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Cocktail Hour: Crannon Blast

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 10, 2016

Cannon Blast Bottle ImageCaptain Morgan Cannon Blast began to appear on store shelves throughout North America in the fall of 2015. The new spirit from Captain Morgan (apparently produced from Captain Morgan Rum as well as natural flavours and spices) is being touted as a rum meant for the shot glass.

With that in mind, I invited my friend Lucas to sample the spirit with my last fall prior to my review. When he and I sampled it for the first time, we each took a cautious sip, and then downed shots to see how the spirit fared. I saw Lucas grimace, and I am sure he saw me grimace, as the tart flavour of sour citrus candies filled our mouths and overwhelmed our ability to control our reactions. The overt spiciness which followed contributed to our discomfort. Let’s just say that neither of us were fans at that point.

Having said that, my review for the Cannon Blast (see down below for a link) has been the most popular article on my website since I published it. Many people seem to be curious about the cannon ball shaped bottle and the rum inside.

Because of the spirit’s apparent popularity, I thought I would share a simple shot-style recipe sent to me recently by the media team for Captain Morgan Rum which mixed the Cannon Blast with Cranberry juice. Although the combination does not work for me, it apparently is quite popular at bars and clubs where the Cannon Blast is sold.


Crannon Blast

Cannon_Blast_Crannonblast-0031 oz. Captain Morgan Cannon Blast
1/2 oz. Cranberry juice
Shot Glass

Chill the Shot Glass in the freezer
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of your shaker begins to frost
Strain into the chilled shot glass.
Enjoy Responsibly!


And if you are interested in how I scored the Cannon Blast, here is a link to my full review:

Review: Captain Morgan Cannon Blast

“… The aroma carries an obvious rum-like caramel aroma which is tainted by the sweet and sour scent of a lemon drop candy. The lemon drop candy scent grows stronger as you let the rum breathe, and as well I begin to notice a light spiciness, which reminds me of ginger and cardamom …”

Please enjoy this review which includes another recipe, Blasted Brew, which mixes the Cannon Blast with Lager Beer.

Chimo!  (#Boom)

Posted in Cocktails & Recipes, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Vizcaya VXOP Cask No. 21

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 9, 2016

Ziscaya Cask 21Vizcaya Rum is produced in the Dominican Republic for a third-party (the neck label says “Imported by Amex Spirits“) by the independent company Oliver and Oliver. Oliver and Oliver produce a variety of rum brands using distillate from various Caribbean producers which they age in their own warehouse facility. Many of these rums are produced using what is called a solero method which blends rums of various ages in single barrels and then continues to age them together to create consistent flavour profiles combining both the complexity of aged rums and the brashness of younger rums together in the aging barrel.

According to the Vizcaya website:

“Vizcaya VXOP is one of the world’s finest sipping rums. It is distilled in small batches according to time-honored rum making methods in which the fragrant juice extracted from pure sugar cane is fermented and aged in select oak barrels.”

Here is a link to my full review:

Review: Vizcaya V.X.O.P. Cask No. 21

“… The initial nose is rich with caramel and maple scents accented by raisins and dates. Some orange peel and marmalade scents well up as do some luscious cinnamon bun smells (vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon. and roasted pecans). The only flaw in the aroma is a few underlying grassy notes and some alcohol astringency which each hint at a larger portion of younger rum used in the blend than I was expecting …”

Please enjoy my latest review!

Posted in Dark Rums, Rum, Rum Reviews | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cocktail Hour: El Padre’

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 8, 2016

Amaretto is a sweet almond flavoured liqueur which I like to mix with well aged oaky spirits. The sweet almond flavour tends to meld into the sappy oak notes and the combination results in a wonderful sipping (slightly sweet) cocktail. This is not a new idea, the classic scotch whisky cocktail, the Godfather, is exactly this style of bar drink. Several years ago I built a very similar cocktail using a well aged rum instead of whisky as its base. A good friend of mine named Forrest (see his website here) helped me tweak the recipe, and we gave the bar drink the new name, El Padrino which of course, is Spanish for Godfather.

When I was thinking of a suitable cocktail for my latest rum acquisition, Vizcaya VXOP Cask No. 21, I wanted to explore this theme with a similar cocktail. However, I hoped for a bar drink which would showcase the flavour of the Dominican Rum. I decided that adding a second complimentary flavour, Orange Curacao, might be a good idea. The almond notes within the rum would be accented by the Amaretto, and the orange peel notes within the rum would be accented by the Orange Curacao. When I experimented, I found that a single dash of Fees Cocktail Bitters (with its cinnamon and clove flavours) enhanced the cocktail even more.

