City Living: Holiday Cocktails

Ok, ok, we know the posts have been a
little booze-heavy lately but what do you expect? Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa,
Christmukkah, Festivus and every other culturally inclusive holiday can lead us toward the
liquor cabinet. That said, why not share these tasty holiday cocktails with your family and k
eep everyone in a holly, jolly festive mood?
Winter Pimm’s
Just when we thought we wouldn’t be able to
enjoy another fresh and delicious Pimm’s cup until next summer, Firkin Pubs
comes along and offers a winter version. All you’ll need is an ounce of Pimm’s,
half an ounce of brandy, 1.5 ounces of apple juice and a squeeze of fresh
orange juice. Shake all the ingredients together and pour over ice. Garnish
with a cinnamon stick or orange wheel (or both, if you’re feeling fancy).  

Pimm’s cups all year-round! Image source.
Mulled Wine
Evoking feelings of comfort, spice and everything nice, mulled wine is essentially a winter version of sangria that has been around since the 1800s (read: people have been drinking during the holidays for centuries). In a pot, add a bottle of wine (or two), two ounces of brandy, a dash of Angostura bitters (see here for where to buy), two or three cloves, three cinnamon sticks, three whole star anise, three whole peppercorns, a sliced orange and a handful of cranberries. Heat until steaming and serve punch-style or pour into individual glasses. Tip: use a full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz.
 Mmm, holiday in a cup. Image source.
Sidecar Reposado
“Tequila for the holidays?” you ask? Yes! Newly revamped REDS Wine Tavern has us covered for this simple winter cocktail. Combine 1.25 ounces of tequila, one ounce of Cointreau, half an ounce of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of egg white in a chilled shaker. Now shake it like a Polaroid picture and pour into a coupe glass. Top with lemon twist and a dash of orange bitters.

Tequila for the holidays, olé! Image source: REDS Wine Tavern.
Julep
This one comes courtesy of SPiN Torontoanother winter take on a Southern summer favourite. Can you can tell we’d trade in our jackets for jean shorts in a snap? Muddle three orange wedges with two bar spoons of brown sugar. Add ice, half an ounce of lemon juice, two ounces of peppermint tea, a dash of lemon bitters and (our favourite part) two ounces of Bulleit bourbon. Shake vigorously and serve in a mason jar topped with fresh mint and a wedge of orange.
This Julep is sure to make family dinners more fun. Image source: SPiN Toronto.

Hot Toddy
A classic cold weather drink, we’re sure Hot Toddies have cameo’d your holiday family gatherings. (Apparently they’re good for colds, wink wink.) In a mug, add one ounce of bourbon (but scotch or brandy will do too), a tablespoon of honey and two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.
Warm up with a classic Hot Toddy. Image source.

What’s your favourite holiday drink? Tweet us @rockitpromo.

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Yum Yum: Home Bar Essentials

Here on the fourth floor, we love to entertain. With the holiday season fast approaching, what better time to prepare our home bar to host any friends and family who stop by for a visit? Cocktail culture can be a bit overwhelming, so here’s a run down of the basics: 

Things will get wild with the right bar.

The Alcohol
Let’s get started with the most important part of a home bar: the alcohol. As you may have noticed when out on the town, the basic bar consists of a standard set of liquors (vodka, gin, rum, rye and scotch), beer and wine. This combination ensures all guests will find something that suits their tastes. These staples can be stocked on a budget or to reflect finer tastes. While not for everyone’s tastes, we also like to stock our bars with bourbon and some sort of bubbly (Prosecco is a lower cost alternative to champagne). 

A standard selection of spirits (plus tequila!) 

The Fixings
Stocking up on a variety of mixes is just as important as alcohol itself. We recommend having the following on hand: soda water, tonic, ginger beer and cranberry or orange juice. If you’re feeling like experimenting with cocktails, then bitters are your new best friend. Bitters are an essential for most cocktail recipes, and act as a binding agent for different flavours. If you’re going to have two bitters in your bar, the classics are Angostura (required for Manhattans and Old Fashioneds) and Peychauds (used in Sazeracs). However, there are so. many. bitters out there. Experiment away! Stop into BYOB for an insanely comprehensive offering. Some fresh cut lemons and limes, olives and maraschino cherries provide a finishing touch. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up some ice!


So many bitters, so many cocktail possibilities. 
The original maraschino cherries, made in Italy.

The Tools
Glassware is the obvious place to start. Your bar should have rocks glasses (great for most mixed drinks), coupes (a fancier way to serve cocktails, also perfect for bubbly), Collins glasses and wine glasses. A cocktail shaker is a given, as is a wine/beer opener. Less obvious, but great to have on-hand are a citrus zester, jigger, bar spoon and vermouth mister (for your martini-loving friend). Finally, one of the latest trends in cocktails is XL ice cubes. The Tovolo King Cube tray makes 2-inch cubes, which melt slower than traditional cubes and cause less dilution. Finally, the piece de resistance for any home bar is where you store it. We have been dying to pick up a bar cart, to house all of our goodies (you listening, Santa?). 


