London’s food and beverage scene has exploded over the past few years. Now home to two distilleries, 10 breweries, food markets and countless restaurants featuring global cuisines - London has become a destination for foodies, cocktail connoisseurs and amateur Cicerones alike.
In this series, I’ll explore offerings from breweries, distilleries, even a cidery, and suggest food pairings to match with each brew and cocktail. I’ll take you through dinner courses from Happy Hour to Dessert and even if you aren’t a foodie now, you’ll be able to fool your family and friends when you whip up these combinations at your next gathering, date night or physically-distanced festivity.
On the menu today - Happy Hour!
A Happy Hour or Cocktail Hour is typically known to be a period of time prior to dinner where alcoholic beverages are the centre of attention. London boasts two distilleries, Paradigm and Union 10 where you can imbibe of whiskey, vodka and gin. To round out this course, serve up hors d’oeuvres - bite sized delicacies, finger foods and platters. If you or your guests are like me, you’ll enjoy this time so much you’ll find it hard to move into the dinner hour!
OEV Gin & Tonic
Featuring: Union Ten’s OEV Gin
- 1 Copa, Balloon or Rocks Glass
- Half a glass of ice
- 1 Ounce Union Ten OEV Gin
- 1/2 Ounce U10 Star Anise Syrup
- 4.5 Ounces Tonic Water
- 3-4 Juniper Berries
- 1-3 Lemon Wedges
- Place ice in glass
- Add gin and star anise syrup
- Top with your favourite tonic
- Squeeze 1 or 2 lemon wedges into drink and stir to combine
- Garnish with lemon wedge and 3-4 juniper berries
Pair With: Asian style foods such as Thai
Try: Mongolian Maki, Avo Moon Shine or ‘Foon Satay from the Shareables menu at Thaifoon Restaurant
Paradigm Latitude 42 Vodka Martini
Featuring: Paradigm Latitude 42 Vodka
- 1 Martini Glass
- 2oz Paradigm Latitude 42 Vodka
- 1oz Dolin Dry Vermouth (for a dryer martini, use less vermouth)
- Lemon or Lime Peel
- Chill a martini glass by filling with ice and adding water until the glass starts to frost. Alternatively, store the martini glass in a freezer until frosted and ready for use.
- Pour 2oz Paradigm Latitude 42 Vodka and Dolin Dry Vermouth in a mixing glass. Stir vigorously for 15 seconds until the cocktail is chilled and diluted.
- Strain cocktail into the chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with your favorite olives or express a lemon or lime peel over the finished cocktail. *Tip, grab you olives from Glenda’s at the Covent Garden Market
Pair With: Charcuterie, deviled eggs, or tapas
Try: The Cheese and Preserves or Charcuterie Board Platters from London Wine Bar
RBG Old Fashioned
Featuring: Paradigm First Edition Whisky
- 1 Rocks Glass
- 2oz Paradigm First Edition Whisky
- .25oz-.5oz winter spiced infused maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like your Old Fashioned)
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Preserved Cherry
- Orange Peel
- Pour 2oz Paradigm First Edition Whisky, .25oz-.5oz winter spiced maple syrup and 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters into a mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir for 15 seconds until cocktail is chilled and diluted.
- Strain over a large ice cube into a rocks glass. Garnish with your favourite preserved cherry and express an orange peel over the finished cocktail.
Winter Spiced Maple Syrup Recipe: Add 125mL Water and 125mL Maple Syrup into a sauce pan. Add two cinnamon sticks, two star anise pods and a tablespoon of whole allspice to the pan. Heat on medium until maple syrup is combined with water. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool in your fridge overnight to infuse all the flavors of the spices into the syrup. Strain mixtures over a sieve to remove spices. Store in the fridge. Will hold for two weeks.
Pair With: Charcuterie, spiced nuts, tapas or popcorn
Try: White’s Gourmet Popcorn inside The Market at Western Fair District
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a cocktail!
Next week we’ll dive into appetizers… I’m hungry already.
Until then, cheers!
Disclaimer: This content is for people of legal drinking age only following the Province of Ontario liquor laws. Please do not share with those who aren’t. Enjoy responsibly.