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Canadian BBQ Cocktails

I realize there will be many corks a-popping to herald in Canada's one hundred and forty-ninth birthday this July 1st. And of course, many celebrate by firing up the barbecue. I thought one needed either a charcoal or a gas barbecue to make this happen, but after a wonderful educational visit to the Weber Grill Academy, the scales were lifted from my eyes and I learned they also make electric barbecues. Now I can also join those happy grillers. In the past when I was invited to partake in my friends' barbecue offerings, I brought along bottles of Prosecco or, if I knew either fish, chicken or steak was on their menu, my favourite gift to them was a bottle of Zenato's scrumptious Alanera.

But this year is different; I will be offering my guests cocktails to accompany my first crack at being a barbecuer. And what is more Canadian than our Rye whisky or Apple Cider? Scott McCallum and Victoria Walsh's A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails from Random House Publishers gives one great ideas on what works well with food that develops a little charring. I also received an updated copy of The Waldorf Astoria Bar Book, written by Frank Caiafa, from Penguin Books. And certainly thought I would find inspiration from this 2016 updated version. I must admit that over the years I have sat in the Waldorf's Bar and was never disappointed.

Canadian Old Fashioned

Here is my interpretation of a Canadian Old Fashioned, riffing on J.H. Campbell's:


  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 2½ oz. Crown Royal Maple Finished Whisky
  • 1 lemon peel strip


  1. Mix maple syrup and bitters in an old fashioned glass
  2. Add ice cubes
  3. Add whisky, squeeze lemon strip into glass, then rub rim of glass with the lemon rind
  4. Mix well

Crown Royal Maple Lemonade


  • 1½ oz. Crown Royal Maple Finished Whisky
  • 3 oz. Chilled Lemonade
  • Ice cubes


  1. Fill a highball glass with ice
  2. Add whisky
  3. Top up with Lemonade


Apple Cider Punch

Serves approximately 12 persons


  • 6 cups chilled apple cider
  • 2 cups chilled cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 750 mL bottle of chilled Bottega Prosecco
  • 1 oz. Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider (optional)


  1. Pour cider, fruit juice and lemon juice into a large pitcher
  2. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve
  3. Just before serving, slowly add the Prosecco to the pitcher
  4. Optional: add a few drops of the Ice Cider to each chilled glass


I wish to thank the following for permission to publish material:

  • The Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails, Appetite by Random House, Print ISBN 978-0-449-01663-3 2015
  • The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, revised and expanded edition published by Penguin Books (Penguin Random House LLC), 2016 ISBN 978-0-14-312480-1
  • Weber Stephen for information from their Grill Academy located in Toronto
  • And Helen Hatton, who writes the Gourmet Recipes for (see her Canada Day Barbecue recipes)


For more information, you can contact Sheila at


All material ©Tony Aspler | Website by MediResource Inc.