Sleek, beautiful bar cart. 



Gold-rimmed glassware. You fancy. 

With all of the above, your best bet is to buy a few things at a time knowing what cocktails they will make and slowly grow your home bar as you experiment with new drinks! Finally, please remember to drink responsibly this holiday season. In particular, never ever driving or letting a friend drive when drunk. Stuck for a ride home? Download Uber for quick, hassle-free lift. 

City Living: The Pros and Cons of dating a PR pro

Today on the fourth floor, we’re talking about dating a girl in PR. We’re not going to lie, dating a PR girl can be
tough at times – we’re independent, opinionated and will often correct your
grammar on text.  But, there are some significant pros when it comes to dating us – like our loyalty and passion, outgoing personality and ability to talk to anyone in a room.

Inspired by
recent posts on NYCPRgirls, we thought we’d give you a more comprehensive breakdown of
the pros and cons of dating a girl in PR. Voila! 

CON
We’re often overanalyzing
situations.
PRO
But we can find
the positive in most situations.
CON
When we’re at work, we probably can’t text, or sext, or have idle banter via social media. What can we say? We’re busy!
PRO
We aren’t (or can’t be) stage 5 clingers. We just don’t have the time. 😉

CON
We’re busy at night too. 
Our job
requires us to be out anywhere from 2-5 nights a week to a barrage of events,
cocktail parties, launches, etc.

PRO
If you like
events, and you don’t mind fending for yourself throughout the night, then you’re in store to
check out some fun parties! Double PRO – we won’t always join you in a cocktail,
especially when working, but you’re very welcome to take advantage of the open bar. (…and gift bags and yummy treats…). 
CON
We will most definitely
correct your spelling or grammar while texting.



PRO
Think of how
much better your texting skills will become!
CON
You will be
judged by your online profile or lack thereof. LinkedIn counts. Update that
shiz.  Twitter followers (when applicable) are also taken into consideration. Facebook is too, in that if you’re updating it every 5 minutes, clearly you have too much time on your hands and we’re not able to handle that.

PRO
We are experts
at doing a two-minute background check on pretty much anyone.


PRO
When we’re
well dressed, we’re really well dressed. It’s part of our job (and one of the parts we enjoy most).

CON
When we have
a rare night off, our outfits can be….let’s say ‘very relaxed.’ Or when we’ve been working late 5 nights in a row. Deal.
  
PRO
We will
always have a suggestion about the trendiest, newest restaurant to try.
CON
We will judge
you if you pick somewhere horrid. Choose wisely, friend.



There are likely many more that we can think of – maybe even enough to inspire a follow up post.





Yum, Yum: Tequila Tromba cocktails

We know what you’re thinking… tequila talk on a Wednesday? You’re still cringing from those shots you did on Saturday night. Cringe no more, Tequila Tromba has put its own spin on some delicious classic tequila cocktails that are sure to go down smooth and painless the morning after. Sounds hard to believe, but here is the reason: Tromba is made from 100 per cent pure agave, unlike most brands served at bars that contain 49 per cent low-grade sugar cane distillate and only 51 per cent agave. Tromba is the real deal and is even enjoyable when sipped straight. And these cocktail recipes are about to make you wonder what you were doing with the lemons and salt all those years.


Tromba Paloma
For this light and summery drink, combine 45 mL Tromba Blanco, 200 mL grapefruit soda, fresh lime and salt. Pour over ice in a tall glass and garnish with a fresh squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt. 

The perfect cocktail for a girl’s night out, even the name is girly!

Diablo
Don’t judge a drink by its name, the Diablo is a lot more delicious than it is daunting. To make this sweet summer cocktail combine 45 mL Tromba, 30 mL fresh-squeezed lime juice, a dash of creme de cassis and top it with ginger beer. Pour ingredients over ice in a tall glass and garnish with pressed lime. 
This fruity beverage is one of our favourites.



Tommy’s Margarita
Perhaps one of the truest signs summer has arrived is sitting out in the sun enjoying an ice cold margarita. For Tromba’s spin on this calssic, combine 60 mL Tromba Blanco, 30 mL  fresh-squeezed lime juice and 30 mL agave syrup in a shaker and shake with ice. Strain into a small glass with ice. 

                        
Who knew margaritas could contain so few ingredients?

While these drinks are super simple to make at home (you can find Tromba at the LCBO for $49.95 per 750 mL-bottle), why not head out and see how different bartenders around the city put their own spin on Tequila Tromba cocktails? Tromba is available at more than 100 bars and restaurants around the city including the Drake Hotel, Barque, SPiN Toronto, The Thompson Hotel, Goodnight, Yours Truly and 416 Snackbar, to name just a few. Olé!