Scotch Rocks Punch

Justin Taylor’s Scotch Rocks Punch. Dan Toulgoet photo

This flavourful punch was created by Justin Taylor, general manager of The Cascade Room.

• 1 bottle (750 mL) blended scotch
• 1 cup Cynar amaro
• 1 cup apricot brandy
• 1 cup oleo saccharum
• 1 Tbsp Angostura bitters
• 4 cups cold water

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Punch it up with oleo saccharum

This ancient ingredient adds zest to your party drinks

Before you start, assemble your ingredients. Dan Toulgoet photo

Holiday entertaining is right around the corner and having a couple of easy, bold and delicious punch recipes on hand will really help set any party off on the right foot. It all starts with oleo saccharum.

Now, you might be wondering: What the heck is oleo saccharum? It is the Latin term for “oil sugar,” an ingredient that will change your home bartending.

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Spirit Free Gin & Tonic

Justin Taylor’s Spirit-Free G&T uses a homemade gin syrup. Dan Toulgoet photo

This zero-proof G&T will ensure all your friends can enjoy summer’s quintessential cocktail.

• 1 oz. spirit-free gin syrup (recipe below)
• 0.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
• 5 oz tonic water

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DIY Gin & Tonic

Make summer’s favourite cocktail your very own with these bespoke ideas

Before you start, assemble your ingredients. Dan Toulgoet photo

Gin is unlike any other spirit. Simply put, gin is a distilled grain mash that produces a neutral alcohol or vodka. The spirit is then redistilled with botanicals, herbs and spices to achieve the final product. It doesn’t rely on aging in oak barrels like whisky, and it doesn’t rely on one agricultural product to achieve its flavour, like agave for tequila. The infusion process will determine the flavour profile of each gin.

In other words, gin is essentially a botanical-flavoured vodka. And that means, even though not very many of us will ever have access to a still, we can make our own quality gins by working with infusions.

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Falling for falernum

Step by step: How to make the secret ingredient that puts the terrific into tiki drinks

Before you start, assemble your ingredients. Dan Toulgoet photo

In bartending, there’s a simple rule called the Golden Ratio: two parts spirit, one part sweet, one part sour. If you apply this rule to your drink making, you can quickly learn dozens of cocktails.

If you dissect a Daiquiri for example, it is simply two parts rum, one part lime juice, one part simple syrup. Sometimes you can use a sweet liqueur to replace the simple syrup, like Curaçao in the case of a Margarita. Depending on your palate, you can increase or decrease the sour and sweet elements or adjust the amount of spirits to create the right balance. In fact, herein lies one of the secrets of fine cocktail making: Bartenders often create one-of-a-kind cocktails by transforming classics simply by using different spirits, sours and sweets.

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El Mocambo

Justin Taylor’s El Mocambo gives tiki a Canadian twist. Dan Toulgoet photo

Named after the legendary live-music venue in Toronto, this tiki-style cocktail takes on a Canadian twist.

• 1.5 oz Canadian 100 percent rye whisky
• 0.75 oz falernum
• 2 oz coconut water
• 1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington bitters

Garnish:

• 5 mint leaves
• 1 mint sprig
• 2 whole almonds

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Zombie Punch

Justin Taylor’s Zombie Punch serves a crowd! Dan Toulgoet photo

This tiki punch recipe serves a crowd—so find some friends to help you out!

• 6 oz añejo rum
• 6 oz dark Jamaican rum
• 4 oz high-proof rum (such as Lamb’s Navy 151)
• 3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1.5 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 3 oz falernum
• 1 oz pomegranate juice
• 2 tsp Pernod
• 10 oz filtered water

Garnish:
• 5 sprigs mint
• 3 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
• 6 wheels grapefruit

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