Canadian Club celebrates #IHeartRye

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Canadian Club knows how to host a party. Last night they invited a few of their friends to The Citizen in Toronto for a classy affair to toast their popular new whisky, Chairman’s Select 100% Rye, which was launched late last year.

Guests were treated to special cocktails, made especially 100% Rye and a few other Canadian Club whiskies; a sampling session with four of the Canadian Club whiskies; a photo station that was printing social media photos from the hashtag #IHeartRye; and snacks like lamb lollipops, gourmet fries and sausages, and few other delicious treats.

While the 30-minute sampling session with Canadian Club brand ambassador Tish Harcus was a highlight, my favorite part of the night had to be making my own cocktails with whisky ambassador Matt Jones, who I previously met last fall for a session focusing on Knob Creek bourbon. Jones is a fantastic teacher, and he made mixing the cocktails fun, and interesting, with perfect tips for those of us who hope to make the drinks again at home some day.

The best piece of wisdom he passed on was actually about the garnish. Rather than cutting a whole slice of lemon, Jones was using lemon peel zest strips, which he squeezed inside the glass to spread around the scent and essential oils before he poured the cocktail in.

He also shared a few tips with everyone on how to stir properly using a very long bar spoon held firmly near the top and spun around easily with the spoon bottom pressed on the outside of the mixing glass.

Canadian Club was also nice enough to send guests home with some branded gear, including a whisky glass, whisky stones, and a mixing glass to make the perfect Manhattan or Old Fashioned at home.

Check out photos from the event below, and scroll all the way to the bottom to check out the recipes if you want to try your hand at making either of the iconic cocktails with 100% Rye.

Thanks again, Canadian Club, for the invitation. It’s always a pleasure toasting with your whiskies.

1 ½ oz Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
½ oz dry vermouth
1 heavy dash Angostura bitters
¼ oz simple syrup

Stir all ingredients together with cracked ice. Pour into a cocktail glass over fresh ice. Accent with lemon peel zest.

Makes one serving.

2oz Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
1/2 oz raw sugar syrup*
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Orange zest garnish
Amarana cherry (or quality maraschino cherry)

Stir ingredients with cracked ice in a mixing glass. In a separate lowball Old Fashioned glass, express oils of lemon into the glass. Pour cocktail over freshly iced and oiled glass. Use lemon peel to wrap amarana cherry for garnish.

Makes one serving.

* Simple syrup made with raw sugar (2 sugar to 1 water) – boil 1 cup of water; remove from heat and add two cups of raw sugar.

W. Andrew Powell lives, sleeps, eats, and breaths movies and entertainment. Since launching The GATE in 1999 Andrew has enjoyed being a pest to any publicist who would return his calls. In his "spare time," Andrew is also an avid photographer, and writes about leisure travel and hotels around the world.