Friday, May 7, 2010

Mothers Day Momosa

Ok, so Mothers day is coming up and everyone wants to do something special for the mother of their children, or their own mother. So why not kick off the day with breakfast in bed served with a Momosa (Champagne or sparkling wine, Orange Juice, Crushed Ice, and a little something that mom would love that only you would know about). My mother loves having her entire family together, so I would serve the cocktail with a nice family photo clipped to the side of the glass. Without this extra touch, you're simply serving a Mimosa. Cheers!

Favour your Flavour

Distinguishing yourself from other bar tenders can be a bit tricky. Most bartenders try to distinguish themselves by having their own jokes, throwing a flare move or two, or by looking super sexy. But the quality of your drinks can also distinguish and set you apart. And one way to up your drinks is through signature bitters.

Bitters is an herbal drink. Historically it was concocted as herbal remedies for illness. Angostura (a brand) bitters was popular during the world wars and the song, "Just a teaspoon of sugar," was originally intended to help the Angostura go down, but was changed to medicine in order to be more child appropriate. Even though Angostura bitters is 44%, you can buy it in grocery stores around Ontario. All you under
age drinkers, you don't need ID to buy Angostura and
it's probably safer than drinking Benadryl (but I only encourage responsible drinking).

I read a GQ magazine years ago that had an article on the best drinks in the U.S. (The 20 Best Cocktails in America) and I wish I had kept it. One of the tricks of these bartenders was to use bitters in their drinks. Most had their own recipes when it came to bitters. This is where you can have some fun! Mixing your own flavoured alcohol is creative and can result in the most unique drinks you may ever try. A friend of mine, Tyler from Auberge du Pommier made a Strawberry and Black Pepper Corn TeQuila mix (which would be nicely served with a bit of lemon juice and a candied lemon twist). Nonetheless, you can make your own signature bitters using Vodka or Gin as your base. Then add a bit of flavour by adding herbs and or spices that you favour (cloves, coriander seedlings, cinnamon, ginger root).

I enjoy a dash of bitters in my manhattans. I find it just gives it a good kick. Classical Manhattan's always had a dash of bitters. I once went to a Casey's at Kennedy Commons and asked the bartender there for a Bourbon Manhattan (click for recipe), and the restaurant must have been going through a large staff turnover, because the bartender returned to me asking me how to make a manhattan. Then he told me that they had no Bourbon... and he didn't think they had bitters either... I ended up with a rum a coke that night. Since then the staff has turned-over again and the bartender there now serves Bloody Caesars (click for creative recipes) in wine glasses, which is visually appealing, but a little feminine for a sports bar... I keep going back to Casey's for t
he Nachos. They're the best in town.

Anyhow, if any of you make fantastic bitters or flavour your own liquor and have stumbled across an amazing discovery, I'd love to hear about it. Don't worry, I wont steal and commercialize your recipes.

Here's a frew to start you off.

Cucumber and Cellery Vodka with Pepper Corns - great for caesars.
Orange Peel and Green Tea Vodka
Cinamon, Cardimum, and Cloves with Brandy


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rusty Nay-sayers

There are so many haters out there trying to bash alcohol consumption.

But the truth is that alcohol in moderation can be good for you. Here's the coles notes of the benefits of a drink a day.

Dementia: reduced in drinkers. (This will help you remember which drink you're on)
Gallstones: risk is reduced by 50%. (Helps if you're into pub food)
Heart Health: less chance of dying from heart attacks or hear disease! (For those who have a wife, and or kids)
Ischemic Stroke: Careful, this one is a fine line, drinking moderately reduces risk but heavy drinking will offset and may increase your risk of Ischemic stroke.
Type 2 Diabetes: Same goes for this, moderate good, excess baaad. (If you see yourself developing a beer belly, you're probably drinking excess)
Vascular Benefits: I think this means breathing benefits, so smokers have a drink with that cancer stick.
General Health: I gotta feeling, that tonight is going to be a good night!

For the more "technical" article, click here.

By the way, when you indulge in your moderate consumption of alcohol, don't do it before bed. Alcohol can help put you to sleep, but research shows that your quality of sleep will be diminished.

To all those alcohol bashers or nay-sayers, I toast my Rusty Nayl to you!

1 part of Good Laddie Scotch (not actually a brand)
1 part of Drambuie (mint with a slight bit of whiskey nose)

For more information on Scotland's famous liqueur (fit for a prince) check out this review (or just go to their webpage)


Monday, May 3, 2010

Apple and Oranges (healthy drinks)

Cant remember where you put your keys? Are your knees achy? Well there's probably an app for that, but there are also drinks for that too.

Apple juice contains antioxidants that help balance your brain and hence improves your ability to learn and remember. Orange juice contains something other than vitamin C that helps reduce joint inflammation. For more technical terms and information check out this article from

So drinks with OJ are bountiful. The most common one being the screwdriver (OJ and Vodka). However, my favourite drink with OJ/Apple Juice is the Green Tea Gin Mojito with a splash of sunshine (I don't have a picture yet). If you're not a fan of Gin, you can really substitute any other white alcohol instead.

Step 1.
The Green Tea Gin Mojito takes some forward thinking. First you'll need to brew some green tea, and try to make it as concentrated as possible. Once you have a strong tea, put it in the fridge to cool down.

Step 2.
In a glass, muddle some mint leaves and lime with just a bit of raw sugar. Then pour in some of your chilled green tea leaving space for ice, gin, and sunshine (orange/apple juice).

Step 3.
Add your ice and juice (I prefer thick and pulpy OJ for more texture or Tropicana's Apple Juice which comes in a carton because it is rich and thick). Garnish your drink with a fresh mint leaf and a lime wheel or lime twist.

Voila, you now have a relaxing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory cocktail! Enjoy this knowing you're doing your body well.