Celebrate Canada’s birthday with an extra special cocktail, the Canadian Whisky Smash.
Smooth Canadian Club whisky, sour lemon, sweet syrup and fresh mint combine for a cool summer sipper perfect for a Canada Day bash. The history of Canadian Club is a great way to start a conversation this long weekend.
As I learned during a recent tour of the Canadian Club distillery and heritage house, the company’s founder was Hiram Walker, a Detroit native who crossed the river into Canada in 1858 and established a distillery in what became known as Walkerville.
His decision to start the business in Canada was based on pending temperance laws in the United States. Walker’s whisky became very popular on both sides of the border and became known as “Club Whisky” because it was served in the finer gentlemen’s clubs of the time. When the U.S. passed a law requiring the country of origin to be stated on all liquor imports, Walker’s “Club Whisky” became Canadian Club Whisky.
2 oz. Canadian Club Whisky
3 Lemon wedges
¾ oz. simple syrup
6 mint leaves
Place lemon wedges, mint leaves, and simple syrup in a shaker glass, and muddle to press juice and oils out of the ingredients.
Fill with ice and pour Canadian Club Whisky in. Shake and double strain into a chilled glass with new ice.
Garnish with a sprig of mint.
Double straining requires using two strainers — the cocktail strainer and a fine strainer. This removes any seeds, torn mint leaves or lemon pulp, leaving us with just the liquids to enjoy.
Using Canadian Club Reserve as a substitute for Canadian Club Premium adds an aged oak flavour.