Archive for Boozy

Canadian Christmas Cocktail

Yup, the Christmas posts have begun. 

Does this make me behind the times? It is, after all, nearly the middle of December. 

My tree’s not up, and I’ve only baked one batch of Christmas cookies so far. It’s possible I’m behind, but I’m honestly not that bothered by it. 

Canadian Christmas Cocktail.

Truth is, there are too many other things going on right now. Christmas is going to have to take care of itself. I’m buried in marking, I’m writing press releases like there’s no tomorrow, and scheduling social content for 5 different channels. It’s nutty, kids. 

But that’s okay. All of this frenetic energy is going to come to crashing stop when I get on a plane at the end of the week to go somewhere where it’s not raining 24/7. Where it’s warm and sunny. 

The problem is, to get to that point, so that I don’t have to worry or work while I’m away, is an immense amount of work. 

It’s all gonna be worth it, though! 

So let’s have a cocktail, shall we? 

I recently started working with Maple Water. Now, you might be wondering (as I was), what the heck is maple water??? Well, my friends, it just might be the most Canadian thing, um… ever. 

Basically, when they tap the maple trees in the spring, they are collecting the sap inside the trees. That is maple water. Once they have enough of it, they boil it down and make it in the syrup you know and love on your pancakes. It takes 40 litres of maple water to make one litre of syrup. 

But in the meantime, some smarty-pants discovered that this stuff tastes good, and when they had it analyzed, it turns out it contains electrolytes, amino acids, and ABA, a plant hormone that may help to balance blood sugar levels. Basically, if you have been a fan of coconut water, you’re going to love this stuff. If you have not been a fan of coconut water (ie, me), you’re going to love this stuff. 

So what can you do with it? It’s great for making coffee (c’mon, now, coffee and maple??!), you can put it in your smoothie, I’ve been using it to make overnight oats. And… cocktails! 

For me, this stuff pretty neatly takes the place of a simple syrup. It’s not a sweet, and it has a touch of acidity. I’ve been liking experimenting with it a lot. 

Canadian Christmas Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1 oz maple water (I’m using Pure Maple Water)
  • .5 oz pomegranate juice
  • splash of grenadine
  • twist of orange

Cheers! 

 

Blueberry Cucumber Gin Smash

Earlier this week, I left you with a non-alcoholic cool-me-down drink, but today’s version is for the grownups.

I should just say (and not to be a downer here) that you should probably watch the amount of alcohol you consume in the summer, as it is dehydrating. Yes, I know, a delicious cold beer or cider is super refreshing on a hot day, but just be mindful.

Okay! PSA over! Let’s talk gin!

Gin Smash Cocktail

Gin is a fantastic summer drink. It’s light and refreshing, and has floral notes from the juniper. It pairs beautifully with lighter ingredients, like cucumber, mint and citrus, which makes it even better for summer sipping on a patio or beside a lake.

One of my favourite local producers of gin is Victoria Distillers. They’re located in Sidney, which is right as soon as you get off the ferry onto Vancouver Island, if you are taking the Tswassen–Swartz Bay route. I was driving through Sidney recently, and I had to stop and see where they made my favourite purple gin. Victoria distillers

You see, a couple years back, Victoria Distillers launched a new product. It’s called Empress 1908 Gin, and it’s made with Empress tea (yes, from that Empress hotel) and butterfly pea tea, which is what gives it its unique purple colour. You know how obsessed I am with butterfly pea tea, and it’s super cool, colour-changing properties. Empress Gin ingredients

The distillery is just a couple years old, and built right on the water. They have a gorgeous tasting room, shop and bar out front (complete with patio on the water) and in the back, they distill and bottle their various liquors (which include gin, a bourbon-barrel aged gin, and several vodkas). Victoria distillers plant

They are open every day from noon, so you can stop by yourself and check the place out, try some spirits, or have one of their creative cocktails at the bar.

By the way, the purple gin has done so well for them, that they are now bottling up 6,000 per week, and receiving orders as far away as Japan and Bermuda. That is a BC success story if I ever heard one!

Here’s my recipe, inspired by my visit. It’s kind of a cross between a mojito and a G&T, though there’s no tonic needed here. Feel free to top it up with some if you like.

Blueberry Cucumber Gin Smash

Blueberry Cucumber Gin Smash

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz gin
  • 10 blueberries
  • 2″ round of cucumber, chopped rough
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • ice

Method

  1. In the bottom of your cocktail shaker, place the blueberries, cucumbers and mint. Muddle well together (this is the “smash” part, get it?).
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and the ice. Shake well until the outside of the cocktail shaker is frosted.
  3. Strain into a glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a slice of cucumber and a few blueberries.
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