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’


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


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.)

Bars Around Town: Cocktails as Odes

Artwork by Michelle Cheung for Novella Magazine

Famous Last Words is what is known as a book-themed or a literary-themed bar; it has shelves of books, book-inspired names for cocktails, typewriter typography on the menu that’s divided into chapters and adorned with literary quotes as footnotes. However, FLW is neither an ill-conceived ode to particular authors known for their drinking habits — Hemingway, Bukowski, etc. — and the kind of masculinity that’s mistakenly associated with them, nor a botched attempt at some Oxfordian quaintness. Though the namesake of the bar is Timothy Findley’s 1981 novel, Famous Last Words, it is clear, when one sees the bartop made of 11,000 Scrabble tiles, that FLW is not meanly precise about its literary allusions, but generous in spirit and playful, a bar made and run by an avid reader with equal passion for cocktails. It is less a themed bar and more of a place where books and drinks just pleasantly happen to commingle. Which may be disappointing to those looking to indulge in picture-taking and bibliophily, but highly rewarding for someone looking to have a drink or two, read a book, and talk about this or that author, sentence, comma.

The cocktail menu is divided into three chapters: the Beach Reads (this one, seasonal), the Modernists, and the Classics. Of the Beach Reads — summer cocktails designed to go down smoothly — ‘Fool’ (the title of Christopher Moore’s 2009 novel) is made with gin, vanilla black-tea syrup, lemon, cream, and egg whites, and is frothy and sweet. It is somehow coconutty and dangerously easy to drink. ‘Everyone Brave is Forgiven’ (the title of Chris Cleave’s 2016 novel), from the second chapter, is also gin-based and is made with earl grey-infused Bombay Sapphire, lillet blanc, lemon, and lavender. It has the bitter sweetness of the bergamot and the freshness of the lemon. A few petals of dried lavender float on top and they reward with subtle flavor and beauty. The cocktail isn’t finely strained so that refreshing cracklings of ice sit on top. And last but not least, Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel), is FLW’s take on the Old Fashioned. It is made with Forty Creek Copper Pot Whiskey (which I was told was a rye), maple simple syrup, bitters, and flamed orange zest, and is served with a single ice cube. Though a bit on the sweet side — I’m not sure if this is due to the whiskey or the syrup or the ratio or something else entirely — Fahrenheit 451 is an approachable old fashioned. Most cocktails are only around $12 but are made with ingredients and skills one would often associate with posh speakeasies.

On a recent visit, the only thing I found amiss was Taylor Swift’s voice on the radio. But soon the bartender switched it off and put on the XX’s latest album, I See Youand made everything nice again. It was a hot day and the door and the patio doors were left open to let the breeze in from Pacific Ave. There was a group on a table for three by the patio that steadily grew in number and the bartender quietly brought out chairs from the backroom. A young couple sat on the couch and discussed furniture; at the bar, a baseball fan watched baseball on his phone; a book club gathered in the back of the room. Everyone was at ease.

Famous Last Words is located on 392 Pacific Ave. in the Junction and is closed on Mondays. Check out their specials like Whiskey Wednesday ($2 off whiskey drinks) and the figurative graphic of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812 in the men’s bathroom marked as ‘Oscar Wildes’ in Scrabble tiles (the women’s is marked as ‘Jane Austens’).

Continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Bars Around Town: Beer Break at Blood Brothers Brewery

Art work by Michelle Cheung for Novella Magazine

Blood Brothers Brewery Draft Room, 165 Geary Ave, Toronto

On one end of a long metal table encircling the brewery’s small draft room, a young man, in an orange cap and a grey v-neck, pocketed his copy of Philip Roth’s Goodbye, Columbus. He sipped on his tulip glass of beer and lamented to his two friends, ‘His writing is okay, but I find it too utilitarian.’ On the other end, the bar, where the bartender, in a red and black plaid shirt, sweated from moving boxes of bottled beers from the brewery in the back, pouring beers, and humming to Led Zepplin and Kiss. It was a windy afternoon, a bit chilly, though the sun was out and the four patio tables were fully occupied. On one, one woman nursed her baby while chatting to her two friends. With the garage door leading to the draft room open, the space was small but roomy. The crowd: young, healthy-looking individuals out to enjoy a beer before returning to a fulfilling passion project. Not that one could not get drunk at the Blood Brothers draft room: beers — predominantly ales — are all under six dollars for a 12oz tulip glass, and a flight of four 4oz is around ten, considerably more accommodating than the prices at various microbreweries around the city. Though if you are slow, you might have to move to a different spot as the draft room closes at nine. Some simply picked up a four-pack from a fridge by the wall and went on their ways. The short menu of snacks is lackluster, utilitarian, whipped up because of demand without much enthusiasm; but the two-dollar-pepperettes, ‘made fresh and locally,’ are surprisingly delicious and addictive, especially with Paradise Lost, a sweet sour ale brewed with sauvignon blanc grape juice. Around the corner from the brewery, between Dupont and Geary is a train track, wider, upon closer look, than one originally thinks it to be. It technically separates the bar further from the cooler, more hipster areas closer to Ossington and Bloor. Yet the draft room is not exactly a world apart, but just a rest stop on the way to one.

