Barrel-Aged General Waverly

Barrel-aged General Waverly. Matthew Benevoli photo

Ingredients:

15 oz Reifel Rye

6.75 oz Punt E Mes

2.5 oz Galliano liqueur

2.5 oz Krupnik Spiced Honey Liqueur (or any honey liqueur)

10 dashes orange bitters

2 dashes orange bitters

Garnish: Honey, freshly ground black peppercorn

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Well aged

Cocktails are better in a barrel—even if you don’t have one

Before, during and after—the spirits, the barrel and the finished, barrel-aged cocktail. Matthew Benevoli photos

What exactly is barrel aging? Simply put, it’s the interaction between alcohol and the wooden barrels it’s resting in. This process can range from a mere 60 days to years, decades, even centuries. When temperatures rise, spirits absorb deeper into the barrel staves; then they retract out when temperatures cool. This constantly changing interaction affects the spirits by mellowing harsher notes, adding body and giving deeper, richer flavours.

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Another round at Cocktail Bar

This Toronto institution enters an exciting new chapter with bar manager Juliana Wolkowski

Juliana Wolkowski is bringing visionary leadership to Toronto fan favourite Cocktail Bar. Erin Leydon photo

In the heart of Toronto’s vibrant cocktail scene, where new bars are constantly coming up with all sorts of innovative ways to bring entertaining, theatrical serves to life, there’s one place that stands out as a true, classic gem: Cocktail Bar.

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Winter of Whisky

Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler

A great bottle of whisky has always been the ultimate holiday gift, but this year Scotch brands are leveling up with immersive whisky experiences that include exclusive tastings, food pairings and even hotel stays. If your whisky tastes run more local, snap up a presale bottle of Sheringham’s rye-forward whisky, coming in 2024: it’s bound to be as stellar as their award-winning gin.

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From the Jungle Room to the rainforest

A selection of cocktails from the Jungle Room: Tiger Breath (left), El Gustavo (centre) and Bikini Bottom (right). Photo courtesy of the Jungle Room

It’s always great to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar space, and so it was when we heard that Emily Vey was leading the bar program at the new(ish) Jungle Room in Vancouver’s West End. You probably remember her from the much-missed Diamond, as well as her thrilling run at the World Class Canada 2023 finals.

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The flowing bowl

When it comes to cocktails, bigger is better and way more social

Rule of 8 Punch Bowl at Toronto’s Dasha. Photo courtesy of Dasha

My early memories of punch are from college parties—party drinks cobbled together from curious arrays of cheap spirits mixed with saccharine juices and sodas and ladled from whatever vessel was large enough to quench the crowd. A mixing bowl in the best of times, a plastic trash can in the worst.

Nevertheless, we’d gather around, clink glasses and share stories over the ever-flowing bowl.

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Rosa’s Punch

Jessica Blaine Smith photo courtesy of Vela

Ingredients:

1.25 cups sugar, plus additional if needed

2 cups water

3 cups (750 mL bottle) Malfy Rosa

3 cups (750 mL bottle) Cocchi Rosa

2 cups lemon juice

3 cups fresh grapefruit juice

2 star anise

2 sticks cinnamon

One lemon, cut into wheels

Garnish: rose petals and your favourite sparkling rosé

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Tea Ceremony

Gabriel Li photo courtesy of MIMI Chinese

Ingredients:

5 oz Grey Goose vodka

1.75 oz Lillet Blanc

0.75 oz Strega

2 oz lemon juice

1.5 oz honey syrup (equal parts honey and warm water)

2 oz black wolfberry tea

2 oz cold-brewed jasmine tea

3 oz coconut milk

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