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occasions WINTER 2012/2013 | ISSUE 23

A Celebration of Food & Drink

Winter | 2012/2013

CONTENTS occasions

Occasions is a premier food and drink magazine published by TC • Media for the NSLC and is intended for the enjoyment of Nova Scotian consumers. Publication Director: Beth Keays, Director, Customer Marketing, NSLC Publisher: Fred Fiander Food & Drink Editor: Mark DeWolf Editorial Board: Beth Keays, Director, Customer Marketing, NSLC; Laura MacLachlan, Marketing Manager, NSLC; Meg Stewart, Marketing Coordinator, NSLC; Jillian Major, Manager Wholesale, NSLC; Peter Rockwell, Category Manager, Old World/Local Wine, NSLC; Fred Fiander, Group Publisher, TC • Media

Tasting Menu

4 Fabulous Pairings

Food Stylist: Mark DeWolf, Kelly Neil Props: Mark DeWolf, Kelly Neil Photography: Kelly Neil Contributing Writers: Valerie Bishop, Mark DeWolf, Jennifer Durkee-Smith, Liz Feltham, Susan Macintosh, Adam Morin, Peter Rockwell Cover Provided By: Colour Group Publisher, TC • Media: Fred Fiander Associate Publisher/Regional Director of Sales: Joel Hartlen Account Executives: Mark DeWolf, John Eagles, Annie Langley Production: Angela Jørgensen Copy Editor: Lori Covington, Ken Partridge Advertising Coordination: Meaghan Ferdinand

Style Watch

Inside Welcome Cheers! Themed Celebration Style Watch Simply Inspired Mixology 4 Fabulous Pairings Grape Expectations Tasting Menu Producer’s Spotlight Restaurant Spotlight Beer Basics Did you Know?

4 6 9 16 21 23 28 32 39 45 51 54 62

On the Cover On the Cover Rosemary not only adds a fragrant scent to your favourite dish, it can also add flavour to cocktails. Try adding a savoury element to your favourite martini recipe. Combine two ounces of vodka, a splash of vermouth and a sprig of rosemary into an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into an ice cold and ice filled cocktail glass. Garnish with cherries for some added festive flare.

Copyright 2012 by TC • Media All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph or artwork without expressed written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Materials submitted for consideration should be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. The publisher cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited materials. 211 Horseshoe Lake Drive, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3S 0B9 Tel: 902-421-5888 Fax: 902-422-5400 Disclaimer Occasions Magazine makes no warranties of any kind, written or implied, regarding the contents of this magazine and expressly disclaims any warranty regarding the accuracy or reliability of information contained herein. Occasions Magazine further disclaims any responsibility for injuries or death incurred by any person or persons engaging in these activities. The views contained in this magazine are those of the writers and advertisers; they do not necessarily reflect the views of Occasions Magazine and its publisher, TC • Media. Please note all products listed within this publication are available in most NSLC stores throughout Nova Scotia. Prices and availability subject to change without notice. In cases where there is a difference in prices listed within Occasions and NSLC stores, the prices in the NSLC stores shall prevail. Printed CTP (computer-to-plate), eliminating the need for film, and the plates are processed using water soluble developer. Inks used are vegetable oil based. Paper used is Somerset Gloss, manufactured by SAPPI in Somerset, Maine. This paper is acid free, the pulp is cultivated from sustainable forests. It is SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified as well as ISO 14001 certified. The Somerset Mill, where this paper is manufactured, has won the Maine Governor General Award for Environmental Stewardship. Cited in particular with regard to this award, was the use of recycled water during the manufacturing process. It was also noted that this Mill generates its own power from waste products on site. Not only that, but the excess power generated is sent back to the Maine Power Grid.

Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation 93 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax NS, B3S 1A3 Tel: 902-450-6752

Now at the NSLC.


WELCOME | The Winter Issue

Warming Up


Your Winter


Soup’s On Outdoor activities are a big part of most Nova Scotia residents’ winter schedule. To warm you up, we’ve created a menu featuring hearty soups designed for afterski, skating or tobogganing parties. These comfort foods are guaranteed to warm you and your guests up after a day in the fresh, brisk winter air. Enjoy the recipes in our Themed Celebration article, found on page 9.

Wine Simplified Confused by over-the-top wine descriptions? Wine writers have built up a language only they can understand—but we’ve cracked the code and we’re passing it on to you. In our Grape Expectations feature, found on page 32, we’ve simplified the language of wine.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

Dark Ales and Bold Lagers For those wintery days when relaxing indoors is the best option, do it with a tall glass of rich, dark beer. Adam Morin uncovers the origins of classic dark beer styles and serves up a simple but delicious Black and Tan recipe. Find our stout and hearty Beer Basics feature on page 54.

Brewing with an Entrepreneurial Spirit Shaun Fraser and wife Lilia revolutionized the New Brunswick beer scene by launching the Pump House Brewpub more than a decade ago. This energetic couple continue the expansions, opening another restaurant and a new brewery to meet the growing demand for their beer. A selection of Pump House beers is now available at the NSLC, including their fragrant Thai Wheat Ale and the Pump House Variety Pack. Read our Producer’s Spotlight on page 45 and discover why Pump House beers are loved by beer enthusiasts and critics alike.


