A Madtini Night Out at the LCBO Classic Cocktails 1960s Soirée

LCBO Classic Cocktails 1960s Soirée

Thursday was a very special night out for Madtini. The LCBO hosted a 1960s-inspired party at The Carlu in downtown Toronto to celebrate the launch of their new Classic Cocktails website and mobile site.

The evening’s star attraction was Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant, who gave a short talk on classic 60s style.

The folks attending the event were arriving in style as well (heck I even wore a tie). Take a look at some of the 60s-inspired fashion on The Hip and Urban Girl’s Guide and It’s All Style to Me blogs.

(and hey, for a fun drinking game, do a shot every time you read the word ‘classic’ in this blog post)

The website features recipes for 24 classic cocktails, appetizers, product information and a flipbook version of the Classic Cocktails magazine. Do yourself a favour and pick up the magazine the next time you visit an LCBO store.

First off Madtini has to thank Anita Clarke of  I Want I Got for hooking us up with 2 invites for this great party.

The soirée took place in the classic round room at The Carlu. The Carlu alongwith the Design Exchange are two of the best examples of Art Moderne style architecture in Toronto, and was a perfect venue for this celebration of classic cocktail culture.

The event featured live musical of the the circle of fifths, great food, and two bar set-ups serving expertly crafted classic cocktails. The bartenders were making drinks with flare, juggling the bottles and garnishing with style.

Cocktail Time

It was now time for the most difficult part of the evening, choosing which cocktail to try first. After some deliberation we went with an ice-cold Grey Goose Vodka Martini as our first choice.

We moved on to the Negroni next made with Broker’s Premium Gin, Campari and Martini & Rossi Sweet Vermouth. If I can pass along one party tip, it would be don’t lean over to ask the bartender a question while he’s making the orange flambe garnish. Eyebrows are awesome and it’s nice to leave the party with both of them.

For our third and final drink of the evening our server recommended a Rusty Nail, made with Johnnie Walker Black Scotch and Drambuie.

The classic cocktails served this evening were a welcome change from the sweet drinks that made up most of our Christmas and New Year’s drinks. Which of these 24 classic cocktails are your favourite?

Join the Madtini party on Twitter and Facebook

A Night of Old-Style Cocktails with Snapstaff

Snapstaff Cocktail TastingOn Saturday night Madtini was invited out to a special cocktail tasting session with Snapstaff, a Toronto-based group bringing cocktail revivalism to private events. We were joined by Alexa Clark, blogger/author of Cheap Eats Toronto, and organizer of the Secret Pickle Supper Club and Zaigham Zulqernain, of the marketing agency House of Bamboo.

Snapstaff began offering their services to the Toronto area back in May, and their mission is to bring crafted cocktails to clients that are tired of the typical sweet drinks that are full of artificial flavours and colours. They specialize in using real ingredients including freshly squeezed juices, bitters, teas, agave, herbs and spices. They will prepare a special menu of drinks for your guests, taking into account the theme, season and and anything else you’d like.

We were served up 5 of their featured cocktails. The most difficult decision was which drink to try first.

The first drink we tried was the Cumberland, a cool cocktail perfect for a summer patio featuring muddled cucumber, pear nectar, lemon juice, simple syrup and gin. Next up was the Cilantro Mule, featuring fresh lime juice, fresh coriander, ginger-lemongrass cordial, gin, topped with club soda and garnished with a slice of lime and a sprig of coriander. Drink #3 was the Greyhound Deluxe, a mix of fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lime, simple syrup, vodka, cherry bitters and a mint leaf.

Things got even more interesting with the last two drinks we sampled. The New Old Fashioned was a strong, sophisticated drink ideal described by Zaigham as perfect for sipping on a cold winter night next to a fire with a good cigar. The drink was made up of sliced pitted cherries, maple syrup, Peychaud’s bitters and bourbon. This drink would set Don Draper back a few steps.

The final drink was the Georgian Jealousy, a complex cocktail based on late 19th century tastes. The drink balanced the aromatics of the gin with tannins, vinegar and honey and then completed the drink with strong tea, apple cider vinegar, honey and gin.

It was tough to choose a favorite of this group, but if i had to choose one Snapstaff drink it would be the New Old Fashioned… or the Greyhound Deluxe… or the… Find out for yourself and hire Snapstaff for your next party or event in the Toronto area. Their rates are on the website.