June 25, 2017

proof whisky & vodka, Canada 150, Vol.170

Happy Birthday Canada! Canada has more lakes than any other country—which is why it has one of the best cottage-country lifestyles in the world. Many Torontonians vacate their homes every weekend to head up to their lake-side retreat. Unfortunately for them, they are leaving behind an amazing summer experience. Toronto thrives in the summer with its perfect combination of urban culture and green spaces. Here are a few of our favourite Toronto parks and Canadian inspired drinks.

the trinity mint (single) 1½ oz proof whisky • 6 torn mint leaves • 5 oz lemonade* • garnish of 1 tbsp blueberries and mint
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 ½ oz proof whisky, 6 torn mint leaves and 5 oz lemonade*. Shake well and strain into a Collins glass filled with ice. Garnish with 1 tbsp fresh blueberries and a mint sprig. Can substitute proof whisky for proof vodka.

the trinity mint (group size) 1 - 500ml bottle of proof whisky • 1/2 cup torn up mint leaves* • 60 oz of lemonade (1 can frozen lemonade - when making use 1 can less water than instructed) Fill the pitcher with ice (as it melts it will make up for the 1 can of water) Add all ingredients and stir. * Use frozen lemonade. Can substitute proof whisky for proof vodka.

To the west - Trinity Bellwoods Park: Located in the west end of Toronto, bordered by Queen Street West on the south and Dundas Street on the north, Trinity Bellwoods' hip West end park is one of the coolest and most cultured of Toronto's public spaces, playing host to many art shows and cultural events.

Only in Canada can you be driving along a busy Expressway, and spot an oversized canoe sitting on the edge of a hill. This is Douglas Coupland’s Canoe Landing park. You can access the park just off the Gardiner Expressway, by turning on to Dan Leckie Way.

Coupland sour 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • 1/2 oz pure maple syrup
 • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
Pour proof whisky, pure maple syrup, fresh lemon into a cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir and enjoy. Can substitute proof whisky for proof vodka.

queens quay (single) 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • 1 oz lemon juice • 1 tbsp cranberries (frozen & thawed) • 1/2 oz maple syrup • 2 oz Ocean Spray® Cranberry Cocktail METHOD In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1½ oz proof whisky, 1 oz of lemon juice, 1 tbsp cranberries (frozen & thawed) ½ oz. maple syrup and 2 oz Ocean Spray® Cranberry Cocktail. Shake sharply and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon and cranberry skewer. We used cherries, because we like them. Can substitute whisky for proof vodka.

queens quay (group size) 1 cup proof whisky • 5 oz lemon juice • ½ cup frozen cranberries (thawed) • 1/3 cup maple syrup • 1.89 litres of Ocean Spray® Cranberry Cocktail (full bottle) METHOD In a punch bowl or pitcher add ½ cup muddled or smashed cranberries, 1 cup proof whisky, 5 oz. of lemon juice, 1/3 cup maple syrup and 1.89 litres of Ocean Spray® Cranberry Cocktail. Mix well and add lots of ice. Garnish with frozen cranberries. Can substitute whisky for proof vodka.

To the South – Toronto is home to one of the longest urban lakefronts in the world. From the Rouge River in the east to Etobicoke Creek in the west, the 46-kilometre shoreline encompasses attractions ranging from city parks, beaches and marinas to concert venues, art galleries and a new BMX park. One of our favourite locations is the peaceful Music Garden, just west of lower spadina avenue at Queens Quay.

It's not exactly a park, but, if you are in the Spadina area, you might want to snap a few selfies at Graffiti Alley. This alleyway, just South of Queen Street West has quickly become one of Toronto's most popular instagram backdrops. 

thyme for riverdale (single) 1 oz proof vodka • 1 sprig thyme • 1 ½ oz Ceres pear juice • ½ oz simple syrup • ½ oz lemon juice • splash soda
Add first 5 ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake hard and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of thyme. 

thyme for riverdale (group size) 6 oz proof vodka • 6 sprig thyme • 9 oz Ceres pear juice • 3 oz simple syrup • 3 oz lemon juice • splash soda (6 oz)
Add first 5 ingredients to an ice-filled thermos. Shake hard and serve in cups. Top with soda and garnish with a sprig of thyme. If soda is inconvenient, drink will still be great without it.

To the east - All east-enders know about Riverdale Park and its amazing view of the Toronto skyline. The top of the hill located on the east side of the park, next to Broadview Avenue, has an unobstructed view of the downtown core and surrounding skyline. It is easily accessible via TTC or car. In the south end of the park, are located permanent cement ping-pong tables where you can enjoy a round or two. If you are more in the mood for a caffeinated beverage, the rooster coffee house is located just across the street on Broadview.

Happy 150th Canada!! We love every part of you!