As this cocktail was a shortened (albeit more complex) form of the original El Padrino (Godfather), I settled upon the shortened (perhaps also more complex) name El Padre’ (Father) for my new cocktail.

I hope you like it.

El Padre'El Padre’

2 oz aged Vizcaya Cask 21
1/8 oz Luxardo Amaretto (see review here)
1/4 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao (see review here)
few drops Fee’s Cocktail Bitters
crushed ice (1/3)
ice cubes (2/3)
Lime slice

Add the first four ingredients into a metal cocktail shaker
Add both crushed ice and ice cubes
Shake until the sides of the shaker frost
Double strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a slice of lime

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: My review for Vizcaya V.X.O.P. Cask No. 21 Rum will publish tomorrow.

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Super Bowl Cocktail #2: Keep Pounding Punch

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 6, 2016

It’s the day before the big game, and so far I have shared a nice cocktail; The Golden Gate, and two nice chicken recipes, Dab on ‘Em Wings & Bucking BBQ Bites. Today I am sharing my final Super Bowl recipe a nice Cocktail Punch created by San Francisco Bartender, Kevin Deidrich.  His recipe serves 25 people so it is a perfect punch to serve at a crowded Super Bowl Party.

You need a bottle of George Dickel Rye, about 6 fresh lemons to squeezes out the Lemon Juice, a small jar of Ginger Syrup, a large bottle of Sparkling Water, a cup of Sugar syrup, some fresh (or frozen) Raspberries, and a small bunch of Mint. Ginger syrup is a hassle to make, so even though I provide a link to a recipe, I suggest you pick up a jar or bottle at the grocery store (it is usually in the same aisle as the lemon and lime Cordials and syrups).

Kevin’s recipe scales up or down quite easily so make as much or as little as you need for the party.

Photo Credit: Kevin Diedrich

Photo Credit: Kevin Diedrich

*recipe created by Kevin Deidrich

750 ml. Bottle of George Dickel Rye
10 oz. Lemon Juice
5 oz. Ginger Syrup (see recipe here)
15 oz. Sparkling Water
7 tbsp. Sugar Syrup
Muddled Raspberries
Muddled Mint leaves
Citrus Slices

Add the ingredients into a large punch bowl
Add muddled fruit and fruit slices
Chill in the refrigerator until the guests arrive
Serve with ice.

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

I hope everyone enjoys the game.



Note: My reviews for George Dickel Rye, and George Dickel No. 12 will publish in a few weeks.

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Super Bowl Recipe #2: BUCKING BBQ BITES

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 5, 2016

Yesterday, I published a recipe for a platter of delicious of chicken wings (Dab On ‘Em Wings). This recipe was probably one which appealed more to Panther fans than Bronco fans so today I thought I would bring forward a chicken platter for those who would cheer for the boys from the Mile High Stadium, the Bucking BBQ Bites. This is not my recipe, it was created by George Johnson from The Comfort of Cooking.

George’s Recipe combines chicken and bacon with a spicy sweet BBQ Sauce. The sauce is quite easy to make, just make sure you have some Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum on hand as it plays a starring role. Here is how to make these delicious tidbits:
Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum

Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce

1 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Chile Sauce
1/2 cup Captain Morgan® Original Spiced Rum
1/4 cup Low-sodium Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 teaspoon Ground Dry Mustard
Ground black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat
Bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes
Stir occasionally
Use immediately, or store in refrigerator until ready to use.

I recommend that you may the sauce the day before the game and refrigerate it. If you don’t use it all up, don’t worry. The sauce tastes great with any recipe which calls for a tangy BBQ sauce.



Now that we have the sauce made. it is time to get on to those delectable chicken and bacon bites. (And there is no reason not to enjoy a Captain & Cola while everything is cooking.)

Photo Courtesy Georgia Johnson

Photo Courtesy Georgia Johnson


2 Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz. Sliced Bacon, cut into thirds
1/2 cup Spicy Sweet BBQ Sauce (recipe above)

Preheat oven or barbecue to 300 degrees
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil
Spray lightly with cooking spray
Wrap each chicken piece with a small strip of bacon
Secure with a toothpick and place on the baking sheet
Brush with BBQ sauce
Bake for 15 minutes
Remove pan from oven
Brush bites with more BBQ sauce
Return to oven
Bake for 15 more minutes
Serve warm


Enjoy the Super Bowl Responsibly!

And if  you are interested in more of my recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for my mixed drink recipes!


