets, the Annex Flea brings the best vintage and handmade goods in Toronto together under one roof.

Look your flashiest with jewellery crafted by local talent, or try on a piece of single origin chocolate while sipping a fair trade cappuccino.  Find that pair of high-waisted pants you’ve been looking for since 1991, or set up your own personal Mad-Men-era bar, complete with ice bucket, ashtray and vintage suaveness.  Snack on an unexpectedly innovative treat, or find the perfect vintage mirror to appreciate your good looks in.  Chat with a seasoned vendor about getting your own shop off the ground, or make friends with that other attractive customer reaching for the same item as you…the next Annex Flea is December 13th & 14th. (

If you are looking specifically for vintage glass and barware in the Toronto area, check out one of our previous posts. proof whisky, anotherman’s treasure, Vol. 33 

Next week, we are off to Williamsburg in Brooklyn.

Weekend Forecast:
Saturday: Partly sunny and a high of 4 degrees

Sunday: Chance of showers and a high of 7 degrees