Father’s Day Cocktail Recipes

There are many reasons to make a cocktail on Father’s Day. Maybe you’re cooking the father in your life a steak dinner and need a last bit of panache to make it really special. Maybe you need a delicious thing of liquid courage to call  him and say, Happy Father’s Day. Or maybe you’re yourself a father and want to celebrate your parental responsibilities. Whatever the reason, one thing is clear: the cocktail should not take more than a couple of minutes and a few ingredients to whip up fresh as needed. Whether you’re playing catch with your son with a drink in hand or whether you’re imagining the impact of never having played catch with your dad, Novella’s Torontonian bartender connects got you covered.

Figures’s Mixologist James Bailey’s ‘Dad and Jokey’

Ingredients:

1.5oz Monkey Shoulder Scotch

.75oz Lemon Juice

.75oz Rosemary Syrup

1oz Orange Juice

Ginger Beer to top

Garnish: Lemon or lime wheel, fresh rosemary

Pour all liquid ingredients into a Collins glass, filled with ice. Stir and garnish with a fresh rosemary sprig and lemon or lime wheel. Serve immediately.

Parts and Labour’s Chantelle Gabino-inspired Simple — No Muddling of Sugar Cubes – Classic Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned made with Bulleit Whiskey

Ingredients:

2oz rye, bourbon, or peated scotch, if you’re feeling a bit adventurous

1/2 oz of simple syrup

Dashes of aromatic bitters — Bittered Sling’s Kensington Bitter, if you can get it, and Angostura, if you can’t.

One large cube of good, cold ice.

Before starting the drink itself, make sure you have good ice. Keep the ice away from frozen meats and vegetables, because the ice will otherwise take on their odors, which may very well ruin the cocktail. Keep in mind, simple is best but simple takes good quality ingredients to truly shine. Now, let’s make that drink. Make sure the receptacle — an Old Fashioned glass, if possible — is cold. Combine simple syrup and dashes of bitters in the glass. Add one large cube of ice — or enough ice to fill the glass – and stir to mix. Add whiskey and stir until the liquid levels with the ice cube. Before serving, add a small splash of oil from an orange zest and, if you’re so inclined, throw in the zest. (Less is more here as many people find the pith of the orange to be entirely distasteful.)

A Conversation with Martin Rivard of Barber & Co.

photo @ Laura Rowe Photography

There certainly isn’t a lack of barbershops in Toronto where you can get a haircut and move on to things that occupy the hours of a day. Maybe go for a coffee, walk down Queen and look into shop windows, and, more likely than not, immerse yourself in your shiny phone screen and interact with the many algorithms that shape your social life.

But maybe there’s a different kind of barbershop out there. Somewhere that not only makes you look good but also feel good; where the barber knows his way around a clipper but also knows a bit about you. Add a cocktail or two, because, what the heck, the place has some of the best around town. Barber & Co. is that place. A barbershop cum social club, Barber & Co. offers more than haircuts. It offers real life interactions with real people in real time.

Gift Shop is a warm and cozy cocktail room in the back of Barber & Co. photo @ Laura Rowe Photography

I recently had a chance to speak with Martin Rivard, the co-founder and Master Barber of Barber & Co., about the new location in the middle of beautiful Ossington Strip. The shop was bustling with customers, hip hop, and H., the head bartender, preparing for service. An entourage of important looking men seemed relaxed as they chatted in the corner and laughed at each other’s jokes. Martin’s full beard and beret added to the overall warmth and coziness. I could definitely see myself here on a Sunday afternoon, talking baseball, reading a paper, and getting a slight buzz before four.

photo @ Sveta Soloveva

Hoon: Tell us a little about Barber & Co. and your clientele. 

Martin: My friend Jeff and I started Barber & Co. six years ago in Vancouver where we have five locations, an academy, and a manufacturing lab for our hair products and full line of shaving products. This location on Ossington is our first in Toronto. As a barbershop, we cater to a very wide age group — from teenagers to grandfathers. It’s always nice to see a couple of generations coming in together — fathers and sons or a grandfathers and grandsons, etc. Ours is a barbershop with the social club atmosphere.

H: What differentiates Barber & Co. from other barbershops?

