Rocky Mountain Shrub

Rocky Mountain ShrubRocky Mountain Shrub

Celebrate Canada Day with this ingenious Canadian cocktail. The Rocky Mountain Shrub features rich, bold flavours of barrel-aged Canadian rye whisky, lemon citrus, sweet sugar water and balsamic vinegar.

This pleasingly refreshing, slightly sour cocktail is great for pairing with a fresh spring salad or a rich cheese appetizer.


1½ oz. Alberta Premium Dark Horse Whisky

½ oz. simple syrup (1:1 ratio sugar to water)

½ oz. fresh lemon juice

½ oz. balsamic vinegar


Pour all ingredients into a shaker and shake vigorously with ice. Strain into a glass with new ice.


This cocktail is a strong sour-style drink. The type of balsamic vinegar you use will determine just how sour it will initially be. To make it less sour, use more simple syrup; to make it more sour, use more lemon juice.



When the sun is bright and the air is hot, you need a drink that is going to satisfy your thirst. The Paloma is that drink. A very cool, refreshing cocktail that has smooth 100 per cent Pure Agave tequila, a blend of citrus juices of lime and grapefruit, topped with a splash of fizz.


2 oz. Hornitos Reposado Tequila

1/2 oz. fresh lime juice or half a lime

2 oz. grapefruit juice

Pinch of salt

Top with soda

Salt rim (optional)


Moisten the rim of a glass with a slice of lime. Roll rim in a plate of salt, add ice and squeeze half a lime over the ice. Leave the lime shell in the drink and add a pinch of salt, the grapefruit juice and top with soda. Stir to mix all the ingredients well.


The traditional Paloma uses a grapefruit soda brand called Squirt. You can use a grapefruit soda as a substitute for the fresh grapefruit juice and soda.

It is not uncommon to find a restaurant in Mexico where they will have a bottle of tequila at your table, some glasses with ice, a bowl of salt, limes, and a bottle of Squirt Grapefruit soda to share among your friends.

I like rimming just half the glass rim with salt. That way, you or your guests have the option to drink with the salt or without.

Canadian Whisky Smash

Canadian Whisky Smash

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.

Fire Hound

Fire Hound

Fire up your cocktail experience with hot pepper. The smooth caramel and smoky notes in bourbon get a kick from spicy Thai pepper and tart citrus grapefruit. The combination is enough to get the tastebuds tingling.


1 oz. Jim Beam Bourbon

1/ piece of Thai Pepper (or adjust amount of pepper to suit your taste)

2 oz. ruby red grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz. simple syrup

Thai pepper and ruby red grapefruit wedge for garnish


Add all ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rock glass with new ice.

Place garnish and enjoy.


Adding hot spice to a cocktail is a great touch. To ensure it isn’t too much, it is better to start with a small amount of pepper and add more as you want to increase the intensity of the heat.

You can replace Thai pepper with any type of pepper easily.

Simple syrup is equal parts of sugar and hot water.