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Super Bowl Recipe #1: DAB ON ‘EM WINGS

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 4, 2016

Yesterday I Introduced a Super Bowl inspired cocktail for your enjoyment, the Golden Gate. I mentioned in the posting that part of my plans for the Super Bowl was enjoying some chicken wings as well. In that vein of thought, I have decided to share a nice recipe called Dab On ‘Em Wings which features a Dabbing sauce made with Crown Royal De Luxe Canadian Whisky®.

This recipe embraces the relationship between Carolina Panther star Quarterback, Cam Newton and the ‘Dab’. The Dab is a new hip hop dance move which has become part of Cam’s end zone celebration. Some of his opponents have claimed that the move which bears a striking resemblance to a bicep flex is more of a taunt than a celebration. (I say, if you don’t want Cam to Dab, don’t let him score or throw touchdowns.)

If you are a Panther fan, you will want to see Cam do a whole lotta dabbing on Sunday; if you are a Broncos fan, the only dabbing you will want to see is with chicken wings and the delicious sauce.

If you like sticky chicken wings, try this recipe. It is easy to prepare mixing Crown Royal De Luxe Canadian Whisky® with honey, garlic, soy sauce, chili sauce. and a packet of stir fry mix. I recommend you make the sauce and prep the wings the night before, and then refrigerate them overnight. On game day, just set up your barbeque so that you can start grilling half an hour before kick-off.

Dab on 'Em Wings

And of course, since the game starts at 4:00 MST. It is perfectly alright to mix yourself a Canadian Whisky Splash with the Crown Royal De Luxe Whisky to enjoy while you are cooking.


Crown Royal Deluxe Bottle Shot1/3 cup Crown Royal Canadian Whisky®
1/3 cup Honey
1/4 cup Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Thai Chili Sauce
1 packet (0.75-ounce) Kikkoman stir-fry seasoning mix
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
4 pounds chicken wing drumettes
3 scallions (green onions), finely chopped (optional)
1/4 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

In a large bowl, combine whisky, honey, soy sauce, chili sauce, stir-fry seasoning, and garlic
Add drumettes, tossing to coat
Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Let drumettes stand at room temperature for 30 minutes
Set up the barbeque for cooking over medium-high heat
Lightly oil the heated barbeque grill
Place dummettes on the hot oiled grill
Cook for 12 to 18 minutes (until cooked through) turning occasionally
Transfer chicken to a platter
Sprinkle with chopped scallions and peanuts (optional).

Please enjoy that Canadian Whisky Splash responsibly!

If  you are interested in more recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

And if you are interested, here is a link to my newly written review:

Review: Crown Royal De Luxe Whisky


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Super Bowl Cocktail #1: The Golden Gate

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 3, 2016

240px-Super_Bowl_50_logoThe Super Bowl (I think it is officially called Superbowl 50) is coming up this Sunday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. An if you are like me you have booked the day off (even from the family).  I like to plop myself into my easy chair with a plate of chicken Wings and a nice bar drink. This year, Diageo (the large spirits conglomerate) sent me a few recipes (and the spirit samples to make them), and unlike a lot of the recipes which are sent my way, I thought that they were quite good and worth sharing.

The Golden Gate is obviously inspired by one of the most recognized symbols of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge. which is located about 40 miles northwest of the home of Super Bowl 50, Levi Stadium. The cocktail is an “Old Fashioned” style serving which mixes Bulleit Rye with Blackberry Syrup and a few dashes of Bitters. Apparently Bulleit Bourbon  has a strong connection to the San Francisco Bay area through founder Tom Bulleit’s love for the city (at least this is what I have been told), and Bulleit Rye was created in direct response to requests from the San Francisco bartending community who wanted a full flavoured rye whiskey for their short and tall cocktail creations.

Hopefully you all like this cocktail as much as I do.

The Golden GateThe Golden Gate

2 1/2 oz. Bulleit Rye
1 oz  Blackberry Syrup (see recipe here)
2 dashes Angostura Bitters

Place 3 of four large cubes of ice into a rocks glass
Add the Blackberry Syrup and bitters
Pour the Bulleit Rye over the ice
Stir and Serve

Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!

Note: If you haven’t checked it out, here is a link to my review of Bulleit Rye.


Posted in Howls | Leave a Comment »

Review: Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Posted by Arctic Wolf on February 2, 2016

Evan Williams SAM_1709Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a whiskey brand produced and bottled in Kentucky by Heaven Hill. This company refers to its entry-level whiskey as a ‘black label brand’, and as such it is meant to be the flag bearer of the Evan Williams line-up. The whiskey has no age statement, however the Evan Williams website tells us that it is aged longer than required by law. (Straight whiskeys must by law be aged for 2 years in new oak barrels).