M: As a full service barbershop with modern twists, we provide cutting edge designs. We are traditional in our craft and services but we are also not trying to build a museum piece with our store. Also, the location has the Gift Shop, a full cocktail bar with which we are emphasizing the social club aspect of a barbershop. You can come in, get a haircut, and catch up with your buddies. We pride ourselves in being the best barbers there are but we also have H. our bar manager, who’s the best bartender there is.

photo @ Laura Rowe Photography

H: What would you recommend to a first timer? 

M: We always do a consultation before cutting someone’s hair. We assess the customer’s bone structure and talk about their lifestyle. Based on that, and on how much time the customer has on a daily basis, we let them know what’s available and which products are suitable. For first timers, I recommend bringing a friend so it’s easier on them. They can interact while getting the haircut and get a cocktail afterwards and hang out.

H: Some men — including myself — are often reluctant to try new barbershops. It can certainly be intimidating. Any words of advice of us? 

M: This is where bringing a friend helps because going to a new barbershop can certainly be an adventure. It’s also easier if you bring in a photo of something you want. Going to a barbershop, I think, is about cultivating relationships. It’s a trust thing. On your first visit, maybe it’s best to not change your hairstyle but to just get a clean up. Then, next time, you can come in for a full haircut. After you’ve built a rapport with a barber, you can think about changing your style. It’s really about the relationship between the customer and the barber.

H: Tell us a bit about Barber & Co.’s grooming products. 

M: We manufacture our own product line. We not only try to be all-natural, but we also source all our ingredients locally and package the products in Vancouver. We’re really trying to be a Canadian business that contributes to its economy that way. When coming up with our products, we’re able to produce samples to distribute to barbers — both in-house and not — who can give us feedback. We then adjust our products accordingly so that our customers can get the best product possible. Each product goes through a few months’ testing. When someone uses our grooming products, they can sure that it’s been through meticulous studying and fine tuning.

photo @ Laura Rowe Photography

H: What elements of Toronto are reflected in your new location?

M: When building a shop, we always try to represent or give back to the neighborhood that shop’s in. That’s why all our shops are built and designed differently. For instance, our location here on Ossington used to be an apartment/studio for two painters. When I walked in and saw the space, I thought that the walls with the paint marks are so beautiful and cannot be reproduced. So it was decided that the walls will stay as they are.

H: What’s your favorite thing about the new location? 

M: This is actually the first time in six years that the original vision for Barber & Co. is fully realized. In British Columbia, we’re not allowed to have a bar within a barbershop due to liquor licensing laws. So the Gift Shop really brought to life my original vision. I’ve also been in Toronto for four months now and it’s been exciting to get to know the neighborhood and the nearby merchants.

photo @ Laura Rowe Photography

So gentlemen, no matter what you’ve got planned for Valentine’s Day, it will be half-assed if your person is only half-assed.Barber & Co.’s (89 Ossington Ave) can smooth out the rough edges and make everything butter so that everything’s gravy on the 14th with your boo. And ladies, if you want to secretly tell your man that he needs to step up his grooming game without getting into a month long fight and pouting, Barber & Co.’s gift card is certainly the best way to do it. He will thank you for it because in his mind, it’s like a boys’ day out.

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Grey Goose Le Grand Fizz Cocktail Recipes

A couple weeks back, we shared some of Chef Jamie Kennedy’s dishes that were presented during the Grey Goose Boulangerie Bleue event from last month. Along with the amazing recipes, Pomp & Circumstance PR also shared the cocktail recipes that was served throughout the night. There is no question that we wouldn’t want to share these with you. Cheers!

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GREY GOOSE LE GRAND FIZZ

RECIPE

  • 1 1⁄2 Parts GREY GOOSE vodka
  • 1 Part ST-GERMAIN elderflower liqueur
  • 2 Parts chilled soda water
  • 1⁄2 Part freshly squeezed lime (Approx 2 wedges to taste)

METHOD

  1. Build ice into an oversized cabernet wine glass with lots of ice.
  2. Add GREY GOOSE vodka, then squeeze fresh lime and discard.
  3. Top with ST-GERMAIN and chilled soda water.
  4. Garnish with fresh lime wedg.es and a GREY GOOSE stirrer.

