The rest of Canada may be rolling their eyes at us, but Ontario is celebrating: the LCBO won’t be striking. That’s good news for people who love fun and hate protracted labour disruptions everywhere; although, more realistically, “everywhere” in this case means people from Ontario who aren’t within driving distance of Quebec, Manitoba, or the States.
Either way, it’s May Two-Four. Turn off that cell phone, hit the liquor store, and celebrate the birth of a nineteenth century queen with a festival of booze-related pageantry.
1. Whisky Up Your Maple Glazed Brisket
Know what agrees with brisket? Whisky. Whisky agrees with everything, except winning at mini-golf.
Rub a brisket with equal parts salt, pepper, and paprika, score it, and then immerse it in a marinade of a cup of whiskey, a cup real maple syrup, a fourth of a cup of brown sugar, a fourth a cup of olive oil, four smashed garlic cloves, a couple of zested and then juiced oranges, and a bunch of thinly sliced ginger. Leave the brisket to marinate over night. The next day, put it in a slow cooker for twelve hours, turning it a few times. Pull the brisket apart with a couple of forks and serve with liquid spooned over.
A lesser man might suggest that whisky and brisket is too heavy for the summer; that’s why he’s a lesser man. Toast his diminished manhood with our favourite Scotch-based cocktail. When he objects, pummel him with your leftover ginger.
2. Buy a Single Bottle of Hennessy Paradis and Enjoy it While Lounging in a Claw-Footed Slipper Bathtub
If you’re going to drop over seven hundred bucks on a cognac, you may as well pull out all the stops. Book a luxury hotel room, make sure it has a claw-footed slipper bathtub, and enjoy a blend of eau de vies that were already old when the Dreyfus affair kicked off. After all, there’s no feeling in the world like being drunk on cognac.
3. Host Your Own Bourbon Tasting
Invite your buddies over, light up some cigars, break out the poker chips, crank up “Long Hot Summer Day” by the Turnpike Troubadours, and pour a different bourbon each round. Work you way down the Kentucky bourbon trail, starting with Four Roses, moving on to Evan Williams, Jim Bean, Maker’s Mark, Town Branch, Wild Turkey, and finally, Woodford Reserve. Whoever’s still standing will probably win the pot, which should then be used to purchase more bourbon.
4. Daiquiris. Lots of Daiquiris.
Know what’s great about a daiquiri? Everything, that’s what.
Go pick up a couple or five bottles of white rum, several dozen limes, and simple syrup. Will lime juice suffice? No, it won’t. You can taste the difference between freshly juiced limes and a bottle of from-concentrate, juiced-twelve-months-ago, marinating-in-cheap-plastic, can’t you? Of course you can. Spring for the fresh limes, moneybags, it’ll make a good thing great.
Mix nine parts white rum with four parts fresh lime juice and one part simple syrup in a shaker with ice cubes, shake it well, and pour into chilled glass. If you feel like being festive—and why wouldn’t you?—substitute the simple syrup with agave nectar. As the day progresses, you will undoubtably begin experimenting with other sorts of tropical fruit juices and things like maraschino cherry syrup. That’s the beautiful thing about daiquiris—four or five daiquiris in, and you’ve invented several new varieties of daiquiri.
5. Pick Up a Half-Dozen Beers You’ve Never Tried Before and Enjoy Them on the Porch
My southern buddies don’t sit, they “set”. Of course, you can only set when you’re planning on doing nothing else for the rest of the day; truly, that’s their contribution to civilization. Gather a half-dozen beers you’ve never tried before, throw them in the cooler, take up a position on the porch after dinner, and enjoy the beautiful weather. All-in-all, life’s pretty good, eh?
Dave Robson is the editor of DailyXY. He spends his time reading books, drinking Scotch, and smoking cigars.
Photo courtesy of DDB Chic.