Do you have 'a drink'? Mine has always been Rye and Ginger.
When I was invited to attend an event hosted by Canadian Club this week I was quickly brought back to the time in my life when I drank Canadian Club most of all... when I was living in Korea.
I remember being so thrilled that Canadian Club was readily available in Korea and would buy it to share with my friends for special occasions (well. For nights when we went out drinking, so... weekends. There was a lot of drinking in Korea.)
Here are a few things I learned.
#1 Rye is sippable
Turns out that you can drink rye straight and not just mix is with ginger ale. While I don't think this will be the main way that I drink rye from now on (though it may be Eric's) some of the rye we tasted was quite smooth and pleasant just on its own.
We tasted four different Ryes during the tasting. The original 1858 which is what I've always had in the past, the 12 year old rye, which Eric went out and bought a bottle of a few days after the event because he enjoyed it so much (and it's much more affordable than the scotch he's been drinking!), their new 100% Rye, and their small batch sherry cask rye which is aged for an extra year in once-use sherry casks after aging for eight years (I sound impressively knowledgeable now right?)
We also learned about the history of Canadian Club. My favourite piece, because I always love a good story, is that Canadian Club was the #1 smuggled whisky into the US during prohibition.
#2 How to make an old fashioned
As part of the event we all got to learn to make a drink from Matt Jones who is a Whisky Ambassador and Bourbon Specialist (talk about a great job title!)
I chose to make an Old Fashioned. Simply put, this is how you make it. You start by squeezing the invisible oil from a lemon rind into your glass. No really. You fold a lemon peel near your beaker, believe nothing has happened and then smell the glass only to discover a lot has happened! Then you add Rye, simple syrup, bitters and the fanciest ice you've ever heard of imported specially from Toronto. The ice is clear because they boil the water before freezing it. The ice is only good for 24 hours and they vibrate it constantly while it's freezing. I had no idea there was big business in ice, but I'll admit, it looked awesome. Then you stir the drink with a long spinny spoon until you accidentally fling the spoon across the table because it's a lot harder to do than it looks. That's how you know you're ready to pour the drink.
There are recipes for quite a few drinks on the Canadian Club web site if you're looking to try something beyond the typical rye and ginger. Eric made a Manhattan though forgot to fling his spoon.
#3 It's good to get out
I'm at a place in my life where I often feel like staying in and watching tv in my PJs is the better choice over getting dressed up and going out. But really, going out really is fun. We had a great time and got to hang out with some other bloggers, eat great food and drink great drinks. This all just reinforces my feelings about having more new experiences - it really does make me a happier person even if the PJ choice is easier.
Can't wait to see what we get to experience next!
(I was invited to attend this event for free but all thoughts included are my own, including my interpretation of how to make an old fashioned)