Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, old and new. You deserve a great day filled with kind gestures and sweet indulgences. And nothing spoils Mom quite like a brunch cocktail to get her special day off on the right foot.
Cheers to Mom!
I was introduced to the Nelson’s Victory cocktail at Whitehall, which is a new restaurant in Bridgeland that serves British cuisine, re-imagined. Whitehall also serves gin cocktails, re-imagined, and I love this light and fizzy creation that combines gin with Luxardo Maraschino, Cointreau and orange juice, topped off with Prosecco. It’s like a Mimosa on steroids, which sounds about right for Mother’s Day!
- 1 oz Plymouth Gin
- 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
- 1/4 oz Cointreau
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- Top Prosecco
Method: Combine gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Cointreau and orange juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a coup glass and top with Prosecco.
— Recipe courtesy Whitehall
It seems incredible I have not yet blogged about the G&T. I have written about gin and tonics for both Avenue magazine and most recently for the Calgary Herald, yet for some reason summer’s eponymous sip has yet to be featured as my Drink of the Week. Until now.
It’s gin and tonic time! Try this refreshing highball after a hot day at the lake.
What prompted this post was a bottle of Parlour Gin, the latest spirit from Eau Claire Distillery near Turner Valley, Alta. This delightful London dry-style gin’s reputation preceded it, and Parlour Gin does not disappoint. It’s fragrant and flavourful, thanks to its unique combination of botanicals including saskatoon berries, rose hips, lemon peel and of course juniper berries, among others. It’s a gin that I call sippable; meaning, it tastes wonderful on its own over ice, but you can add a splash of tonic until you reach the desired level of bitter fizz.
Parlour Gin is one of the best gins I’ve had in awhile. I love the name (a nod to prohibition-era gin parlours) and the bottle’s cool logo.
We have been experimenting with our Parlour Gin & Tonics this summer during trips to Fernie, BC, and we find that they taste best sipped on sunny patios after long hikes or lazy afternoons at the lake. Now that our bottle has finally run dry I think we have stumbled upon the best G&T recipe.
Parlour Gin & Tonic
- 1-1/2 oz Parlour Gin
- 3 oz tonic (or to taste) such as Fentimans or Porter’s
- Squeeze lime
- Lime circles garnish
In a rocks glass over ice add gin and tonic. Squeeze in 1/8 of a lime (or to taste), stir, and garnish with a couple of thinly sliced lime circles.
Ever since returning from Africa I have been loving gin and tonics. The sundowner drink of choice (read more about sundowner cocktails in my next Calgary Herald column on Nov. 10), I became quite accustomed to my daily G&T whilst watching the sun set over Tanzania.
I didn’t always love them, however. Both tonic and gin are an acquired taste, I find, so adding a little something to soften the duo can help. A lot. Enter elderflower cordial to make an Elderflower G&T.
The elderflower cordial tones down the tonic and brings out the gin’s floral notes.
My friend Liz Tompkins introduced me to this lovely libation last week. She was camping this past summer with gal-pal Laura Jackson, who supplied the ingredients, and they enjoyed this civilized twist on a classic. I think you will, too.
- 1 oz Hendrick’s gin
- 1/2 oz elderflower cordial
- Top tonic (2-3 oz, to taste)
- Squeeze lime
Build the drink in a rocks glass, stir, then add enough ice to fill the glass and chill the drink.
–Recipe courtesy Laura Jackson
It’s been a tough week between potty training trials and tribulations (look for a blog on that soon), crazy thunderstorms and night waking on top of the usual deadlines. Add in a craftastrophe and I’m looking forward to my weekly dose of medication in a hurricane glass.
Enter the Stawberry Collins from the Sandstone Lounge at the Hyatt Calgary’s summer cocktail menu. I am new to gin cocktails and this drink hits all the right notes. You can taste the gin and lime juice right away, but plunge deeper with the straw and you’ll come away with sweet strawberry puree. It’s very refreshing — just what mommy needs before she picks the children up from school!
It’s sweet and tart plus — bonus! — there’s gin.
- 1-1/2 oz No. 3 gin
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. simple syrup
- Soda water
- 2 tbsp. strawberry puree
Build the drink over ice in a hurricane glass. Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup, top with soda water, then dollop on the strawberry puree. Stir. Yum.
–Recipe courtesy Tracy Burton, Sandstone Lounge
If you’re like me and your taxes are filed, you’re doing the happy dance tonight. I realize the deadline is Monday, but do you really want that hanging over your head all weekend? No, better to “get ‘er done” today and toast your effort with an Income Tax cocktail.
Here's a cocktail you'll want to spend your return on.
Yes, such a drink really exists. I drank one last weekend at Crowbar, Calgary’s pop-up cocktail lounge (more on that in an upcoming Calgary Herald column). What’s even more intriguing? This isn’t a drink that was created just for the event; it’s a cocktail that’s been around for a century. I can see why: it’s basically a martini sweetened by a bit of orange juice, and spiced with a couple dashes of Angostura bitters. It’s strong, yes, but that’s a good thing whether you’re celebrating a big return, or drowning your sorrows over all the money you owe the Feds. So drink up!
Income Tax Cocktail
- 1-1/2 oz Beefeater gin
- 3/4 oz dry vermouth
- 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
- 3/4 oz orange juice
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Orange curl garnish
Shake ingredients with ice then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an orange curl.
— Recipe courtesy Wade Sirois, Crowbar
This time of year, we in Calgary look longingly across the snowy Rocky Mountains toward B.C. and, specifically Victoria, where trees are leafing out and flowers are blooming. To tempt us land-locked, green-starved, prairie-dwellers into hopping the first flight west, Tourism Victoria hosted a seafood and cocktail affair at Catch Restaurant & Oyster Bar last week. On the menu: lots of news about all the great goings-on in B.C.’s capital city, plus a whack of delicious seafood appys and one amazing signature cocktail featuring Victoria Gin.
One sip and you'll want to depart for Victoria. Image courtesy Tourism Victoria.
The Departure Cocktail was created by Katie McDonald from Veneto Tapa Lounge in the Hotel Rialto. I love how the lychee liqueur stands out, just enough for my palate to take notice. It pairs gloriously with the gin and lemon juice, too. Let’s call it the taste of Victoria’s spring, in a glass.
The Departure Cocktail
- 2 oz Victoria Gin
- 3/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 oz lychee liqueur
- 1/2 oz honey syrup*
- 1 dash lemon bitters (optional)
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a ribbon of cucumber.
(*To make the honey syrup: 1 part honey to 1 part boiling water. Stir and cool.)