New Horizon Cocktail

New Horizon CocktailWell kids, we made it!

Judging from all the puffy eyes, shambling and moans I assume everyone had a great time on New Years and probably toasted the end of 2016 with a variety of libations that they’re now regretting. That’s great! We needed a party to forget last year’s unrelenting weirdness and tragedy.

We lost a lot of great people who filled our lives with music and fantasy and all the things that keep us young. I lost my grandfather, my dog, my house was ravaged twice by floods and my shed collapsed with both bikes inside. It was a hellish year!

But enough doom! Like many others, we mixed up a couple of custom cocktails on New Year’s Eve and celebrated with a loud sigh of relief. Now that we’ve survived I’ve been tinkering with the recipe and figure I’d share it, even though most of us are still nursing a week-long hangover. *laughs* (more…)

Read More

Veneto (Victoria, BC)

Veneto 1It’s 6 ‘o clock on a smoldering afternoon in Victoria and my wife and I are hiking down the main drag, one blistering cobblestone at a time. We’re desperate to get back to our hotel room out of this ocean of people and car exhaust. Sure, we could hang out downtown but our dinner reservation isn’t for another couple hours and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sweat in this hipster inferno any longer, especially with all these MEC bags full of biking gear and cookbooks weighing me down.

I’m ready to start shoving tourists and crusty punks out of my way when I see the Rialto Hotel off in the distance; its grand double doors wide open, inviting me to drop everything and sit at the long marble bar where an angel with wings of cascading vintage glassware is pouring two fingers of Victoria Gin into an icy shaker with a wry grin.

I grab my wife’s hands and drag her inside, bags discarded along the way. We collapse into the tall chairs lining the bar and breathe in the stillness, seemingly miles away from the heat and crowd. The marble is cool to the touch and I can smell mint and lavender bitters on the air… We’ve arrived at Veneto, Victoria’s premier craft cocktail oasis… Thank the Gods! (more…)

Read More

The Urban Modernist Cocktail

UM CocktailI’ve been listening to an online radio show from Hamilton, Ontario called Urban Modernists for the last seven years. Hosted by Greg (aka Afternoons In Stereo, who I’ve plugged many times alongside many meals) each episode is a journey into the deeply obscure and funky world of nu-jazz, funk, breaks, latin and afrobeat that has had a serious impact on both my ever-evolving musical tastes and I dare say my life in general. I’ve found a majority of my favourite artists (Shawn Lee, Jimi Tenor, Pitch ‘n Scratch, The Bamboos, The Haggis Horns, Quantic and his Combo Barbaro and soooooo many more) listening to this proto-podcast and obsessing over setlists intoned by the velvety-voiced host/DJ.

But, I’m sad to report that Greg’s days of putting needles to wax and expanding the minds of us morlocks over the airwaves and interwebs has come to an end. A couple weeks back he dropped the final episode after a decade-long run and I’ll admit to getting a little emotional. (more…)

Read More

Watermelon Mint Refresher

Watermelon Mint RefresherWatermelon, Lemon and mint are a classic combination of summer flavours. They kick it in salads, smoothies, sorbets, a legion of various desserts and cocktails… So many cocktails.

This is one such cocktail! Elevated miles above the obsessively photographed, overly-sticky mass of vodka/watermelon rabble out there on the interwebs thanks to its high quality ingredients and the careful blending (yeah it’s one of those, dust off ye olde margarita-o-matic) of flavours by my talented mixologist wife. (more…)

Read More