COVID-19 Top Shelf

These Canadian Distilleries Are Making Hand Sanitizers for the Community. Here’s How You Can Support Them Back.

Dillon's Rye Whisky

While we collectively practice social distancing and remain within the confines of our homes, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to enjoy a good drink or two after a long day of, well, sitting at home. Recently, a handful of Canadian distilleries have stepped up to the plate by repurposing their facilities to make hand sanitizer for those who aren’t able to find any. While they’ve focused their efforts in supporting the community, the fact remains that in many (if not all) cases, these distilleries are small businesses and also feeling the economic impact of COVID-19.

With liquor stores remaining open during Ontario’s lockdown, and restaurants and bars being allowed to sell liquor, now is a great time to reciprocate support by choosing local companies who may need it most. Before you meet up with your friends over FaceTime and toast to the weekend, here are a few recipes for tried and true classic cocktails using Canadian brands who have helped tackle COVID-19 in their own way. Cheers!

Dillon’s

Dillon's Rye Whisky

Manhattan

Ingredients

Directions

  • In a mixing glass with ice, add whisky, sweet vermouth, and bitters
  • Stir and strain into a rocks glass with a fresh king cube ice cube
  • Garnish with maraschino cherry

Spirit of York

Spirit of York Vodka

Vesper Martini

Ingredients

Directions

  • Fill a mixing glass with large ice cubes
  • Pour in the Lillet Blanc, vodka, and gin. Stir rapidly 50 times in a circular motion
  • Strain martini through Hawthorne strainer into a chilled martini glass
  • Use a knife to peel lemon. Twist to express oils over the drink and rub around the rim of the glass. Float peel, yellow side up, in martini glass

Reid's Distillery

Reid's Gin

Negroni

Ingredients

  • 1 oz. Reid’s Gin
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • Orange

Directions

  • Add ingredients together into a cocktail shaker
  • Shake well with cracked ice
  • Strain into a glass over cubed ice
  • Garnish with orange peel

Black's Distillery

Black's Distillery Rye

Boulevardier

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Black’s Rye
  • 1 oz. Campari
  • 1 oz. sweet vermouth
  • Lemon twist

Directions

  • Combine rye, Campari, and sweet vermouth into a cocktail shaker
  • Add ice and shake vigorously for approximately 20 seconds
  • Strain into a cocktail glass, coupe, or rocks glass filled with fresh ice
  • Garnish with lemon twist

Victoria Distillery

Victoria Gin

French 75

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Victoria gin
  • ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • 2 oz. champagne
  • 1 lemon

Directions

  • Combine gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup into a cocktail shaker
  • Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously for approximately 20 seconds
  • Strain through a Hawthorne strainer into a champagne flute
  • Top with champagne and garnish with lemon twist

Cirka Distillery

Cirka Terroir Vodka

Moscow Mule

Ingredients

Directions

  • Squeeze lime juice into a Moscow Mule mug or Collins glass and drop in rind
  • Add 2 to 3 ice cubes, pour vodka, and fill with ginger beer (not to be confused with ginger ale!)
  • Serve with stirring rod

Top Shelf Distillery

Top Shelf Gin

Gimlet

Ingredients

Directions

  • Shake ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with lime

Ironworks Distillery

Ironworks Distillery

Mojito

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Ironworks Bluenose Rum
  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tsp superfine sugar
  • 3 mint leaves
  • Club soda

Directions

  • In a Collins glass, muddle lime juice with ½ to 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar
  • Add mint leaves and muddle them against the side of the glass
  • Fill ⅔ glass with crushed ice and add rum
  • Add in remainder of lime rind and finish with club soda