Author Archives: Travis Oke

About Travis Oke

Wine writer / consultant

Cocktail in a Tin

What is it that you love to eat out of a tin? Spam? Herring and spam. Beans, spam, spam,  and spam – that’s not got much spam in it.

Well good news tin lovers. There is a  growing trend of cocktails in a tin and just in time for the long weekend and the royal wedding.

How’s this for a long weekend treat in a tin …  vodka, soda, gin, tonic, lemon, pomelo, and cucumber walk into a bar ….

First, Muskoka’s Docker.  It’s a G&T made with Muskoka’s Legendary Oddity Gin [which i honestly can’t believe i haven’t blogged about] and a little cucumber and lime. This drink is officially declared “divine”. “Sweet baby Bacchus” divine. Available at most LCBO stores, it’s a responsible 4% AVB, and endorsed by every single gin drinker in the world. Rumour has it that Harry and Meghan love it.

SocialLite continues their contribution to the world of tinned cocktails with a new Vodka and soda this summer that kinda makes me mad that i didn’t think of marketing this and getting rich.  Zero sugar and Zero sweetener is their mantra – or at least part of it – i think their real mantra is “why are we making stuff so good to drink”.  This summer’s flavours are Lemon Cucumber Mint and Grapefruit Pomelo. Remember, there’s also Vodka and Soda – a combination as old as creation itself.

Get ahead of the #trending curve and bring some tinned cocktails to a cottage or a party near you this summer. All the cool kids are doing it [i.e. Harry and Meghan].

 

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Cinco de Mayo edition

This Cinco de Mayo consider the piñata [cinco de mayo loosely translates as “the fifth of May”]. Beautiful, noble beasts that are the life of the party. But there is a dark side so obvious that i’ve missed it before today.

We tell Señor Piñata how beautiful he is, hug him,  stuff him full of candy, make him feel loved, invite some friends over for a piñata party, and then bash the heck out of him with a bat!  What kind of a sick joke is that?

Also, Napoleon sounds like a jerk. Also, i’ve heard he has bad breath.

So get yourself to a cinco de mayo party today. The Guava Saison is selling like Mexican hot cakes at the Muddy York and they have a party today.

Or go out and buy a gateway tequila that may lead to other more expensive tequilae.

Isn’t it fitting that the Mexicans rode humongous chickens while defeating the Spanish? Also, this delicious tequila is under $40.

And the happy ending to this story – besides the Mexicans not being held under Spanish oppression – is that this little guy was rescued by my daughter M and is now safely in a burro sanctuary.


Live @ the i❤️beer

So I joined the cashless economy this week exchanging labor for beer tickets, not a bad way to love your life huh?

4 oz glasses are cute at the i❤️beer festival

Barrel aged ESB from @lagershed – winner

Also, my hand looks huge huh?

And hey, why wouldn’t I try …

Must be the Swede in me that gravitates that way. Thanks Great-Grandpa Jacobson.

Blackberry Boch from @cowbellbrewery

Pong tournament in 15 mins

Oke out


Wee Dram

Scotland be like …


Alsace

Alsace – that tiny region of France that isn’t quite German, but isn’t not French. I love both the taste of wines from Alsace and the shape of their bottles. This lovely crisp 2015 white wine from “vieilles vignes” [old vines] was under $16 in the Vintages section of the LCBO.

 

So pretty right? Also, this is the first photo this year i took outside that i felt the warmth of my friend the Sun. Oh, i love white wine with a promise of Spring.

The flute bottle shape originated because Germanic and Alsatian wines travelled on gentle rivers to their libation destination on smooth sailing barges on the Rhine while Burgundian wines needed a sturdier bottle with a large punt [indentation at the bottom of a bottle] since they travelled a rougher road by horse and cart. I just think it’s pretty, but the thought of a gentle wine is lovely too isn’t it?

This Spring try an Alsatian Riesling in a bottle that looks eerily like my dog Lorenzo’s snout.

Heimberger Riesling

Heimberger Vieilles Vignes Riesling 2015—VINTAGES#: 168955   |   750 mL bottle

$16.95

 

 


Little Sister

I have an affinity for the scotch whisky Bowmore 12. It is a perfect blend of sweet and salty with hints of peat that speak to me. I’m convinced that I love the taste of the sea and the smell of peat because it’s in my Irish and Scottish DNA. If I was a rich man I would drink it often. However, $65 a bottle runs a little higher than my “daily dram” should.

Well good news everyone  – I found Bowmore 12’s little sister. Té Bheag [pr. che-vek, and say it like a Klingon just for fun] is a delicious $40 blended scotch whisky. It’s not a refined, fine filly of a single malt that nuzzles up to you, but she’s a noble beast in her own right [i tried my hand a poetry there – I’ll stick with blogging maybe].

The collection – and yes that is a ferret guarding the Whiskey cellar


Zeppelin Connections

The Muddy York Brewing Company recently re-released their R-100 IPA [i’ll get to describing the beer later*, probably]. I, for one, subscribe to the belief that nothing happens by chance. Which is why i loved the 1978 BBC documentary Connections, created, written, and presented by science historian James Burke.  In each episode James Burke would demonstrate how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively, in an interconnected way, to bring about particular aspects of modern technology. Kinda like how Wikipedia is going to now sue me for copying stuff word for word from their site.

James Burke**

Now follow me on this.

The R-100, aka the Zeppelin airship, was created by a certain Count von Zeppelin.  Check out this dashing man.

Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin 1838-1917

Muddy York Brewing Company’s R-100 IPA was invented by their founder and brewmaster Jeff Manol.  Check out this dashing man – wait a minute! The resemblance is remarkable don’t you think? And it’s not just the fantastically groomed moustache and hat [maybe it’s the fantastically groomed moustache and hat].

MYBC R-100 IPA

Zeppelin also happens to be the name of a famous historical rock band – Led Zeppelin, for those kids that don’t really know about them.

Led Zeppelin’s lead singer is Robert Plant. Check out this dashing man.

And finally –  as i write this i realize that my hair has grow far too long.  A barista recently remarked, “You’re looking like a young Robert Plant today Travis”.

 

And so, that is how Count von Zeppelin inspired a chain of events that found this blogger writing about a delicious IPA. Also, i realize that i may need a makeover, because unless Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin get cool again my look has gone the way of the Hindenburg.

*R-100 – 70 IBUs. Magnum, Topaz and Equinox hops – evoking memories of MYBC Stormglass IPA.

**James Burke is not particularly dashing – well, compared to the Count, Jeff, or Robert.