Archive for November, 2010


Tequila, which still struggles a bit with its undeserved, low-rent reputation, may very well be find itself being thought of on better terms after Tequila and More, the first trade show largely devoted to the spirit, comes to the Metro Convention Centre on December 3rd.

While it could be argued that a larger presence on LCBO shelves and an incredibly-successful marketing campaign by the makers of Patron have done a lot for tequila’s image, misconceptions abound.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people respond with a “I can’t drink that!” when I’ve asked if they’d like to indulge. While perfectly understandable when framed within the context of overconsumption, the response has less merit when attributed to the myths that tequila has more alcohol in it (it’s rarely overproof) or, like absinthe, possesses some mystical ingredient that causes the imbiber to become more drunk than they would if they had consumed whisky or vodka.

If you drink anything too quickly and too often, you’re going to regret it the next morning and if you compound the error with cheap stuff, you’ll only make it worse. While the amount of congeners (complex organic molecules) present in any spirit are largely responsible for hangovers,  impurities also play a part.

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southern tier pumkingA month and a half ago, I was walking down College St. when I passed Nirvana which, along with its sister restaurants Last Temptation, Red Room and the recently-deceased Green Room; provides cheap food and drink to a largely-student clientele.

The sandwich board cheerfully announced that they now had pumpkin ale on draught and I remember this big grin coming out of nowhere, right across my face as I thought to myself, “Terrific! It’s that time of year again.”

Of course, I had to stop in for a quick pint and even though it was Amsterdam (a weaker example of this seasonal), I was still quite happy to drink it.

Hallowe’en may be over but the season’s not and when I think of what I enjoy drinking most at this time of year, pumpkin ale definitely tops the list (that and whisky).

Not all pumpkin ales are the same of course. A few are quite sweet, others bring the spices to the forefront and some prefer to let the beer do the talking. Fans are generally split between those who prefer an easy-drinking, lighter mouthfeel and others such as myself who enjoy a rich, sweet explosion that references the dessert.

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