It’s the holidays and I’m trying to work my way through my collection of booze. In fact, my New Year’s resolution is to have people over to make cocktails and use up what I’ve got. After all, I buy these bottles to consume, not collect.

Tonight, I dug through the fridge and whipped up this as-yet-unnamed sipper. 

I muddled 5 fresh blueberries with a dash of bitters. Then added the gin and juice over ice and stirred until thoroughly chilled. Strained into a coupe and topped with the elderflower soda. Garnish with a few more flesh blueberries.




For me, it was love at first sip with Martinez. I mean, look at him. He may be a short drink of water, but is packed with a strong sweetness, warmth and complexity. Don’t even get me started on the mouthfeel.

The Martinez cocktail is an old recipe – first appearing in O.H. Byron’s 1884 Modern Bartenders’ Guide. In that book, it’s described as the same as a Manhattan, but substituting gin for whiskey. Close, but the recipe I used also calls for Luxardo Maraschino liqueur. It also appears a few years later in Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders’ Guide in 1887.

It calls for Old Tom gin. (YES, DOUG. I CAN TASTE THE DIFFERENCE!) It’s slightly sweeter than your London Dry, but it works so well with the vermouth and cherry liqueur. It’s no longer available to buy in Ontario. That meant I sucked it up and checked my bag on the way back from a recent trip to LA so I could bring home a bottle. Worth it.


The Pro Files – Chris McCrabb

Oh god… Nobody warned me. Oh, sure, they all had something to say after I crawled back to life. “It’s your fault for inviting “Party Boy” McCrabb to go drinking” chirped one tall baldie. But let me go back to the beginning…

Read on…


The Pro Files – Sam Dobie

For the first in what I hope to make a monthly series (tentatively titled Industry Night), I asked “Tall Fella at The Gaslight”, Sam Dobie to take me to three of his favourite bars in the city to sample his favourite drinks at each. He’s been in the industry in one way or another since he was 14, so knows his way around this town’s bar scene.

Read on…