And To All A Good Night

Crooners Frank Sinatra and Dean

Baby, it’s cold outside! Warm up and wind down with these smart seasonal cocktails from the best bartenders.

MARTINI MADNESS

No one knows where the first martini was poured, though many point to a 19th-century bartender at San Francisco’s Occidental Hotel. Rather than rehash the same old recipe, try a few twists on this classic cocktail.

CC Manhattan Martini

2 oz  Canadian Club Classic, 12 Year Old

1 oz  Harvey’s Bristol Cream

2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Ice

1 cocktail cherry

• Combine CC, Bristol Cream and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

Classic Skyy Vodka Martini

4 oz Skyy vodka

8 ice cubes

3 Spanish olives, stuffed with pimentos

• Combine vodka and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake. Pour into a martini glass. Garnish with olives. (For a dirty martini, add 2 tsp
olive juice.)

HISTORIC TWIST

Athol Brose

Dave Mitton, master mixologist and president of the Ontario chapter of the Canadian Bartenders Association, notes that this Scottish drink dates back to the 1400s. Now enjoying a renaissance, he calls it “a beautiful example of what a cocktail should be.”

1 ½ oz  Auchentoshan or Glenlivet

1 ½ oz  honey syrup (simple syrup with honey)

¾  oz frothed (not whipped) 35% cream

Ice

Nutmeg

• Combine Scotch and syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well blended. Strain into chilled coupe. Gently spoon a layer of foamed cream on top. Grate fresh nutmeg on top.

Hendrick’s Hot Gin Punch 

For 6 people

This recipe is inspired by Charles Dickens’ own gin punch. The original 1850 version appears in Drinking With Dickens (published in 1988), written by Cedric Dickens, great-grandson of the writer. Etiquette demands this quote while pouring the first cup: “Punch, my dear Copperfield, like time and tide, waits for no man” (David Copperfield, 1850).

3 brimming teacups of Hendrick’s gin

3 brimming teacups of Madeira wine

3 cloves

Pinch grated nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp brown sugar

6 lemon and orange twists

Small slice of orange

1 fresh pineapple

4 tablespoons of honey

Juice of 2 lemons

• Mix all ingredients in a pot. Warm but not quite till ebullition (bubbling). Let your concoction cook without boiling for 20 minutes to a half-hour. While it cooks, the taste will change. Make it to your own taste, balancing the sweet-sour balance with honey and lemon. You can also re-warm the mix. Sometimes the punch will get better and better as you cook it more and more. When you think it is ready, pour in a teapot and serve hot in teacups with gingerbread on the side.

BEHIND THE BAR

When it comes to serving drinks, one glass does not fit all. Christine Sismondo, the Canadian author of America Walks Into a Bar and Mondo Cocktail: A Shaken and Stirred History offers some advice on lining your bar.

• A small, narrow sherry glass It’s the best way to taste whisky, since it holds the flavour for a longer time than a wide rocks glass. “American Bar – Straight Bourbon” shot/tumbler, Villeroy and Boch

• A coupe glass Used for a wide range of new classic cocktails and is quickly replacing the triangle-shaped martini glass that dominated the 1990s and Sex and the City days. “Overture” sherbert/champagne, Atlantis

• A Collins glass A Collins glass is tall, generally 10 to 12 ounces and used for tall, juicy drinks like the Mojito, the Tom Collins and even just a gin and tonic. “Duchesse” highball, Vera Wang

• An old-fashioned rocks glass When you want to enjoy your whisky on the rocks. “Lismore” old-fashioned, Waterford. All glasses, William Ashley, www.williamashley.com

• Whisky glass When asked about the distinct shape, Sismondo said it “keeps the aroma in and … quality glass means there’s no interference on the tasting, too.” “Canadian” by Glencairn, www.lcbo.com, www.amazon.ca

 

Drinks_HR-clouds-12-11-32Bar accessories: “Scotch Whisky” decanter by Villeroy and Boch, William Ashley; Café Mug coasters, EQ3; Alessi BLIP spoon rest (used here for olives), EQ3; PC metal pitcher, select Loblaws; ice scoop, HomeSense; Gatsby ice bucket and cocktail shaker, Crate & Barrel.

Editors: Mike Crisolago, Tara Losinski and Vivian Vassos

Creative direction: Stephanie White 

Photography: George Whiteside