Posts tagged Saskatchewan distilleries
3 Twists on Canada's Favourite Cocktail: The Caesar

Is there anything more Canadian than sipping on a Caesar on a patio before any rational human being would consider patio season underway? 

If there is, then I haven’t come across it yet. 

As Canadians, we take pride in our own creations and the Caesar might be one of our most beloved creations. It’s hardly as important as say the Canada Arm or the telephone but without question, it’s one of our favourites. 

Vodka, clam, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, lime, rimmer, garnish and a sprinkle of seasoning. There’s nothing else like it. It’s so Canadian that even most Americans don’t even know about it. 

While the classic is the classic for a reason, there are more ways than ever to spruce up your Caesar and try something new. 

For starters, the easiest way to give your Caesar a different taste is to switch up the liquor in the drink. Vodka is the most popular spirit in Caesar, mostly because it’s a pretty tame flavour that lets the other flavours shine while still giving you a boozy kick. 

However, you can also make Caesar’s with just about any other liquor you want. Adding whiskey, gin or tequila can help make one of your favourite hair of the dog drinks even better. Whiskey adds more of a smoky taste, gin adds a nice floral touch, and tequila complements the spicy and citrus notes. 

If you want to try something different but don’t want to stray too far from the original, then a flavoured vodka might be for you. 

One of the most popular flavoured vodka’s for Caesar’s is dill pickle. For obvious reasons, of course. Pickles are one of the most popular Caesar garnishes and pickle brine has often been added as an ingredient too. 

In Saskatchewan, we've gone so far as to make dill pickle vodka a thing. I'm pretty sure we can take bragging rights on being the first to do so too. There are a few local distillers that have experimented creating this pickley spirit including Last Mountain Distillery and Lucky Bastard.

Dill pickle may be the most obvious flavoured vodka to add to your Caesar but there are certainly other options such as spicy or citrusy vodkas. A sweet vodka might not work as well, but I guess you never know. 

Another easy way to put a twist on your Caesar is to try something different when it comes to the other ingredients like spices, rimmer, hot sauce or even something you've never tried in a Caesar before. 

At Happy Hour’s mixology section, we have all kinds of different things to take your cocktails to the next level including horseradish extract and Lucky Bastard’s bacon bitters. Some restaurants and bars use horseradish in their Caesars, so a couple drops of this could be the new flavour you’re looking for. And as for the bitters, who doesn’t love bacon? It’s sweet and smoky flavour works well with any classic Caesar recipe.

What are some of the different things you’ve tried in a Caesar? What’s worked? Maybe more importantly, what hasn’t? 

Better Ingredients, Better Cocktails: Part Two

When it comes to making better cocktails, more often than not we tend to grab the cheapest or biggest bottle of alcohol of our choice. Why? Well, we’re mixing it anyway, so who cares?

Here’s the thing. You probably should care. Sure, if you need to provide drinks for a large group of people or something, then it makes sense to base your purchases by price and volume. However, if you simply want to enjoy a drink after a long day of work, then it’s definitely worth your while to spend a little bit more and get a better quality spirit.

For your favourite vodka-based drinks, like a Ceasar, you don’t have to travel far to find high-quality vodka. Provincial Vodka from Radouga Distillery near Saskatoon is one of the smoothest Vodka’s you can find and you won’t have to break the bank to get it. Provincial Vodka is not only loved locally, it even won a gold medal at the New York World Wine and Spirits competition.

At Happy Hour, we love to find different products that you might not find anywhere else, like Cirka from Montreal. Currently, we stock Cirka’s Sauvage Dry Gin and Terroir Vodka. Cirka is the first grain to bottle artisanal distillery in Montreal that is open to the public. Everything they make is locally sourced and nothing but perfection is accepted. Cirka’s vodka is corn-based and offers a hint of sweetness. While their gin is floral, fruity and piney all at the same time.

You can never go wrong with classic flavours, but sometimes it’s fun to experiment a little. Oppidan’s Barrel Reserve Old Tom Gin does just that. This gin offers up the flavours you would expect from gin, like juniper, but by aging the gin in barrels, there’s also hints of smoke, sweet and nut. Black Fox from Saskatoon is another go-to for barrel-aged gin. 

For rum lovers, the options have never been better. One of the best options currently available at Happy Hour is Bumbu, straight out of Barbados. Bumbu is based off a 16th and 17th century recipe that is still made by hand in small batches with all natural ingredients. Bumbu rum pairs well with other tropical flavours and juices coconut, pineapple, and lime.

Now, for my personal favourite. Even though I love craft beer, I enjoy a good glass of whisky (or whiskey, depending on where it’s from) as well. One bottle that I have stocked at home right now is Gooderham & Worts. This Canadian whisky is based on the recipe from the original Gooderham & Worts Distillery in Toronto. Ownership has changed hands a few times over the years, but what’s in the bottle has not.

There was a time when Gooderham & Worts was the largest distillery in Canada, producing one-quarter of the spirits available in Canada in 1862. Through this business and other ventures, Gooderham & Worts was also the largest taxpayer in Canada during its height, helping build much of the infrastructure at the time. Eventually, they turned out to be tax cheats as well and were fined quite heavily for it. If you’ve ever been to the Distillery District in Toronto, that’s where this whisky used to be made.

These are just some of the options available at Happy Hour to make your favourite drink even better. We’re also not done trying to find more stuff that you hopefully won’t find anywhere else. If there’s anything you think we should bring in, don’t be afraid to send us a message on Facebook or click on the custom orders section at the top of our website page.