BEVERAGES | Peter Rockwell

Demystifying Nova Scotian wines Something monumental happened to the wine industry back in the mid-1980s. And European producers from the likes of France, Germany and Italy – confident in their domination of the wine world – never saw it coming. New World winemaking upstarts, led by Australia, pulled the North American market out from under the Old World and they have never looked back. So how did they do it? Their trick was to deliver balanced, easy drinking juice, packaged with labels that spoke to consumers. It turned out what spoke loudest on these labels was the names of grape varieties—unlike Old World. Wine buyers could identify with the names of well-known grapes, like: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling. They might not have known exactly what the names meant, but at least they could pronounce them and that turned grapes into superstars almost overnight.


Occasions Winter 2012/2013

Here in Nova Scotia, our winemakers have taken a page from the New World playbook by using grape varietal labeling on many of their wines. The problem is, our climate isn’t naturally suited for growing the better known Vitis vinifera vines that produce power players like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Though Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir have had some success in Nova Scotia, the majority of our wines are made with French-American hybrids (created by crossing different types of grapes) that actually thrive in harsher climates. While they can make for exciting, vibrant wines, they just don’t have the caché of their Vitis vinifera cousins because they are rarely, if ever, grown by international vintners. Compound that with typically tonguetwisting names and you’ve got the makings of a struggle for Nova Scotian wines when

BEVERAGES | Peter Rockwell

it comes to competing against the output of more established wine regions. During recent visits to both Malagash and the Annapolis Valley, I asked our winemakers about the key grapes they grow and the stories behind them. WHITE L’Acadie Blanc (LA-ka-dee blahn): Nova Scotia’s signature grape (and the foundation of most Tidal Bay appellation wines) was developed in Ontario, where it had the very unromantic name of V-53621. Crisp, clean and highly aromatic, it’s the perfect companion to fresh seafood. New York Muscat (MUHS-kat): This cross of Muscat Hamburg and a grape called Ontario was born at Cornell University's Geneva Experiment Station in New York (hence the name). Dryer than most Muscat, it still shows some prominent honey characteristics to accent its smooth, round flavour, which makes it a great partner for poultry. Seyval Blanc (say-VAHL blahn): Formerly known as Seyve Villard 5276, this French hybrid shows fresh citrus elements and a nice minerality to pair with its bright fruit and tight acidic backbone. It’s a versatile wine that matches well with most white meats, salads and light-bodied cheeses.

Ortega (or-TAY-gah): A cross between Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe, it was developed in Germany and named after Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. Though it makes tasty, off-dry table wines, in Nova Scotia it’s become more famous as the base of excellent icewine.

RED Lucie Kuhlman (lucy COOL-men): It was named after its French creator Eugene Kuhlmann (who also pieced together the next two grapes in Alsace, France). The most tannic of the Kuhlmann crosses, it’s very aromatic and an ideal partner for red pasta sauces, pizza and grilled meats. Maréchal Foch (MAR-esh-shall fosh): Dedicated to French Marshall Ferdinand Foch, Foch is an early ripening red grape that likes the cold weather. Believed to be a cross between Goldriesling and an American Vitis riparia-Vitis rupestris vine, it produces deep, dark-fruited wines that love red meats and Italian dishes. Léon Millot (lay-OHN MEE-oh): Officially known as “Kuhlman 1942,” this grape shares the same parents as Maréchal Foch. Though it offers riper fruit flavours and richer, chocolaty undertones than Foch, it shares its brother’s affinity for red meats.

Nova Scotia varietals at a glance Still having trouble getting your palate around the eclectic grape varieties grown here in Nova Scotia? Here’s a guide to popular Vitis vinifera and their closest local heroes. • Like Sauvignon Blanc? Try l’Acadie Blanc. • Like Dry Riesling? Try New York Muscat. • Like Lighter-bodied Chardonnay? Try Seyval Blanc. • Like Sémillon or Viognier? Try Ortega. • Like Cabernet Sauvignon? Try Lucie Kuhlman. • Like Syrah/Shiraz? Try Maréchal Foch. • Like Merlot? Try Léon Millot.

Now at the NSLC.


FOOD | Themed Celebration

Soup’s on! By Liz Feltham

Winter’s here! Time to bundle up for cold weather fun— skiing, snowboarding, skating or sledding. After a brisk day outside, get the gang together back at the house or chalet for a pot of hearty soup and creamy hot chocolate. Après-ski (or skate, or sled) parties should be relaxed and easy; hot soup simmering gently on the stove and a stack of bowls and spoons and homemade biscuits at the ready. Make a soup buffet by placing covered ceramic pots or soup tureens on homemade trivets out on the buffet and let guests help themselves to a hearty bowl of soup.

Now at the NSLC.


FOOD | Themed Celebration

Spicy Corn & Black Bean Stew We’ve added a crafty chalkboard menu to our buffet, so guests know what wonderful soups await them in each pot. Be sure to provide potholders and lots of ladles for convenient serving and don’t forget the drinks. Set out a thermos or two of hot chocolate (adult and kid friendly versions) and let the warmth of hot soup and good company drive away the icy chill.


Spicy Corn & Black Bean Stew Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1 tsp olive oil 3 cloves garlic, crushed ½ cup celery, diced ¼ cup red onion, diced 1 tsp Jalapeño pepper, chopped 1 cup cooked or canned black beans ½ cup corn kernels ½ cup vegetable stock 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

Directions: 1. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. 2. Add the garlic, celery, red onion and Jalapeño pepper and cook until softened. 3. Add the beans, corn, vegetable stock and tomatoes. 4. Bring the stew to a simmer; stir and serve.

Pairing: Ravenswood Vintners Blend Zinfandel (California, $19.99, 1000613)

FOOD | Themed Celebration

Sweet Potato & Bourbon Soup Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 4 slices bacon, diced 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed 1 medium yellow potato, cubed 1 tsp flour 2 cups vegetable stock ½ oz Bourbon

Directions: 1. Cook the bacon in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. 2. When the bacon begins to get crisp, drain off the fat, reserving one teaspoon. 3. Set the bacon aside, return fat to pot and add the sweet and yellow potatoes. 4. Cook over low to medium heat, covered, until the potatoes are tender. 5. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and continue cooking for two to three minutes. 6. Slowly add the vegetable stock, stirring continually, until the broth is thickened. 7. Add bourbon and reserved bacon; serve.

Pairing: J Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay (California, $21.99, 1000154) Sweet Potato & Bourbon Soup


FOOD | Themed Celebration

Chicken & Chorizo Stew

Chill Busting Chili

Chill Busting Chili Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 4 strips uncooked bacon, roughly chopped ½ cup onion, chopped 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh Jalapeño peppers, finely chopped 2lbs lean ground beef 4 cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained 1 tbsp tomato paste 2 cups cooked red kidney beans 1 tbsp chili powder 2 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp dried oregano Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook bacon for two to three minutes, stirring so the bacon doesn’t stick. 2. Add the onion, garlic and Jalapeño and cook for a further one to two minutes, until softened. 3. Add the ground beef and cook until crumbly and no longer pink.


Chicken & Chorizo Stew

Directions: 1. Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. 2. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until softened, stirring occasionally. 3. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and sauté. Stir for two to three minutes, until the flour has absorbed the butter. 4. Slowly pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and then add the potatoes. 5. Continue simmering until the potatoes are cooked. 6. Add the chorizo and chicken. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

Serves 4-6 Ingredients:

Pairing: Torres Sangre de Toro (Spain, $15.50, 1000211)

4. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chili power, cumin and oregano and continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavour to develop. 5. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve.

Pairing: Rickard’s Red Ale (12x341 ml, $24.49, 1001276)

1 tbsp butter ¼ cup yellow onion, diced ½ cup celery, diced ½ cup carrots, diced 1½ cups chicken stock 1 tbsp all-purpose flour 1 cup potato diced, washed and unpeeled 1½ cups chorizo,* diced (spicy dry-cured Spanish sausage) 1½ cups cooked chicken, diced Salt & pepper to taste

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

Editor’s Tip: *Be sure to get a Spanish-style chorizo because it’s already cooked (technically speaking, they have been cured). If you can’t find Spanish-style chorizo, you can use Mexican style, but you will need to cook the sausages in advance.

FOOD | Themed Celebration

Talking Turkey Soup Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 3 cups turkey stock (prepare as per chicken stock) ¼ cup uncooked pearl barley ½ cup carrot, diced ½ cup onion, diced ½ cup celery, diced ½ cup turnip, diced ½ cup cooked turkey, diced ½ teaspoon summer savoury ¼ teaspoon dried sage leaves Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, bring turkey stock to a boil. 2. Add the barley, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 3. Add the carrot, onion, celery and turnip and continue to simmer, uncovered, for another 25-30 minutes. The barley should be soft and vegetables should be tender. 4. Stir in the turkey, savoury and sage. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

Pairing: Sterling Vinter’s Collection Chardonnay (California, $14.99, 1001771) Talking Turkey Soup

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FOOD | Themed Celebration White Hot Chocolate

After warming up with a bowl of soup, enjoy one of our hot chocolate recipes that are guaranteed to keep you warm long into the night.

White Hot Chocolate

Directions: 1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. 2. While the chocolate is melting, heat the milk and cream in a heavy saucepan, just until simmering; stir in the melted chocolate. 3. Add the Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur and serve.

Serves 4 Ingredients: 8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped 他 cup heavy cream 3 cups milk 4 oz Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur (750 ml, $29.99, 1000725) 14

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

FOOD | Themed Celebration

Dark Hot Chocolate Serves 4 Ingredients: 2 oz unsweetened dark chocolate 2 cups milk 1 cup heavy cream 2 eggs ½ cup sugar 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 4 oz Kahlua (750 ml, $29.99, 1001096)

Directions: 1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over a medium burner. 2. In a heavy saucepan, heat the milk and cream just until simmering.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until pale yellow. Stir in vanilla extract and the liqueur. 4. Slowly pour the hot milk and cream mixture into the melted chocolate and stir well. 5. Whisking steadily, slowly pour the egg mixture into the chocolate cream. 6. Blend until heated through. Add the Kahlua and serve. Editor’s Tip: To make a kid friendly version, leave out the liqueur in the drink recipes.

Dark Hot Chocolate


LIFE | Style Watch

Watch Tree Trimming

An Ode to Tradition What can be more natural than birds, acorns and pinecones in an evergreen tree? We’re returning to classic themes and colours by decorating the tree with deep red and silver tones. All of the tree components are shades of silver and red. To decorate our tree, we’ve used two sizes of high gloss red balls in different shades of red, silver spiral finials, matte red finials with velvet polka dots and twig-like glitter sprays. Even when designing traditional trees, we believe it’s important to infuse a little sparkle and

Our Expert: Susan MacIntosh is the owner and lead designer of Props Floral Design. Planted in 1998, Props, located on historic Granville Street, has grown into the florist of choice for discerning clients with an eye for style. The open concept shop is anything but old-fashioned. You’ll find an oasis of style and colour, brimming with ideas and inspirations.


pizzazz. We have also added a stocking to the tree. This is a great idea for apartment and condo dwellers without a mantle. The tree provides a place to display the stockings, with the added bonus that they take up significant space on the tree, reducing the number of ornaments one needs to buy to fill the space.

Contemporary Cool Turn your Christmas tree into something more modern if that suits your style. We’ve created a playful modern look with a black and white theme. To add some visual interest and a sense of symmetry, we’ve focused on circular shapes. We’ve decorated this tree with ornaments with black and white polka dots, along with striped silver and black balls and circular glitter sprays. It is the holidays after all, so to avoid being too stark, we’ve added some small snowmen balls for a touch of whimsy. You can add anything you like as long as it provides a fun contrast to the black and white decoration. You may even opt not to add in any decorations traditionally associated with Christmas to allow the tree’s use to extend through to New Year’s Eve. Finally, to top off the tree, instead of using a traditional star, we’ve opted for a bronze sinamay (mesh), which adds warmth to the otherwise contemporary cool character of the tree.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

2005 BENJAMIN BRIDGE MĂŠthode Classique Brut Reserve Savour the holidays with a Nova Scotia bubbly of the highest quality. Handcrafted in the traditional Champagne method, using 100% Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and seven years of aging, this Brut Reserve is born of tradition yet distinctly Nova Scotian. Limited Availability.

2005 Benjamin Bridge MĂŠthode Classique Brut Reserve (Nova Scotia, $74.79, 1012526)

LIFE | Style Watch

Tips on How to Decorate the Tree

All that Sparkles

We like using a monochromatic look by decorating with various shades of the same colour. We’ve discovered that symmetry and balance are the keys to a professional look. Lay out all of your ornaments before you begin. Start with the ones you have the most of, polka dotting them throughout the tree. Be sure to place them so that they appear to be spread equally from the top to the bottom of the tree. Then start adding in the rest. If you have keepsake ornaments, we recommend placing them at eye level. If you prefer to maintain the look of the tree, you might consider placing them on a separate smaller tree or even a rosemary tree in your kitchen.

What to serve guests at a tree decorating party? Great sparkling wine is always a stylish choice to serve at any holiday celebration. Of course, classic Champagnes are timeless, but we recommend giving a nod to the future by serving a traditional method sparkling wine made here in Nova Scotia. Our long cool growing season produces grapes with the right combination of flavour and acidity to make a vibrant and complex style that has won over national and international critics alike. Enjoy them on their own or with hors d’oeuvres. If you want to add a little pizzazz to the event, you might consider serving a couple of sparkling wine cocktails. In this case, forego the expense of traditional method sparkling wines and opt for the fresh flavours of Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine). Add half an ounce of Crème de Cassis or Chambord to a flute and top with sparkling wine. It’s that easy.


Occasions Winter 2012/2013

The IWK Health Centre is the NSLC employee’s charity of choice. My NSLC has dedicated employees and generous customers who have supported the IWK Telethon for more than 23 years. We’re proud to have raised over $1.7 million through the years and to have helped make a difference in the lives of Nova Scotia children, women and families.

ny, –Tiffa

NSLC New Waterford


Add a little décor style Live the Dream Beat your winter blues and sleep better than ever! Find out why so many Maritimers are choosing hot tubs to improve their lives. There's nothing better than relaxing in warm soothing water as the snow falls. SPAS Specializes in: Canadian-made Hot Tubs, In-Ground & Above Ground Pools, Natural & Chemical Maintenance and Big Green Egg BBQs. Sparkling Pools And Spas | 515 Main St., Dartmouth (902) 462-8187 |

Geddes Furniture A local company featuring custom made solid wood furniture. 2” thick solid dining tables available in any size to fit your room and multiple finishes to suit your style. Seen right, is our Barn Floor look with deep tobacco base. Geddes Furniture | 2739 Agricola St., Halifax (902) 454-7171 |

Custom and Original We have more than just pieces for your dining room. Come in Friday evening for our 5pm showing to see bedroom, living room and office furniture too. Geddes Furniture | 2739 Agricola St., Halifax 1-866-443-3377 |

See for Miles and Miles Vortex Mirror – A stunning piece of illusion that’s all lights and mirrors. Infinity Tunnel – A cocktail table that redefines floor space. Available from Nova Lighting exclusively at La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries Bayers Lake Park La-Z-Boy Funiture Galleries | 36 Otter Lake Court, Bayers Lake Business Park, Halifax (902) 450-2227 20

Personalize Your Pieces Statement is working with Dinec to help you customize beautiful solid wood Dining Room, Bedroom and Entertainment furniture. Choose from a vast selection of options – style, size, hardware, stain – to make it your own. Canadian–made, Dinec furniture can be Modern or Traditional. Statement | 2534 Agricola St., Halifax 902.455.0442 |

Simply Inspired | Perfect Bows







Double Sinamey (Mesh) Bow How to: Step 1. Measure and cut three feet of mesh. Step 2. Take one end of the mesh and fold it half way to the center to create a loop. Take the ribbon at the middle and fold back to create another loop that meets your first loop. You should now have two loops. Step 3. Secure the loops together to make a bow. Step 4. Using scissors, cut the tail (the remaining mesh) up the center in order to create two tails. Step 5. Finally, fluff the bow to finish. Step 6. Use the bow to decorate large gifts or place on a door instead of a wreath.

By Susan MacIntosh, owner and lead designer of Props Floral Design

Now at the NSLC.


&e n j o y

R E S T, R E L A X indulge yourself or someone you love in one of these spa experiences, and make it a relaxin g Occasion!

Let Experience Reassure She’ll lose the scarf by mid-winter. She’ll remember the day she went to the spa all year. Turn a daytrip into a memorable spa experience for you and your loved ones. It's always a Great Day at BeLeaf! Our caring team strives to enhance the beauty and health that lies within us all. SPA AT NINETY 4 is a full service Aveda Spa that offers massage treatments and a full line of esthetic and hair services. The complimentary Hot Tub, as well as our Steam Showers are available to spa guests and provide a warm and wonderful experience. Aveda products are at the heart of the Spa

5495 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax (902) 423-3888

We are thrilled to offer fabulous AVEDA pure plant and flower products in salon and spa services in Bridgewater, Kentville and Wolfville (conveniently located one hour from your extended family). Relax, rejuvenate, reclaim your energy and restore your spirit. Contact us for Gift Cards or to book your day during this Holiday season. Kentville • Wolfville • Bridgewater (902) 365.5323 Kentville • Wolfville (902) 530.4050 Bridgewater

at Ninety 4 so come and experience the ultimate in indulgence.

when it comes to spa gift giving for men & women … Over 22 years of multi-award winning experience!

Need some serious relaxation this holiday season? Be sure to visit The Summit’s new location on Spring Garden Road! Their intimate and welcoming oasis within the new TD Bank building is the perfect tranquil backdrop for some of the most comprehensive and luxurious skin care, foot care, makeup and hair removal services! The perfect gift for relaxation – their famous Signature Facial and Reflexology Treatment! A haven for men and women serious about service.

someone deserves this kind of treat ment... is it you?

BEVERAGES | Mixology




The Halifax Club recently hosted Made With Love, an event showcasing the talents of the city’s best bartenders and mixologists. The final competition, which is sponsored by brands such as Appleton Estate, Hendrick’s Gin, Campari and Skyy Vodka, among others, is a showcase of the city’s best cocktail makers. Among the competitors were Lee Bent (The Halifax Club), Jared Hochman (Waterfront Warehouse) and Jeff Van Horne (The Bicycle Thief). To see who won the coveted prizes, including a chance to compete at the national competition, go to

Now at the NSLC.


BEVERAGES | Mixology

Lee Bent

Nanny's Table Recipe by Lee Bent, The Halifax Club Serves 1 A cocktail inspired from the flavours and smells of my grandmother's kitchen at holiday dinners. Ingredients: 1 ½ oz Appleton Estate Rum V/X (750 ml, $27.98, 1000859) 1 tsp pumpkin butter* 4 oz unsweetened apple juice ½ oz vanilla simple syrup Dark (70% cocoa) chocolate shavings Nutmeg for garnish Cranberries for garnish


Directions: 1. Rim a cocktail glass with dark chocolate shavings (or sugar). 2. Add the rum, pumpkin butter, apple juice and vanilla simple syrup to a shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously. 3. Strain shaker into glass, then add remaining ice cubes. 4. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of powdered nutmeg, cranberries and spice. *Bulgarian style pumpkin butter is a pureé of roasted pumpkin combined with simple syrup and winter spices. A simpler version is to combine one can of pumpkin pureé with a 1⁄2 cup of water, 3⁄4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 ⁄4 teaspoon each of ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Place the ingredients in a pot over medium heat and cook for one to two hours.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

BEVERAGES | Mixology

Tropic of Bitter Recipe by Jared Hochman, Waterfront Warehouse Serves 1 This is a tropical-themed cocktail that takes the bitterness of Campari and surrounds it with a subtle sweetness at the start and finish. Ingredients: 2 lime wedges Pinch brown sugar ¾ oz mango nectar ¼ oz water 3 blueberries ½ oz Campari (750 ml, $27.98, 1000087) 1 oz honey-banana simple syrup* 3 dashes of Aztec Chocolate Bitters** 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Banana slice for garnish

Directions: 1. In a glass, muddle two lime wedges with a pinch of brown sugar. 2. In a separate container, combine the mango nectar with the water to thin it out. 3. Meanwhile, in the cocktail shaker, muddle the blueberries and then add the Campari, honey-banana simple syrup, mango nectar, bitters and vanilla extract. 4. Shake and double strain into the glass with the lime wedges and brown sugar. 5. Garnish by floating a banana slice with an umbrella toothpick in the glass. *To make honey-banana simple syrup, combine four ounces of white sugar with two and a half ounces of water, one and a half ounces of pureéd banana and one tablespoon of honey. Boil in a saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved. Add a whole banana in the pan as well to increase the flavour. Let cool and add to the cocktail. **If you can't find Aztec Chocolate Bitters, simply omit them from the recipe.

Now at the NSLC.


BEVERAGES | Mixology

Cranberries and Spice Recipe by Jeff Van Horne, The Bicycle Thief Serves 1 A festive mix of local cranberries, fresh ginger and lime, homemade allspice syrup and Appleton Estate Rum V/X. Ingredients: 2 2-inch pieces of fresh ginger root 1 oz allspice syrup* 5 cranberries (plus additional for garnish) 2 oz Appleton Estate Rum V/X (750 ml, $27.98, 1000859) 1 oz fresh lime juice 1 oz water


Directions: 1. Add ginger root, allspice syrup and cranberries to a shaker. 2. Muddle the ingredients to release the flavours. 3. Add remaining ingredients and shake hard for 10 seconds. 4. Strain into ice-filled rocks glass and garnish with cranberries and ginger. *To make allspice syrup, place three tablespoons of cracked allspice berries and a cinnamon stick in a saucepan. Toast over medium heat for five minutes. Add the one cup of sugar, one cup of water and a vanilla pod. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from the heat. Let the syrup sit for an hour. Strain into a clean glass jar. The syrup can be kept, refrigerated, for up to one month.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

FOOD & DRINK | Pairings


FABULOUS PAIRINGS Puff Pastry Perfection

Impress guests with these simple-to-make, yet delicious, puff pastry appetizers.

Fig and Blue Cheese Puff Pastry Stars

Carmelized Onion and Pancetta Puff Pastry Cups

Makes 20-25 pieces Ingredients:

Makes 12 servings Ingredients:

1 397-gram package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed ½ cup fig jam ½ cup crumbled blue cheese

2 packages puff pastry vol-au-vent shells (6 shells per package) 2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced 3 tbsp butter 2 tbsp fresh thyme Salt & pepper to taste 250 g cubed pancetta ¼ cup shredded cheddar

Directions: 1. Preheat an oven to 400 °F. 2. Roll out puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured work surface, until they form a ⅛-inch thick, 9 x 12 inch rectangle. 3. Use a cookie cutter to cut out stars or any shape you desire. 4. Spread equal amounts of fig jam on each puff pastry, leaving a ¼-inch margin along the edges, top each with crumbled blue cheese. 5. Brush the edges of the pastry shapes with an egg wash. 6. Place the pastries on a non-stick pastry sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Pairing: Yellow Label Veuve Clicquot 'Ponsardin' Brut Champagne (France, $69.99, 1001036)

Directions: 1. Place the onions, butter and thyme in pot over mediumlow heat. Cook for 30 minutes, reduce heat to low and cook for another hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Fig and Blue Cheese Puff Pastry Stars

2. Bake the vol-au-vent shells according to package instructions. 3. While the shells are baking, sauté pancetta until crispy. 4. Fill pastry shells with the onion and pancetta. 5. Top each with equal amounts of the cheddar. 6. Place in an oven, set to broil for one minute. Pairing: Blomidon Estate Winery Cuvee L'Acadie Brut (Nova Scotia, $29.99, 1014839) Carmelized Onion and Pancetta Puff Pastry Cups


Occasions Winter 2012/2013

FOOD & DRINK | Pairings

Pesto Palmiers Makes 36-48 pieces Ingredients: 1 397-gram package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed ¼ cup pesto ½ cup grated Parmesan ¼ cup sundried tomato pesto 1 ⁄6 cup egg wash

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 450 °F.

Pesto Palmiers

Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimp Makes 36 pieces Ingredients: 1 ⁄2 397-gram package puff pastry package (1 sheet), thawed 36 extra-large shrimp, raw, peeled, deveined ¼ cup Gourmet Garden Thai Seasoning* 1 ⁄6 cup egg wash

2. Roll out the puff pastry sheets on a lightly floured work surface, until they form a ⅛-inch thick, 9 x 12 inch rectangle.


3. Cut rectangles into four, 6 x 9 inch rectangles.

3. Roll the puff pastry sheet, on a lightly floured work surface, until it forms a 1⁄8–inch thick, 9 x 12 inch rectangle.

1. Combine shrimp with Thai seasoning. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 400 °F.

4. Spread pesto on two puff pastry rectangles and top with half of the Parmesan cheese.

4. Cut the sheet in half to form two 9 x 6 inch rectangles.

5. Repeat with remaining two puff pastry rectangles using the sundried tomato pesto.

5. Working quickly, cut the sheets into 18 ½–inch x 6 inch strips.

6. Roll long end of each pastry piece towards the middle, meeting at the center.

6. Roll a piece of pastry around each shrimp and then place on a non-stick baking sheet.

7. Freeze for 30 minutes, then cut into 1⁄2–inch pieces.

7. Brush the shrimp with the egg wash and then bake for 12 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown and shrimp are cooked through.

9. Brush palmiers with egg wash, bake for five minutes.

10. Flip and continue to bake *Found at most grocery stores. for another 2-3 minutes. Pairing: Yellow Tail Bubbles Pairing: Two Oceans (Australia, $13.99, 1009865) Sauvignon Blanc Brut (South Africa, $13.99, 1011589)

Puff Pastry-Wrapped Shrimp with Thai Dipping Sauce

Now at the NSLC.



New Here’s a selection of the great new tastes in store for you this season!

Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka (750 ml, $29.99, 1016419) Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka is like satin sheets and silk robes all rolled into a smooth, clean and slightly sweet package. It makes for a seductive addition to seasonal cocktails.

Revel Stoke Spiced Whisky (750 ml, $28.98, 1016302)

Baileys Biscotti (750 ml, $30.99, 1016287) Baileys Biscotti combines the creamy character of Baileys with the almond flavours of Italy's famous twice baked cookies. It makes for a delicious seasonal treat.

American owned Phillips Distilling Company brings you this spiced Canadian Whisky with vanilla, camphor and cherry notes. It makes a bold addition to whisky based drinks.

Tito’s Handmade Vodka (750 ml, $32.99, 1003660) Tito’s has brought Southern character to the vodka category with this very smooth artisanal vodka, distilled in small batches using traditional stills.

Les Grands Chais de France Louis Eschenauer Reserve Bordeaux (France, $15.99, 1016330) This is a value priced red wine from a region known for some of the most expensive wines in the world. It is made in a light, easy-to-drink style and boasts a pleasant mix of pepper and plum fruit flavours.


Occasions Winter 2012/2013

Maison Brotte Pere Anselme La Fiole Cote du Rhone (France, $14.99, 1016206)

Gabbiano Solatio Rosso (Italy, $19.99, 1016372) This stylish Italian red is a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. It enjoys ripe fruit flavours and a soft approachable finish—a great wine to sip on by the warmth of a fire.

Enjoy this fragrant and spicy medium-bodied red wine, with simple Mediterranean inspired dishes such as a warming lamb stew cooked with tomatoes and rosemary.

Rickard’s Oakhouse (6 x 341 ml, $12.49, 1016734) Samuel Adams Winter Lager (6 x 355 ml, $14.98, 1014294)

Rickard’s Oakhouse is the latest oak enhanced beer on the market. The result is a vanilla scented beer that isn’t heavy or overpowering. It’s a great beer to serve at holiday parties.

This wonderfully fragrant seasonal lager has warming notes of cinnamon, ginger and citrus fruits. Its rich body, smooth taste and spicy finish make it a great beer to enjoy on cold winter’s nights.

Batasiolo Langhe Nebbiolo (Italy, $18.99, 1016363) This is a classic winter red. It boasts a great combination of rich fruit flavours and a very dry finish. This wine is a great accompaniment to rich stews and other braised meat dishes, especially those featuring mushrooms as a key ingredient.

Granville Island Lions Winter Ale (6 x 341 ml, $12.49, 1014789) This robust seasonal ale boasts aromas of caramel and vanilla and enjoys a rich body with hearty sweet malt flavours balanced by a moderate, drying hop bitterness in the finish.

Now at the NSLC.


GRAPE EXPECTATIONS | Wine Lingo Simplified

Wine Lingo Simplified:

Finding Your Comfort Zone by Mark DeWolf

“This Chardonnay brings us fervent sage undertones with a flirtatious rum finish." "This winery blends quiet mealy overtones and a melancholy mango-fandango bouquet in their Pinot Blanc." Intrigued? Perplexed? Confused? These overly flowery descriptors aren’t real. They were produced by a website of wine reviews made by random word generation, but the sheer existence of a website mocking the purple prose of wine descriptions is evidence of how out of touch they can be. We’ve been guilty of it ourselves. We’ve used words like brash, racy and nervy to describe Sauvignon Blanc‘s acidity and gooseberry, acacia and Tuscan rosemary bush to describe the aromas of certain wines. How many of you have smelled a Tuscan rosemary bush?


How can I tell you what to expect from a wine, knowing that our individual experiences of fragrance and flavour may have very little in common? We can only try by using our common experiences as Occasions Winter 2012/2013

much as possible. You may not have inhaled the scent of a toasted French oak cask lately, but I’ll bet you know the sweet, maple-vanilla smell of autumn woodsmoke—and so do I.

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS | Wine Lingo Simplified

Find Your Perfect Pairing Looking for a great wine pairing for dinner or just the right wine to serve with your favourite cheese? The NSLC's Wine Recommender is the ideal tool to find a great wine at any price point that will be a good match to whatever is on your plate. Don't know where to start? There are countless great pairings to any dish. Simply review the selections provided by the Wine Recommender and decide for yourself which style fits your mood. Go to and click on the Wine Recommender logo on the home page. Your perfect pairing is just a click away.


When describing a wine’s aroma (or nose), let’s think in generalities rather than specifics. One person’s pineapple is another person’s mango. Simplify it to tropical. One person’s Tuscan rosemary bush is another person’s pine or sage. Simplify it to herbaceous or even savoury. We want to strip down the pretense of wine jargon and offer you all you need to know to understand wine. So here goes... Body – Light-bodied, full-bodied or somewhere in between? Wine is often described by its body or weight. What does it mean? Basically the body of a wine refers to how heavily it rests on your tongue or palate. Think of light-bodied wine as having a weight just a little heavier than water, while

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

the most full-bodied wines feel more like cream. Alcohol is the biggest contributor to body but residual sugar can also provide an impression of weight. Wine writers often take a little poetic license to describe the body of a wine. The word light-bodied might seem mundane, so they use delicate to positively describe a light-bodied wine, or thin, fragile, watery or weak, to negatively describe it. On the other hand, a full-bodied wine could be powerful, heavy, robust, or even beefy.

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS | Wine Lingo Simplified One of our favourite words for a full-bodied wine, low in acid, is fat. Did you know the French brand Fat Bastard got its name when winemaker Thierry, upon trying an experimental barrel of wine, described it as being fat. Legs - Those thick streams running down the side of your wine glass are the legs. The thicker the legs, the more full-bodied the wine. As the old wine saying goes, “where there are good legs there is a good body.” Acidity - Acidity gets a bad rap. We associate it with sourness. “Acidic” is by all accounts a negative term in the English language. While acidity can truly contribute a

certain puckering quality, it is an essential component of wine. All wines have acid and many of the best have quite a bit of it. Acidity brings flavours to life and is critically important for wines with a bit of sweetness, as it keeps them from tasting sugary and cloying. The amount and type of acid varies according to the grape varieties used to make the wine and the climate the grapes are grown in. So, how might a wine writer describe a wine that’s pleasantly high in acidity? Lively, crisp, fresh, zingy, mouth-watering or even zesty are part of the vernacular. If it’s too high in acid, look for words like edgy, sharp or, worse still, acidic. How about a wine low in acidity? Soft is a positive term: short, flabby or—worse yet— dumb are not.

Pure Maple Syrup Warm and cozy, the elegant flavour of Nova Scotia’s natural sweetener is matched only by the rugged coast of our beautiful Province.

Exquisite Taste Discover the exquisite taste of premium hand crafted chocolates! Ganong Chocolatier Shop online at or by mail order at 1-888-598-8811

Acadian Maple Products 13578 Peggys Cove Rd. Upper Tantallon, NS B3Z 2J2 @acadianmaple

Edible Arrangements

Dragon's Breath Cheese

Our bouquets are made fresh with premium fruit arranged in a variety of stunning displays and can be complemented with chocolate dipped fruit.

Create festive cheese platters and dishes around this truly Nova Scotian gem. Delicious with crackers, pastas, salads, beef.

Edible Arrangements Clayton Park Shopping Centre 278 Lacewood Dr Halifax NS

That Dutchman's Cheese Farm 132 Brown Rd, RR#1 Upper Economy, NS

Gifts for your special occasions

GRAPE EXPECTATIONS | Wine Lingo Simplified may be described as rough, harsh, astringent, hard or tannic. Let’s take all that we’ve learned and try simplifying a wine writer’s description. Before you know it, you’ll be able to decipher a wine review and relate it back to your own experience. Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, $22.99, 1001548)

Sweetness – Many wines have some natural sugars retained to keep acid in check. An appropriate amount of sweetness will be described positively, but those with too much could be described as sugary, cloying or syrupy. Bitterness – Tannins are naturally found in wood and grape skins. As a result, most red wines, and some whites, acquire some of the bitter qualities of tannin during the winemaking process. Tannins create a drying sensation on the palate. Red wines described as dry or very dry are often rich in tannins. It all sounds quite positive, but when the tannins dominate a wine, they


Chateau La Mothe de Haux Premiere Cotes de Bordeaux (France, $17.99, 1008211)

Wine writer’s description: This robust yet restrained red wine exudes understated aromas of cedar, crushed red fruit, capsicum and cigar box. The generous palate is a little angular with a lingering, dry finish.

Wine writer’s description: This fresh, lively, slightly edgy Sauvignon Blanc offers mouth-watering acidity and gooseberry, passion fruit and rosemary notes that are repeated on the moderate palate which is smooth and persistent.

The real description: This is a medium to full-bodied white wine with lots of flavour. It has high, but not unpleasant, acidity so you’ll feel a bit of a sharp, sour flavour in the finish. It tastes like tropical fruit mixed with fresh herbs.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

The real description: This is a full-bodied wine with mild aromas but lots of different flavours including berry fruit, some vegetable flavours and wood character. Expect a slightly bitter, but not unpleasant, flavour as your final impression of the wine.

PRODUCERS’ SPOTLIGHT Piqueras Castillo Almansa Reserva (Spain, $14.99, 1004344)

This great value red wine has become a huge hit in Canada. This blend of Tempranillo and Monastrell delivers a rich mix of plum, herb and blackberry flavours along with a very smooth palate and a long finish.

Pol Roger Brut (France, $62.79, 1000404)

When you need to serve the best, look no further than this Champagne, which has been the preferred sparkling wine of numerous historical figures, not least of which was Sir Winston Churchill. This opulent sparkling wine delivers classic Champagne character combined with a rich palate and lively, refreshing finish.

Juno Cape Maiden Shiraz (South Africa, $12.49, 1009608)

Passionate and beautiful, powerful and seductive, Juno is the goddess in every woman and this wine a celebration of mother earth that is South Africa's ancient soils. Spicy, fruity and sensual. What's not to love?

Blu Giovello Prosecco (Italy, 1013539, $17.99)

Krombacher Pils (330 ml, $2.49, 1012841)

This is a genuine European beer that offers a distinctive malt character and lively hop expression in keeping with the tradition of the finest pilsners. Enjoy a taste of tradition with Krombacher.

This vibrant sparkling wine delivers aromas of citrus fruit, pear and pineapple. The palate is lively and crisp. It makes a great pairing to light hors d’oeuvres or use it as a base for sparkling wine cocktails. Also great for sipping on its own.

Now at the NSLC.

Alma Mora Cabernet Sauvignon (Argentina, $14.99, 1015855)

Impress guests without spending a lot of money with this serious and expressive Cabernet. Look for an intriguing mix of cedar, spice and dark fruit aromas and flavours matched with the grape's characteristic dry finish.



Moselland Ars Vitis Riesling


(Germany, $15.79, 1001242 )

Buy it for the scenery; enjoy it for the wine. This refreshingly fruity, off-dry wine is a perfect pairing for holiday hors d’oeuvres, scallops and is great with turkey too.

(continued from page 37)

Wakefield Pinot Noir (Australia, $17.99, 1001617) Terrific with turkey. Consider changing up the holiday dinner routine by serving this deliciously fruity, very smooth Pinot Noir that boasts berry fruit flavours and savoury tones. This wine makes a great complement to turkey and stuffing.

Cabot Trail Maple Cream (750 ml, $28.99, 1016562)

This cream liqueur, made with 100% pure Grade A Canadian maple syrup, fresh cream and rum, is an authentically Canadian product. Cabot Trail has a distinctive natural maple syrup taste and aroma.

Amos Pewter A great bottle of wine deserves style. