Archive for January, 2011


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Some brewery needs to hire David Cross to do a couple spots. It would make everyone’s day.

ALCOHOL IS LESS FATTENING THAN YOU THINK. Quote. Now stop buying Molson 67. |Toronto Sun|

Adam McDowell has some good ideas when it comes to bars stepping up their game for 2011. |National Post|

We will soon get to try sake the way the Japanese intended when Toronto’s first sake brewery opens in the Distillery District this spring. |Toronto Life|

And as if we really need another reason why NYC is better than us, they’ve gone and protected their front-of-the-house staff’s tips. Not sure if that’s really anywhere near Mayor Ford’s give-a-fuck list but it would be nice… I could always give him a call. |Toronto Life|

I have to say, I have to agree with Beppi when he posits that older whisky is not necessarily better. My favorite range is often the 12 to 18 year-olds. |The Globe And Mail|

Hmm, maybe where Toronto shines is our lack of pretension? A brilliant diatribe against arrogant bartenders. |Threepenny|

But then again, NYC has these three cocktails. Pretty tasty. |The New York Times|

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When it comes to drinking, beer is my default option.

I’ll have a cocktail to celebrate and wine often finds its way onto the family table with a meal but whether I’m on the tail end of a long day or out with friends, a pint or two is very often just the thing.

This preference owes its allegiance to no particular season but as far as I’m concerned, beer is at its best in winter. Although crisp lagers will always embody summer for me, much like cider and pumpkin ales do in the fall, the first sight of snow always brings to mind winter beers.

Not a brew style per say, they do embody a number of characteristics that make them perfect when taking refuge from the cold. They’re stronger (with ABVs ranging up to 12%), both in flavor and alcohol content, with a complexity that can come from the addition of spices, fruit or even specific combinations of malt and hops.

Very often, a winter beer won’t taste quite the same from one year to the next which means you should pick up at least two or three. Some brews cellar quite well and giving it a couple months or even longer can result in an interesting shift in its flavor.

This year’s release was pretty good but a bit heavy on porters and stouts. It would be nice to see some more variety but one can’t have everything, can one? For information on cellaring your beers, check out The Malt Monk’s article in EatDrink magazine’s holiday issue.

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Some people overdo it. They drink quarts of the stuff, liberally spiked with their poison of choice, for most of December and up to New Year’s Eve. They culminate this excess with a night of drinking that would put the Founding Fathers of America to shame and then spend the next week bitching and complaining through all channels about how much pain their in.

Eggnog’s not mentioned till the end of next year and why? It’s a perfectly decent after-dinner libation and for those of us who don’t binge, I can’t think of why it shouldn’t be enjoyed throughout the season, particularly in light of all this snow we’ve just received.

So, if you’re like me and you still feel like indulging in a bit of ‘nog, read on! I promise you that very little planning or preparation is needed and at the end you will be enjoying a rich and creamy cocktail that is yards ahead of anything you can buy commercially.

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