Here is a link to my review of the Evan Williams Black label Bourbon:

Review: Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon

“… The initial aroma is nice with scents of corn-syrup and maple mingling with oak and wood sap. There are also pungent spicy tobacco aromas, a gentle hay-like grassiness, a few indications of raisins, bits of orange peel, and a mild influences of canned apricots in the breezes. A light banana-like aroma is hinted at …”

Please Enjoy my review.



If you are interested, here is a link to another of my whiskey reviews of the Evan Williams brand:

Posted in American Whiskey, Whisk(e)y, Whisk(e)y Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Review: Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain (Añejo Tequila)

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 31, 2016

Dulce Vida Rocky MountainDulce Vida Tequila is produced from 100% organic agave grown in the Los Altos highlands which are situated in the Tequila Region of Mexico. The company produces the only 100° proof, 100% organic tequila (also free from additives of any kind) in the world. As well as being 100% organic, their tequila is also produced in a manner which embraces the concept of sustainability.

Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain Edition is produced from a special selection of barrels chosen by Dulce Vida’s Colorado State Manager which have rested in the light, crisp air of the Rocky Mountains’ high altitude and outdoor environment. The Añejo Tequila was aged in these single barrels in the Los Altos region of Jalisco at 1790 meters of altitude in the dry, crisp climate of San Ignacio Cerro Gordo near Arandas, also known as Tierra Colorada.

Here is a link to my review of this special Añejo Tequila:

Review: Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain (Añejo Tequila)

“… The initial scents above the glass carry impressions of fine oak spices and sandalwood interspersed with wisps of butterscotch, honey and vanilla. As I inspected the breezes I soon noticed a very well-defined highland spiciness (white pepper and lime zest) coming forward which was accented very nicely with the light earthy aroma of agave fruit. Pineapple, pumpkin and baked squash all seem to be hinted at …”

Please enjoy my review which completes my examination of the Dulce Vida Range.


Note: Here are links to my other reviews of Dulce Vida Spirits:




Posted in Anejo Tequila, Tequila, Tequila Review | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cocktail Hour: The Ice Wyrm

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 30, 2016

This recipe came about when I was choosing a suitable short cocktail for a particular Añejo tequila (shown below). I studied my previous cocktail creations and a cognac recipe of mine called the Medusa Coil caught my eye. That particular recipe is basically a sweetened Brandy Sour with added elements of Amaretto and bitters to give the serving extra dimensions of flavour. I thought to myself, I wonder if amaretto and tequila can share a harmonious coexistence?

Although this was a sour recipe, I wanted my chosen tequila (Dulce Vida Añejo Rocky Mountain) to shine through the bar drink so I decided to adjust the proportions of my agave based Medusa Coil by increasing the amount of Añejo Tequila and pairing back the Amaretto and the bitters both of which I felt might overpower the nuances of flavour in the Special Edition Dulce Vida. Things were not quite right until I also reined in the lemon and sugar as well.

The Dulce Vida Rocky Mountain Añejo Tequila was now the star of my cocktail. Do try this one, it tastes quite delicious.

Ice WyrmThe Ice Wyrm

2 oz Dulce Vida Rocky Mountain Añejo
1/8 oz Luxardo Amaretto
1/4 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 dash Fees Cocktail Bitters
1/8 oz Simple Syrup (1:1 ratio)
Lemon peel

Add the first five ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake until the outside of the shaker begins to frost
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with a coil of lemon peel
Add a small lump of ice to the center of the lemon coil

Please Enjoy Responsibly!

If  you are interested in more of my original cocktail recipes, please click this link (Cocktails and Recipes) for more of my mixed drink recipes!


Originally, I was going to call my recipe, the Mexican Rattlesnake as my final recipe shared some characteristics with another bar drink called the Rattlesnake Cocktail. And, it did seem to me that the coil of lemon with the lump of ice in the middle (used as the garnish) sort of looked like a coiled up rattlesnake. However once I photographed my creation, I realized that no rattlesnake would ever survive our cold Edmonton winters. Then I remembered a fanciful creature that is said to haunt the ski slopes of our Canadian Rockies swallowing up those skiers who dare wander into the forbidden areas out of bounds, the Ice Wyrm. It seemed a more fitting name for the cocktail pictured upon my snowy back deck.

And please note, my review of the wonderful Dulce Vida Organic Rocky Mountain Añejo Tequila will publish tomorrow.


Posted in Cocktails & Recipes | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »


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