Archives for posts with tag: christina kuypers


This drink is one of my favorites that Christina Kuypers ever came up with. We had it on the menu for the month long Gwai Lo pop up last fall and it is one of those simple to make but complex to taste as long as it’s made properly.

We used 1.5oz El Dorado 12 year rum, .75oz. Cynar and .5oz. Amaro Montenegro. You stir it and then flame an orange cheek (which took me a few hours to remember how to do properly, I have it down now as I was demonstrating at my friend Wendy’s house last week in Ridgeway). Served straight up in a coupe, this is one of the least summer style drinks you will see on a drinks blog this summer. Deal with it.

I am at Tales of the Cocktail right now so come find me. I’ll be with the Sailor Jerry guys for a lot of the week, and otherwise, just look for the coaster.



Look at that! I put my face under your drink! 


Just about a year ago when we started working (as opposed to just planning) GwaiLo stuff, Christina Suggested that we get lighters as business cards, which is a solid idea if you smoke, but I don’t, and though I do like lighting stuff on fire, it didn’t seem like the best move for me as a contact info spreading idea.


I never liked the idea of having a business card. I guess in Japan if you are presented with a business card and you don’t read every detail before pocketing it, it’s rude. So I made beer coasters with my face and like 12 words on them. Adam Cook did the face design for the Bar Tour flyer last year and my lady did the coaster design, ordered them and took the pictures that you see here.


If you don’t drink, or aren’t drinking when you get given one of these or find one on a bar top, at a coffee shop, or in your purse (because I’m sneaky) there are other things you can do with it. Look, I have glasses (sometimes true) or a moustache (impossible) or you can just use the blank space on the back to get/give a phone number from/to sexy babetron that has been making eyes at you all night.

Keep and eye out, I’m going to breadcrumb these around the city.



This is The Paper Crane. It’s a pretty obvious Paper Plane knock off, but made with Mekhong in place of bourbon. This drink is funny because I started with the name, (Kuypers’ suggestion) and worked backwards. This was part of the Gwai Lo  pop-up menu and in the initial ideas for the Gwai Lo cocktail list we had planned on having a series of drinks that were obviously inspired by classics but with goofy names (Typhoon, Singapore Swizzle etc…). For this drink (which I now think I may have written about before) I use 3/4oz. measures of mekhong, lemon juice, aperol and amaro nonino. Shake the hell out of it and then serve it on rocks. It’s pretty tart and very refreshing with a little spice.

Photo: Jessica Blaine Smith

Another Shrub Recipe!

This particular shrub I have decided to refer to as a light shrub, in that the process involves making a flavoured water (some people in the UK and British Colonies, and in the Far East would call this “tea” but I associate that with beer at the … wait, I almost gave away my favorite cold tea spot. Sorry to all the cops reading this, you won’t catch an adult imbibing legal products at an hour deemed unlawful by the province of Ontario, not this time) and souring it with vinegar. As opposed to a heavy shrub which is more my method, that involves taking a fruit or root or spice and boiling it in vinegar, then adding a smaller measure of sugar.

So if you weren’t aware, I posted one of these recipes awhile ago before my bar tour stop at La Carnita (I’m not doing a blog entry for that one. It  just happened too long ago and I can’t really remember it well enough to do it justice. Just go eat and drink at there, great people doing the right thing, with a lot of heart and a little luck) and a bunch of people contacted me to tell me it was a good one, This particular shrub was for a competition that my mentor and BFF Christina Kuypers was invited to by the Ontario Culinary and Tourism Association. The drink fucking rules so we put it on the list for the GwaiLo Popup as well (The drink is called a Normandier, if you’re curious). Here goes:

1. Put on your Halloween playlist, set to shuffle. It’s spookier that way.. (I made this shrub a few weeks ago, sorry I have been ignoring my blog)

2. Prep your allspice, ginger, cloves, anise and cinnamon


Theme from Psycho
Theme from The Shining
Welcome To My Nightmare- Alice Cooper
Sound Effects- Footsteps
20 Eyes- Misfits
Sound Effects- Man Falling off a cliff

3. Measure out your water

Master Of Puppets- Apocalyptica

4. Add your spices to your water and bring to a boil.
Running With The Devil- Van Halen (not Van Hagar)
Sound Effects- Torture Chamber
Ressurection Waltz (Hellraiser Score)
Halloween- The Misfits


5. Once boiled, simmer spices and water for about 30 minutes
N.I.B.- Black Sabbath
Hallowed Be Thy Name- Cradle Of Filth
Devil Went Down To Georgia- Charlie Daniels
Hells Bells- AC/DC
Sound Effects- Haunted Forest
Satan is Real- Hank III

666. Kill! The heat.

There is no point in keeping the playlist thing going while you wait for it to cool. I suggest you read either Treat Me LIke Dirt or Perfect Youth. Both are amazing historically questionable accounts of toronto/canadian punk rock. I am about 150 pages into both. Scatterbrain.

Speaking of which while I waited for mine to cool, I went and worked at the Toronto Underground Market with my pals from Tromba Tequila. I made something like 900 drinks in 2 hours or so.


When I got home Saturday Night Live was on and Bill Heder was really funny.

