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I haven’t posted a collection of links in awhile because my recent move up to Dupont from Little Italy left me with a number of home renovation projects to complete in time for my upcoming 30th birthday.

I quickly found myself sitting on a good 200 or so stories, articles and recipes. While some of them are out-of-date, the rest are quite worthy of being brought to attention and the only question concerns the best way to do this.

I think I’m going to put out two collection of links for now, which will be posted every Monday. Inside Ontario will focus on what’s happening in our province while Outside Ontario will collect the best of what’s happening in the rest of the world.

Each of these will be further divided by theme. Cocktails will collect recipes and offer how-to guides on making syrups and mixers. News will talk about bars, the industry, the laws governing it and any interesting science concerning our consumption of booze that turns up.

Food is the biggest change for this blog and represents a growing interest of mine. I simply can’t talk about what I drink any longer without at least occasionally delving into what I eat. The two are inseparable as far as I’m concerned and I want to share quick-and-easy recipes, a companion to the DIY aspect of the blog’s cocktail coverage.

I’m really excited to ramp up my coverage all of the interesting things going on in the world of food and drink and I look forward to keeping up with the challenge of posting regularly.

But the older I get, the more I think that the whole purpose of life is to have fun.

(Photo taken by Adam Goldberg.)

I’ve been having way too much fun this summer and my roommate and I were temporarily disconnected from the internet for a couple of weeks. While being unplugged can be good, it also meant I couldn’t write about the outstanding things I’ve been doing. Anyhow, I’m back!

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God, I miss Dennis Hopper (although the only time I’ll drink PBR is when its cheap).

This Friday, I turn 29 and I’m using it as an opportunity to check out some bars I’ve not been to yet and visit some old favorites.

First stop is Barchef. I might even spring for that Vanilla Hickory Smoked Manhattan ($45!). Before we spend all of our party-money, we’re going to head west and hit up Ossington for some more drinks. Probably Watusi, Reposado and The Painted Lady.

If the last one on that list doesn’t do us in, we’ll probably head back down Ossington and check out the Double Deuce, Unit and maybe the Savoy (‘cos it’s new, opened by the people from 751, and I hear they got dancin’).

Say hi if you see me (and that means we have to do shots)!

You may have noticed that the look of this blog has been changing dramatically. I’m a bit of a tinkerer at heart and while I don’t know all that much about CSS, I’m definitely willing to rip this project’s guts out and try and put ‘em back together in a manner more to my liking.

While this approach has worked thus far, I’ve reached a bit of an impasse and find myself unable to find certain vital bits of code needed to affect a change in several graphic elements.

So, while I make some new friends on the WordPress forums, I hope you bear with me and ignore the bits that don’t like quite right. They should be fixed soon.

st-germain-bottle-standardMy roommate brought me a bottle of St. Germain’s Elderflower liqueur from NYC so, of course, we had to make some drinks. (You can’t get it in Canada so it’s kind of a big deal.)

Results to follow.

Originally the purpose of this blog was to document a shift in my life; moving from Canada to New Zealand (and my impressions thereof) with a special focus, as always, on booze.

That’s not happening anymore. My fiancée, for reasons I’m not going to go into on here, broke up with me and so I find myself cut short, trying to restart a life that I’d been busy mothballing for the past couple of months.

Contrary to the typical response exhibited by most people in circumstances like this, I’ve had little desire to drink, much less write, and so this blog has fallen by the wayside.

However, through the prodding of friends and a desire to rekindle my interest in writing about one of my favorite subjects, I’ve decided to shift this blog ever-so-slightly to the left. So why I won’t be able to compare all the wonderful wines and spirits that New Zealand has to offer with those of my homeland, I’ll still be here to document the latest happenings in all things alcoholic right here in Toronto.

It’s an interesting time in Canada. In the next five years, I’m betting we’ll see a loosening of liquor laws as people realize that some privatization won’t cause the widespread social collapse some naysayers are fond of trumpeting.

Already, the Varsity cinema allows patrons to buy a couple of drinks while they watch a film and I wouldn’t be surprised if more venues are allowed to serve during a wider variety of events. Maybe we’ll even see convenience stores being allowed to compete with the LCBO and Beer Store to bring consumers a wider range of product, especially from the smaller guys.

And while I’m no fan of monopolies, I still think the LCBO does a fantastic job with its tastings and I like how its magazine encourages people to expand their cocktail choices beyond the superstars of a couple years back (mojito, “pomtini”, etc.)

It’s a whole new year and I can’t wait to see what it will bring!

But I’m thinking of a different context entirely.

“Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.”

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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