3 posts tagged with “cocktails”

  • Shaken and stirred: How to mix a cocktail like a pro

    This story originally appeared in Niagara Life Magazine

    There’s something to be said about the ease of wine and beer: open bottle or can, pour into glass and drink. Fussy oenophiles decant at will, but for the rest of us that sums up how it’s done.

    Yet someone who knows how to mix a cocktail does have a certain charm, no? For the physically uncoordinated, however, this can seem like a major spill and permanent stain waiting to happen. All the shiny gadgets required to serve the James Bonds in our lives could also leave us wanting to drown our sorrows for all the money we’d spend wetting their whistles.

    But you really can mix a cocktail like a pro without turning your bar table into an advertisement for Williams-Sonoma.

    Here’s how:

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  • Peach Tree
  • Grown-up endeavours and Mexican spritzers

    Mexican spritzers from The Craft Cocktail Party by Julie Reiner.

    Having a liquor cabinet or bar has always struck me as very grown-up.

    It’s probably because my parents’ liquor cabinet was off limits to me and my sister when we were children. Of course, that made it all the more intriguing. What were they keeping in their oak sideboard that we weren’t allowed to touch? When my folks weren’t looking, we’d open it and marvel at the collection of potions inside.

    I felt a mix of fascination and disgust at the tequila with the shrivelled worm lurking at the bottom of the bottle. I was in awe of the brilliant evergreen mint liqueur. And what was with that stern-looking guard wearing a funny hat on that bottle of gin?

    Fast forward more than 30 years to my adulthood and I’m sad to say that I don’t have a liquor cabinet. I have a bottle of 12-year-old Guyanese rum and some lime bitters shoved in the back of a cupboard occupied mostly by pots and pans. And until I used it up to make borscht, a bottle of vodka languished in my freezer for nearly four years. Continue reading

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  • Peach Tree
  • Get your seasonal drink on with Market-Fresh Mixology

    I love the word muddle.

    As a writer, I have it high on my favourite words list. It sounds like its meaning — clouded, confused, unclear — but more melodic and literary.

    And until recently, I thought it was merely a sweeter sounding synonym for all those words. It wasn’t until I cracked a copy of Market-Fresh Mixology: Cocktails for Every Season ($19.95 Agate Surrey) that I learned it was a bona fide bartending term and a necessary step in the making of some swoon-worthy libations.

    But then you are reading the blog of someone whose limited cocktail knowledge was gleaned while stocking shelves at Pier 1 Imports in university. It was during that time that I mastered the difference between a highball and old fashioned glass while honing my gift for convincing people that they’d also need a snazzy set of seasonal swizzle sticks to go with their glassware purchases.

    What can I say? I’m a beer girl. My drinks of choice are simple in part because my knowledge of mixology has been limited to staid vodka and tonics. But having a copy of Market-Fresh Mixology, written by master mixologist Bridget Albert with Mary Barranco, makes me look like a mistress of the mixed drink. It’s filled with dozens of seasonal drink recipes that are not only approachable but make me want to forgo the beer altogether.
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