7. Strain out all the spices and ginger. Keep them, you’re gonna need them. Does ginger count as a spice?


8. Add apple cider vinegar and sugar. Stir until you get a velvety look. Glossy, like, well, like a pot full of sugar, vinegar and “tea”. Here I suggest you take off your shirt, because sometimes you splash on yourself, even when you are really careful and you wouldn’t want to wreck your Drunk Hussy shirt. Also, shirts are for chumps. (Does anyone have fingers that fit in these bottles?)



9. Now add half of your spices to a jar (or 3 depending on how much of the shrub you need, we needed like 4.3 litres for this comp). Let the jar(s) sit in the fridge (or sealed outdoors if you have a space safe from raccoons and the low is around 4 degrees).


10. Strain this again, and return to the jar. You are all set.


Again, the drink is called a Normandier. You add this shrub to some cider and some calvados and some angostura bitters and then you drink it and wish it was the only thing you had ever had in your mouth. And we have it on the list at GwaiLo Popup. and 416 489 8922 for resos.

See you soon kiddies.


For this month, one of my cocktails (which is featured on the GwaiLo Pop-Up List) is also on the menu at Origin on King. The drink is called the Paper Crane. It is based on the modern classic, the Paper Plane. Only I subbed in Mekhong, a thai whiskey (though I think it comes from sugar cane, which would make it closer to a rum or cachaca, no?) in place of bourbon.

If you order this drink at Origin three dollars will be donated to the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. You can find out more about them here.

The drink goes as follows

Equal Parts:
Amaro Nonino
Lemon Juice

Shake it and serve it straight up, or on rocks if you like. But be careful about leaving it on ice for too long, amari tend to get more bitter the more they dilute. (I figured that out while making The Velvet Glove, one of Christina Kuypers‘ inventions that you will also find on the Gwailo Pop-Up list). You can make it as strong as you want, but I’m big on a 3/4oz. measure.

I swear I will be posting more on this thing in the next few weeks. Keep checking it out. Also, when you are done having a drink at Origin, call 416 489 8922 to make a reservation for the Gwai Lo Pop-Up at Sen5es at the SoHo Metropolitan hotel. We’re only there until the 24th.

1. Set the ipod in the dock and put it on shuffle. Eric Bachmann- So Long Savannah

2. Measure your water.

3. Measure your sundried tomatoes. You want to get them from a bulk food store, not a jar. These came from The Nuthouse. fugazi- F/D

4. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Cat Stevens- Just another Night, Wanda Jackson- There’s a Party Going On, The Damned- Silly Kids Games, Exodus- Bonded By Blood

5. Strain. The Ramones- The Crusher

6. Measure out your tomato liquid.

7. Add your measure of apple cider vinegar. Minor Threat- Guilty Of Being White

8. Add your measure of sugar (in this case white refined). Municipal Waste- Set To Destruct

9. Stir to desolve sugar and mix in vinegar. Girl Talk- Overtime, Fucked Up- Royal Swan 

10. Spill about 1/5th of the shrub because funnels are for chumps.

11. Clean up the spill and wipe down the jar or bottle. Dr. Feelgood- She Does It Right

12. Let cool before closing and refrigerate.

This shrub is one of Christina Kuypers’ creations. I will be using it in the Take 5 when the GwaiLo Invasion happens at La Carnita on Sunday night.  See you there, gringos.

Before I get in to Bar Tour Day 12, dates have been added and moved. On October 1st I’m going to be at Ursa with my pal Robin Goodfellow. I don’t need to work his name into a pun which makes blogging way simpler. Also, if you know the Chantecler guys, tell them that I can’t DM them back on twitter if they aren’t following me, but that I’m down to work with them for a night. Also, the night at La Carnita is now going to be Gwai Lo Invasion, featuring at taco from Nick Liu and a cocktail that Christina Kuypers and I are working on together. Nick will give you octopus. I will give you mezcal.

Okay, last night I was at Churchill. The first few hours were pretty slow but I was working with my friend Quenton. 7 years ago when I first got into this industry, Quenton was a food runner at The Drake and I was a barback. It didn’t take long for us to become friends. Not surprisingly, this was based in an appreciation for early 90’s hip hop.


Working at Churchill was very comfortable. I have spent a lot of time in that bar and with everyone that was there last night. On Monday nights, the best you can hope for as a bartender is that everyone in your industry decides to go out drinking, because we all work all weekends. This is exactly what happened last night. Starting with the woman that designed the cocktail list for fall at Churchill. Sandy D’Almeida is someone that all bartenders should be inspired by. Her drinks, which are almost always spirit forward, and full flavoured are some of the most innovative drinks in this city, or anywhere. Her use of light syrups and herbs makes me want to be better at what I do.

She stopped by to try out one of her newest drinks on a couple of her friends. It was called Deliverance. Made up of Cedar infused Bourbon, Calvados, Fernet Branca, Maple Syrup and Berentzen, this drink tastes like fall in a cabin in eastern Ontario. Or “good” if you want to keep it simple.

The DJ, my friend Jeff Dixon played the top 100 songs from the billboard chart in 1993. Joey Lawrence, Green JelloUgly Kid Joe, Ice Cube, Tag Team and Mariah Carey. The only better than working/hanging out with friends and listening to great music is working/hanging out with firneds and listening to hilariously bad (terribilarious) music.

Tomorrow night I will be working at The Toronto Temperance Society. It’s the closest thing to a speakeasy in Toronto, so if you would like to come see me, and are not a member, please text me, or DM me on twitter and I will hook you up. See you tomorrow.


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