The Bottle with the Bike May 1, 2009

Filed under: Cheers — s mcdowall @ 9:02 pm
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Latest Wine review!!!

Cono Sur
Pinot Noir, 2007
$10.45 at Ontario’s LCBO

This Chilean red was brought to my attention by my wife (yes, I have 2 wives and 1 husband to be – it’s a looooooooooong story). Anywho… I just thought I MUST share this great find. Originally bought completely due to the cute bike on the front (the wife is an avid tri-athlete and Iron Man fiend … yes … one of ‘those’), it proved to be much more than just a gimmicky label. It held up very well to being enjoyed straight out of the bottle, with no breathing time or decanting time whatsoever. It’s slightly fruitish, with a hint of acidity, and has a wonderful aftertaste. I am by no means a sommelier, but man, this one is certainly a wine to keep on hand and in the main rotation. All this, and for under $11. Wow – beat that Chateau Lafite 1787!!!



Hot Choddy November 21, 2008

Filed under: Cheers — s mcdowall @ 3:37 pm
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What do you get when you cross a hot chocolate with a hot toddy?  Yep, a hot choddy.  Sipping a large glass mug (or bowl) of this is exactly how I want to spend a cold and wintery night, all snuggled up on my couch.  You can’t go wrong with this combo.  You’ll be feeling heavenly long after the last sip is slurped.  Add a little whipped cream on top if you’re really wanting to satisfy that sugar hankering.


1 cup milk (use at least 1 or 2% – feel free to subsitute rice milk for a lactose free version)

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 oz Kahlua or Bailey’s or Amarula

1 oz dark rum


1) In a saucepan heat milk, cocoa powder and brown sugar on med-high, whisking briskly until a gentle simmer begins.

2) Gently simmer and whisk for a few minutes, then remove from heat and whisk in Kahlua and rum.

3) Serve in heat-hot_chocolate_by_drinkpoisonproof mugs (glass just seems to look and taste better) and enjoy immediately.


ah Houston, we don’t have a problem August 1, 2008

Filed under: Cheers — s mcdowall @ 3:21 pm

Test post from my blackberry – this is dangerous.


Diablo Margaritas (or beer margaritas) July 10, 2008

Filed under: Cheers — s mcdowall @ 9:05 pm
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Really … you CAN have the best of both worlds sometimes. Tasty beer + delicious margaritas = heaven in a tall glass. These are easy and come with the following warning: make LARGE batches as they won’t last. All you need to do now is find the perfect patio to sit out on.

Four bottles cold light-flavored beer (best to use either Corona or Brahma)
1 cup high-quality tequila (you know the ones to avoid)
1 can frozen limeade concentrate
Kosher or sea salt (for rimming glasses)

1) In a large pitcher, combine beer, tequila and limeade and stir vigorously.
2) Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each of glass and dip it in the salt. Fill glass with ice.
3) Pour the margaritas into the glasses and garnish with a lime wedge.
4) Sip and refill as desired.

Note – you can also make these a frozen treat by putting everything together in the blender (use more ice) and then pour into your favourite mug or glass.


Y’all come back here! February 22, 2008

Filed under: Cheers — s mcdowall @ 2:49 am
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I haven’t updated the drinking section here in a while, and seeing as I was dreaming of hot, lazy summer days, a southern classic came to mind. For any others of you out there that adore the movie STEELE MAGNOLIAS as I do, you just might want to take a minute this weekend to enjoy a mint julep. I know, they don’t actually have a scene with a mint julep or any julep for that matter, but that’s not the point. Just picture weeping willow trees, fancy dresses and hand fans, and the dearest southern drawl.

You will need:
3 shots of some seriously premium BOURBON, 86 to 90 proof
½ cup finely shaved or crushed ICE
a little confectioner’s SUGAR (about a tsp)
1 shot of sparkling WATER
A handful of the freshest MINT leaves you can find this time of year

How to:
Step 1 = In a chilled old-fashioned glass, crush five or six mint leaves along with a tsp of sugar and an shot of sparkling water (after a minute or two, a thick, gorgeous paste will form).
Step 2 = Add half a cup of crushed ice and mix/mush for a minute longer.
Step 3 = Fill the chilled glass to 3/4 with more ice, then pour in three ounces of bourbon (or four, if it’s that kind of Tuesday).
Step 4 = Garnish with a few mint leaves and sip through a straw.
Step 5 = Enjoy y’all!!!!!!


Vino Bellissimo! January 20, 2008

Filed under: Cheers — s mcdowall @ 12:47 am
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I have a wine night once a month with some of the best gals you could possibly imagine. We play hockey together once a week, we laugh our asses off, and we love a good wine. Each month is a different ‘theme’ complete with gourmet meal and sweets (and usually some sort of drunken injury). We take turns hosting and it was the last event just before Christmas that we discovered the most glorious new wine: Backsberg Pumphouse Shiraz.

Over the years we’ve tasted some sweet spoils from all over the world (including some great organic wines from Canada and South Africa – of course this is the one I hosted), but it is the Backsberg that drove us to immediately go online that night and track down cases of it in our city. We ordered 3 (there are only 5 of us you see – so you draw your own conclusions). At $22 a bottle, it’s not the most economical wine, but it is certainly well worth every penny. So save some of those, and try this gorgeous red. You will NOT be disappointed.
Notes –
Below is a recent review from a well known wine website. We enjoyed the 2004 crop, but I’m sure just about any year will yield the same addition. Enjoy!

Attractive soft, slightly earthy dark-fruit compote character. Pumphouse Shiraz is a specially crafted cuvée selected on the basis of varietal character and intensity.

2007 Decanter World Wine Awards – Bronze Medal

Black cherry and raspberry fruits are given added complexity via subtle aniseed and vanillin tones derived from maturation and small French and American oak barriques.The palate has weight and depth due to layers of fruit tannins and sheer flavour intensity.


NYE Signature Drinks January 12, 2008

Happy belated NYE everyone! For those that I had the pleasure of ringing in the new year with, you may (or may not) recall my 2 signature cocktails. Let’s start with the first tasty glass filler.

Russian Twist
1 shot of Vanilla Kahlua
1 shot of premium vodka
1 tsp of milk
4-5 ice cubes

Place ice in a martini or cocktail glass. Pour all liquids over ice. Stir and serve

Dizzy Fizzy
1 shot of apple or pear vodka
1/2 cup of frizzy grapefruit soda (President’s Choice works best – you can substitute 7Up if need be)
a few frozen raspberries
4-5 ice cubes

Place ice and frozen berries in a cocktail glass. Pour all liquids over ice. Stir and serve