May 13, 2017

proof whisky, Mama mia! Vol. 169

Instagram Drink of the Day
thunder beach ice tea (single) 1 oz proof vodka • ½ oz proof whisky • 1/2 oz cherry brandy • 1 oz lemon sour (mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and simple syrup) • 2 oz coke
Fill a highball glass with ice. Add all ingredients in above order. Garnish with a cherry and lemon skewer.

thunder beach ice tea (32 oz) 4 oz proof vodka • 4 oz proof whisky • 2 oz cherry brandy • ¾ cup lemon sour (mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and simple syrup) • 1 ½  cup coke
Mix all ingredients in pitcher. Pour in ice-filled glasses. Garnish each with a cherry and lemon skewer.

Treat mom to one of these delicious cocktails.

rosey cheeks We mixed Fentimans Victorian and Rose lemonades with our proof vodka and a splash of tonic for a delicious cocktail. Fentimans is a British-craft soft-drink company known for creating unique flavours and using botanical brewing methods. 

Botanical brewing is a time-honoured technique of making superior quality beverages using a combination of infusion, skilful blending and fermentation of natural ingredients. Thomas Fentimans time honoured approach hasn't changed much in over 100 years, with the knowledge and expertise being passed on from generation to generation of the Fentimans family. The result is an authentic drink that tastes simply delicious. Check out their flavours at www.fentimans.com

the sloane Place one Sloane Chai teabag in a bottle of proof whisky. Let it steep overnight. Enjoy topped with soda and a little simple syrup. We used Sloane Chai Tea, but there are many other flavours to enjoy on their website.
Sloane Tea The tea in your cup is a result of a delicious journey. At Sloane Tea Company we traverse the world in search of only the finest teas that would delight even the most discerning of palates. The Sloane story is about beauty. Beauty as told through the senses of taste, smell and sight. Beauty as experienced through the remarkable taste of our teas, as well as the beauty of the colour in your cup and the enticing fragrance of our perfumed teas. Sloane’s signature line of teas and tisanes (herbal teas) combine the finest loose leaf teas, exotic ingredients and artisanal techniques. www.sloanetea.com

the blueberry pancake 1 ½ oz proof vodka • 1 ½ oz blueberry juice • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or fresh vanilla bean) • blueberries for garnish

Pour all ingredients into shaker filled with ice. Shake and pour into martini glass. Top with fresh or frozen blueberries.

Happy Mother's Day!

March 17, 2017

proof whisky, green day, Vol. 168

Instagram Drink of the Day
the frida  1 1/2 oz proof vodka • 1/2 oz Cointreau • 1 1/2 oz lime juice • 1 1/2 oz lemon juice • 1/2 simple syrup • sea salt for rim
Shake all ingredients together with ice. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass.

Instagram Drink of the Day
black bramble  2 oz proof whisky or proof vodka • 2oz Chambord Royale • 2 tsp simple syrup • 1oz lemon juice garnish with blackberries

Pour 2 oz proof whisky, 2 oz Chambord Royale, 2 tsp simple syrup, and 1 oz lemon juice into an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into a tumbler glass filled with cubed ice. Garnish with blackberries. 

Happy St. Patty’s Day 2017! Here are a few carefully crafted emerald cocktails to share with your lucky buds. And may your glass be ever full. For more information about our brands, visit www.proofbrands.com

winter fresh 2 oz proof whisky • ¼ oz crème de menthe • 2 oz cream
Add proof whisky, crème de menthe and cream to an ice-filled shaker. Shake and pour into a chilled glass. Garnish with a sprig of mint

the guru 1 1/2 oz proof whisky • 1 oz Zen Green Tea Liqueur* • 4 sprigs fresh mint • LOTS of crushed ice
Muddle 3 mint sprigs and Green Tea Liqueur in the bottom of a Julep cup and fill with crushed ice. Pour in 2 oz proof whisky and stir. Garnish with remaining mint sprig. Drink with straw.

* Zen Green Tea Liqueur has limited availability so make sure to check the lcbo website for in stock locations (www.lcbo.com)

dragonwell ½ oz fresh lime juice • 4 large mint leaves • 1 1/2 teaspoons simple syrup • 4 oz brewed green tea, chilled • 1 oz proof vodka

Muddle the lime juice, mint and sugar together in a glass until the leaves bruise lightly and the flavors are released. Fill glass with ice and pour in proof vodka and green tea. Stir and garnish with mint.

the emerald city 2 teaspoons matcha • 3/4 cup water • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish • 
2 tablespoons sugar • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice • 1/2 cup proof whisky • ice
Place the matcha in a bowl, and gradually work in a tablespoon of the water drop by drop, stirring constantly, until the matcha is a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the rest of the water. Place the mint leaves and sugar in a jar or measuring pitcher, and muddle (using muddler or the back of a wooden spoon) until the sugar is dissolved and the leaves are bruised. Stir in 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and all of the proof whisky & matcha mixture. Strain the mixture into an ice-filled shaker through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the mint to extract all the flavour. Shake and pour into two ice-filled tumblers and garnish with mint leaves. 

the pickleback Get into the spirit of St. P’s with another popular green drink. A pickleback is when you chase a shot of whisky with a shot of pickle brine. The pickle brine works to neutralize both the taste of the whisky and the burn of the alcohol. It's also sometimes called a Piskey.

For a proof whisky St Patty's Day throwback, visit Beautiful Day, Volume 25.