TIP: For added aromatics, twist the zest of the squeezed lime wedge over the top of the drink

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GREY GOOSE LE GRAND FIZZ SUMMER COLLECTION

GREY GOOSE L’Orange Grand Fizz

  • 1 1⁄2 parts GREY GOOSE L’Orange
  • 1 part ST-GERMAIN elderflower liqueur
  • 2 parts chilled soda water
  • 1⁄2 part freshly squeezed orange (approx. 2 wedges, to taste).
  • Garnish with fresh orange wedges and a GREY GOOSE stirrer

GREY GOOSE Le Citron Grand Fizz

  • 1 1⁄2 parts GREY GOOSE Le Citron
  • 1 part ST-GERMAIN elderflower liqueur
  • 2 parts chilled soda water
  • 1⁄2 part freshly squeezed lemon (approx. 2 wedges, to taste)
  • Garnish with fresh lemon wedges and a GREY GOOSE stirrer
  • 1⁄2 part freshly squeezed lemon (approx. 2 wedges, to taste)
  • Garnish with fresh black cherries and a GREY GOOSE stirrer

GREY GOOSE Cherry Noir Grand Fizz

  • 1 1⁄2 parts GREY GOOSE Cherry Noir
  • 1 part ST-GERMAIN elderflower liqueur
  • 2 parts chilled soda water
  • 1⁄2 part freshly squeezed lemon (approx. 2 wedges, to taste)
  • 2 parts chilled soda water
  • Garnish with fresh black cherries and a GREY GOOSE stirrer

GREY GOOSE La Poire Grand Fizz

  • 1 1⁄2 parts GREY GOOSE La Poire
  • 1 part ST-GERMAIN elderflower liqueur
  • 2 parts chilled soda water
  • (Optional freshly squeezed lime, to taste).
  • Garnish with fresh slices of pear and a GREY GOOSE stirrer

Editor’s Note: GREY GOOSE La Poire is available in BC, Alberta and Quebec only.

Spotlight: King Cocktail Dale Degroff

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A couple weeks back, a Grey Goose martini competition Pour Masters was hosted by the extraordinaire Dale Degroff in Toronto. Bartenders were challenged to use their creativity to re-image the classic vodka martini cocktail in a new way. The winner will move on to compete in the global finals in France at Le Logis, home of Grey Goose.

Thanks to Pomp & Circumstsance PR, Novella had the opportunity to meet with Dale Degroff, aka King Cocktail, who is known for developing extraordinary techniques and talent bartending at the legendary Rainbow Room in the 1980s. He’s a winner of the James Beard Awards for Wine & Spirits Professional, author of The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail, and also a leading trainer and founding partner of the award-winning training program Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR).

Dale Degroff started from the bottom working as a dishwasher at a flagship restaurant in New York City, and eventually moved behind the main bar. He shared amazing stories that explained how his interest in cocktails started to and his love for the classic martini.

Joyce Li: How did your career of  “cocktailing” begin?

Dale Degroff: I moved to New York City in 1969, it took about 30 seconds to realize that the most interesting place to be in New York City were the neighbourhood bars. I was trying to be an actor, then I found myself waiting tables – actually, I was a dishwasher, then I got a fancy waiting job. I worked my way into the industry through the kitchen which was a really good way to see the insides of the whole process and eventually got a service bartending job and eventually moved behind the main bar.

Then I moved to LA for a few years, and lucked into one of the most outstanding jobs at Hotel Bel-Air as a bartender. Here and there I would take a couple of sneak sips of the alcohol that’s I’ve never heard before to find out what they were. 

J.L: Do you have a pivotal cocktail memory?

D.D: That’s a tough question – the memories are not about the cocktails but about the people, stories, things that happen over the years. But at the Rainbow Room, we did do something special with the cocktails, we had drinks that haven’t seen the light of day for sometimes a hundred years, my boss was a visionary guy. He wanted a 1890s classic cocktail program which I found kind of weird. There were no soda guns, no mixes, nothing you saw at an average bar at that time. My boss had a five-year plan, which was to sign the contract to run the world most famous supper club on top of the Rockefeller Centre called the Rainbow. Because they had dishes with tradition, recreating the dish from the original 20s and 30s menus, so he knew he had to do the same with the beverages. He assigned me on the project, to see if I would work it out – recreating drinks.