Continue following our arts & culture coverage on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Bar of the Month: An Interview with Ryan Macleod from The Clocktower Bar

Ryan Macleod, who runs the bar program at The Clocktower Bar, which opened in June, began his career in the food service industry when he was fifteen years old. He first worked at the Leslieville restaurant The Nose, where he would serve four hundred people in a given night, followed by positions at The Emerson, Goods and Provisions, and eventually baked with renowned French master-chef J.P. Challet. Such experiences then led him to the roles of sous chef and executive chef, as well as a consultant position on the bar program at Buca. Such a journey is of course littered with hardships, but like the owner of The Nose would yell at him—which has now become his favourite saying and something he regularly says to his daughter— “You can’t snow the snowman.” It’s a saying that effectively conveys one’s imperviousness to the daily challenges and  stressors of the industry, that develops over time. Fortunately in Ryan’s case, that imperviousness has not bred cynicism, but instead an unwavering enthusiasm for the drinks they develop, as well as a casual, relaxed attitude, that is reflexive of the welcoming and communal feel of The Clocktower Bar.

The Clocktower Bar, located at 1210 Yonge Street, is owned by the same people who own The Boxcar Social, a coffee shop and bar, where they pride themselves with their world-renowned rotating list of roasters as well as their meticulously chosen craft beers and wines. Its’ rustic minimalist aesthetic gives off a serious but unpretentious feel, something brought over for the bar, which also accurately reflects the philosophy of the owners and managers of both establishments.

Photo Credit: Summer Yang

 “[The owners] really, genuinely care about the product and the way the product is conveyed to people, above anything, which is what I love about the chefs that I love and the places that I love to eat at. I really buy into the program that these guys are offering here because their main focus is always what they’re putting forward. Everything everyday is accounted for and is tasted before it goes out. [At Boxcar] they’ll throw out forty shots of espresso before they give you a bad one. And that’s the mentality that we have adopted here.”

He mentions that all the bartenders at The Clocktower Bar have a hand in experimenting with possible drink ideas, and he seems to greatly enjoy the large degree of research that can go into making a unique bar program that conveys a specific mandate. Ryan does note that the classics really never go out of style for patrons, but also hopes that doesn’t deter them from stepping out of their comfort zone, as he is clearly always trying to introduce customers to something fresh and interesting, that hopefully matches their individual tastes. “The idea behind the classic section [of the menu] was ‘why don’t we highlight classic cocktails that people don’t normally order’ . . . if you can get classic cocktails on the list that no one has heard of because they’re so outdated and old, but that can be retooled in a way to make them modern enough for people’s current tastes, then that makes sense to me.”

Photo Credit: Summer Yang

Sitting atop the cash register of the bar is a dog-eared reprint of a cocktail recipe book from 1927, certainly a treasure trove of forgotten libations that could intrigue the taste buds of a newer generation. For Ryan, he finds that the Cloister cocktail on the menu— a concoction of gin, yellow chartreuse, grapefruit and lemon— to be particularly underrated. As he notes, “when you drink it, it’s really just pleasant. . . it has layers, great texture, good mouth feel, it’s light, and the booze is there but it’s not overpowering.”

Although the Old Fashioned and Negroni continue to be staid favourites amongst patrons, he says, after the first round, people usually begin feeling more adventurous and willing to talk about cocktails. And when people are willing to open up about what they’re willing to try, that allows the bartenders to illustrate all the artistic possibilities that cocktails have to offer. As it turns out, that strategy of politely nudging customers  to be more adventurous, he finds, makes people not only want to return, but desire to have an established personal connection with the bar.

“We have a lot of people who come in regularly now that will sit down, say ‘Hi’—who have been in here a lot of times already— and will say ‘this is what I feel like tonight. Can you make me something?’ Which is great. . .our customers are very excited, and understand that they can come in and sit down and know that the guys and girls that we have hired are dealing with things that entrusts them to make something that makes sense for them.”

Photo Credit: Summer Yang

As Ryan conveys an enthusiasm for introducing people to cocktails they have hopefully never heard of, it would obviously be remiss not to ask what his favourite drink is. “For me, my favourite thing to drink is a Bitter Giuseppe. I don’t even know if it’s a thing. It’s this really great drink my friend made for me one day, and now it’s this thing that we do all the time that we just love.” It’s made in one glass, and the ingredients are not extravagant or expensive by any stretch, making it very simple to make at home. The recipe is as follows:

The Bitter Giuseppe

  • Glass with ice
  • 1.5 oz. Cynar.
  • 1.5 oz. Dolin Sweet Vermouth.
  • Side of lemon, which is squeezed over top.
  • Pinch of sea salt over top the glass.

The result is bitter, but very smooth and easy to drink, with a vaguely sour after-taste— something that he notes feels reminiscent of a Brio Chinotto, the Italian soft-drink.

This month, on October 27, The Clocktower Bar will be hosting a community party in conjunction with Greenhouse Juice. Special offers will include discounted cocktails—$10.00 each— with some being specially made for the event.  They also regularly host community events for schools, such as teacher-parent auctions, and patio barbecues.  The managers have put forth an impressive effort to show that not only are they deserving of great word-of-mouth, but that they want people who enter to feel as though everybody knows their name.  It will surely evolve its’ presence in the neighbourhood  for quite a long time, and will likely quietly adopt a trendy reputation beyond that.

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!

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 4.10.48 PM



  • 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)


  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

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 4.11.02 PM


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.