PHOTO BY WILLIAM M. DOWD
On a recent trip to Windsor, Ontario, to visit the Canadian Club whisky facilities, I toured a local LCBO store -- Liquor Control Board of Ontario. It was an eye-opening experience even though I've lived in or visited U.S. states that have "state stores," as they call their heavily regulated wine and spirits shops.
In Ontario, the provincial government rules the roost, not only deciding how many LCBO stores are allowed, but what they can stock (there are several grades of stores, based on local population, sales volume, etc.), how many products each company can have displayed, which shelves they go on, and so forth.
That, combined with Canada's extremely high taxes on alcoholic beverages, might make one think Canada is trying to regulate the industry out of business. But, on the contrary, it's more about restraint -- of trade, in the minds of some, but in consumption in the minds of others.
Along with plenty of print information on alcoholism treatment and warning messages, the LCBO actually encourages intelligent use of alcoholic beverages. Its current glossy publication, "Hot City Cocktails," is available at no charge from LCBO stores. It contains information on how to make cocktails, what tools to have, and some very nice recipes collected from around the world. The latter prompted me to use them for this month's "What Will They ... " feature. Each recipe is for one drink. If you want to find entertaining-size batch recipes, check the LCBO Web site.
• Apple Crush, Cruise Bar, Sydney, Australia:
1 1/2 ounces Bacardi Big Apple Rum
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 ounces fresh apple juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the apple slice. Shake and strain into a goblet filled with ice. Garnish with the apple slice.
• Pear & Cardamom, K Bar, Copenhagen, Denmark:
1 1/2 ounces Grant's Finest Scotch Whisky
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/4 ounce simple syrup
4 ounces pear juice
3 cardamom seeds
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the twist. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with the twist.
• The Madonna, Ravintola Teatteri, Helsinki, Finland:
1 ounce Beefeater London Dry Gin
4 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 ounce Soho Lychee Liqueur
1/3 ounce lime cordial
To a highball glass, add all ingredients and stir to mix. Serve garnished with a fresh lychee.
• Pomnediere, NoMi Restaurant, Chicago:
1 ounce Iceberg Vodka
1 ounce Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce mandarin orange or tangerine juice
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
• White Russian, Organza Bar, Warsaw, Poland:
1 ounce Polar Ice Vodka
1/2 ounce Kahlua
1 ounce whole milk or cream
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add all ingredients and serve garnished with the cherry.
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