- Haiku -



1½ oz silver tequila (Patron)
¾ oz limoncello
¾ oz lemon juice
½ oz almond syrup
1 oz egg white
Add ingredients to a mixing glass. Shake without ice for 10 seconds. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Tasty. Basically a fancy tequila sour. The bitter candy flavours from the limoncello make the difference.

From La Distillerie

- L’Étranger d’à côté -

1½ oz gin (Beefeater)
½ oz Bénédictine
¾ oz kiwi (less than 1, muddled)
¾ oz maple syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Add ingredients to a mixing glass. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Hmmm. A tasty and complicated blend of flavour. Strong spicy notes from the Benedictine, kiwi, and maple make an interesting combination that you don’t find anywhere.

Adapted from La Distillerie

- Communist -


1½ oz gin (Broker’s)
½ oz cherry liqueur (Herring)
1 oz orange juice
¾ oz lemon juice
Add ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

Tasty. Very good balance of flavours. Sweet cherry, tart lemon, and orange in between contribute lots of fruity flavour. Most of the botanicals from the gin disappear so use a stiff London dry if you want the extra kick.

From Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails.

- Blueberry Sour -

blueberry sour
2 oz gin (Broker’s)
½ oz lime juice
¼ oz simple syrup
¼ oz egg white
small handful wild blueberries
Muddle blueberries in a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients. Shake without ice for 30 seconds. Add ice and shake. Double strain into a cocktail glass.

I got my hands on a container full of wild blueberries from northern Ontario so, naturally, I had to make a cocktail or three with them.

You can drop the syrup if your blueberries are in season since this drink ended up being very sweet.

- Nostalgie -

1½ oz vodka (Smirnoff)
½ oz Galliano
1 oz lemon juice
½ oz simple syrup
2 oz berries (wild blueberries)
club soda
Add ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice. Shake and strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint.

Meh. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t stand vanilla with fruit. Harvey Wallbanger fans might like this.

From La Distillerie

Cocktail Party: India

I have no idea what caused me to host an Indian food themed cocktail party, especially since I knew nothing about the cuisine before booking the date.

After about six weeks of testing, learning, and tinkering, my walls permanently smelled like turmeric (ok, the smell disappeared after two weeks but c’mon).

sandwichI started the evening with a few platters of sandwiches. The spicy cream cheese tomato was my favourite followed by the cilantro chutney with cucumber (I used greek yogurt instead of cream cheese). The ginger cabbage and ginger pineapple sandwiches were a new flavour combination for most but not nearly as popular. (However, no sandwiches lasted long).


samosaMaking samosas for the first time was interesting. They were tasty but without a deep fryer, I had trouble getting a perfect crispy crust. They were served with a tamarind sauce for dipping and were gobbled up fast so I guess they were good. I used a perogie cutter because I’m too lazy to shape them into triangles.


tandoorislidersChicken tandoori meatballs (just ground chicken, onions, and tandoori sauce) are classic in Indian cuisine but meatballs are boring so I made sliders instead. I grilled the mini burgers and toasted the buns over charcoal and topped them with cabbage, pickled red onion, and tomato. I made a dozen and they were eaten the moment I turned my back (I should have grabbed one for me first! grrr)



Chicken tandoori sushi seemed like a good idea at the time but even when dipped in the tamarind used for the samosas, they were dry. Chicken breast rubbed with spices and grilled over charcoal was tasty but doesn’t hold up against the rice. Bland and boring. Serves me right for not testing this one in advance.



Veggie pulao. Sweetened rice was a new thing for me. I didn’t think it would work but since I added a lot of cilantro and vegetables to balance the taste it turned out well. Very popular, cheap, and easy to prepare (I made it in the morning and just reheated the rice before serving).



Curry truffles (I ommited the mango from the published recipe) were an unsuspected favourite, mostly by me because they look fancy and taste so rich, yet are very easy to prepare. One is coated with shredded coconut toasted in the oven for a few minutes, the other is coated with mango powder.



The cardamom pistachio ice cream was a simple cream and sugar vanilla base (no eggs) so it was light and fluffy. Very tasty. Everyone should spice up their ice cream.



I also served cucumber mint limeade and a passion fruit, mango, and coconut juice. Both worked well with the bar and the guests often spiked them with various spirits throughout the evening.


mango basil

Gin Testing- Cheap London Dry

gin test london dry

I drink a lot of gin. Close to half of the cocktails on this site use it so I figured I’d do a test since I always seem to have several bottles on hand.

With new gins releasing seemingly everyday, I had to be specific so I chose the six cheapest London Drys. All are easily available and under $30.

London Drys tend to be heavily flavoured by juniper and citrus as opposed to other gins that tend to be soft and flowery.

- Bombay Sapphire – no smell, plain taste, not smooth on the palate, a little sweetness. Mild and almost vodka-like making it a good introduction to gin. Very good in cocktails due to it’s neutral flavours.

- Beefeater - huge juniper taste, earthy smell (like a garden centre at Canadian Tire after a heavy rain), rubbery taste on the finish. Not for gin novices but loved by aficionados.

- Gordon’s - quick juniper bite, no finish, mild flavour. Boring but not offensive.

- Broker’s - faint mild smell, soft flavour, very smooth, quick evergreen finish, metallic aftertaste.

- Tanqueray - medium juniper, lots of citrus and flower flavours. Versatile middle road gin for cocktails.

- Gilbey’s - mild smell, salty, oaty cereal flavour (like Cherrios), sweaty.

Conclusion? I like Beefeater but if I only had room for one bottle, I’ll choose Tanqueray since it’s more versatile and better suited for most palates [However, if it's just me, Beefeater in everything :) ]