This was the primary story – to go back to the 19th century, look at old books, figure out how it was done back then and how I could do it now. Sometimes the products are missing, so I think of what I can substitute, how to balance using only fresh juices. Where are the originals recipes? Am I getting the right ones? So I had multiple books, finding out that they were not the same in each books. Some would be more prestigious than others. Then we would do tastings to find out which of the actual drinks tasted best. So that’s how I threw tastes, how I put them together, and that was my audition to getting the gig. That was my most significant cocktail story that changed my life.

J.L: Did you become interested in cocktails or spirits first?

D.D: I was actually interested beer because that’s all I could afford. Then as soon as I met some people who really educated me, I went to work in an advertising agency in the mail room and had the fallouts of all the clients. One of the clients were restaurant associates. The stunning company that exploded the scene in the 50s. and I’m pulling out this big beautiful menu with all these Mexican food and then there was this margarita section. I had no idea what they were at the time but I was interested in what they were.

J.L: What’s your favourite summer cocktail?

D.D: I would say the South Side. It’s tall, cool, and minty- Pretty much a vodka version of the mojito. Gin and tonic was a go to drink, and also margarita. I think margarita was the fastest growing drink in the market while tequila was the fastest growing spirit.

J.L: Where do you enjoy drinking when you’re not working?

D.D: Depends where I am. I’m the kind of person who liked to find out where I am, and what the interesting drink is there to try. I was just in Cuba so I just drank rum the whole time and multiple different kinds of cocktails. Wherever I am, I’m trying what they do best.

J.L: What do you think makes the martini so special?

D.D: It’s endlessly interesting. How many people have talked about the iconic shape of the glass, it really depends on the art of absence, it’s so simple. For most of its life it was just with 3 ingredients. It was an evolving drink because of the vessel it was served in, it was strong, significant and sophisticated. Why was the cosmopolitan called what it is? Because it was sophisticated both the name and the look – everything about it was sexy. So was the martini. It really is part of the experience in “cocktailing”.

Don’t think that because I said it’s simple, it’s easy. It’s really easy to get bad martinis everywhere – there are so many ways to screw up a martini. It’s also one single drink in the world that every bartender is required to follow exact instructions. When someone walks into the bar and says “I’ll have a dry martini, I’d like it in and out, keep the remainder of my drink under refrigeration and pour it a little bit at a time” you are required to fulfill the fantasy martini of that guest and in front of them if you can, because that’s part of the experience – the grace. If the bartender can perform all those requirements in front of you with confidence, you can guarantee the experience is going to be good.

Top 5 Patio Bar Picks In Downtown Toronto

Patio season has been here for quite a while now. What’s better than enjoying your meal or drinks outside under the nice summer weather? Toronto has countless patios all around the city, the list can go on forever. To save you some time, we’ve compiled together 5 patio bars that we found will satisfy your liking!

wallflower

1. Wallflower

Location: 1665 Dundas St. W

Open seven days a week, 5pm-2am

647-352-5605

 If you’re into the vintage vibe with throwback music, this is the place to be.

 cold tea

2. Cold Tea

 Location: 60 Kensington Ave

Open seven days a week 8pm-2am

416-546-4536

The most hidden place you’d ever find yourself in. Don’t let the name fool you, they don’t actually serve cold tea.

sex club

3. Bovine Sex Club

 Location: 542 Queen St. W

Open seven days a week, 9pm-2am

416-504-4239

A tiki concept bar with a music mix of cutting edge rock, punk, glam, 70’s funk, retro 80’s, metal, and British pop.

done

4. The Done Right Inn

Location: 861 Queen St. W

Opens 7 days a week, 2pm-2am

416-364-9102

Just want a casual non-pretentious place to booze it up in the west end with cheap beers, mixed drinks, and shots? Get it done right here.

 reposado

5. Reposado Bar & Lounge

Location: 136 Ossington Ave

Opens Sun-Thurs, 6pm – 2am ; Fri-Sat, 5pm – 2am

416-532-6474

Enjoy more than 30 varieties of tequila at Toronto’s first “tequila bar” with Mexican tapas and live jazz featured several times a week.