To start this blog off on the right foot I thought it would only be right to begin with my current favourite fall sippers. Warning: this term ‘favourite’ changes monthly, and therefore, every month of the year will feature a new list of five star sippers.
But October, my favourite month of them all, is especially easy with the crisp mornings and that Thanksgiving feeling in the air. Here’s to you, October:
1. The perfect cup: 9 Bars
9 Bars is a coffee master. My favourite thing here is simply a cup of their house blend coffee. With beans sourced locally, this trendy coffee shop is beside my day job office on St. Clair just east of Yonge St., so it’s easy to pop in one, two, or three times a day. It’s super cozy inside with lots of folks working, reading and conversing throughout the day. Top off your coffee run with a stroll around the Mount Pleasant Cemetery gardens just around the corner for the perfect fall outing!
2. DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte with a twist
Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. October is filled with pumpkin everything. I’m personally not a fan of the mainstream pumpkin spice lattes, teas, donuts, muffins, etc., etc., etc., but I do like coffee (more like love), cinnamon and sometimes a little liquor in a homemade treat. Want to make your own? If you’re a pumpkin baker, you already have the ingredients!
First, brew some of your favourite coffee beans. While they’re roasting into the pot, whisk together some pumpkin spice, vanilla, milk, cinnamon (and a cinnamon stick if you want to be extra fancy!) in a pot over low heat. If you have a frothier, even better! Whisk until semi-foamy, then pour into your brew. Add in an ounce of your favourite Bailey’s and voila! If you’re feeling extra sweet, top it off with some whipped cream and sprinkle on some nutmeg!
3. Cranberry Blueberry Mulled Wine
If you’re up in the Muskoka area viewing the colourful leaves, Muskoka Lakes Winery is not to be missed! The winery is located beside a Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh, so of course they make cranberry-inspired wines (stay tuned for an entire blog post on Johnston’s in the near future). All you fall sippers need to pick up a bottle of their 2014 Cranberry Blueberry wine, along with a three pack of their Mulled Cranberry Spiced Mix. Pour the wine and the mix (I find about half a bag is the right amount of spice) and mull it!
A warm, toasty drink for a blustery fall evening.
4. Erdinger Oktoberfest rocks in october
I recently attended Toronto Oktoberfest because one of my favourite beers, Erdinger, was hosting the event. I’ve always loved their brews and to my surprise they were tapping a new one at the event. The Erdinger Oktoberfest brew, hands down, knocks all their other brews out of the park. Sitting at 5.7%, the colour looked very similar to the weissbeir, but the flavour had oh so many more cloves, citrus and banana notes.
Stock up sippers – Erdinger Oktoberfest is only available in the fall.
5. Turkey with a side of Cranberry spice
Okay, I have to admit, Thanksgiving is my second favourite holiday. I love turkey. I love cranberries. I love being with my family. And what goes best with all of these things? Cranberry cocktails! One I tried recently from Food & Wine was the perfect combination of spicy and sweet. I revised the recipe a bit and left out the four dashes of bitters and it was such a success, it made the October Five Star Sippers list. I’m bringing this one home to Mom and Dad this Thanksgiving weekend!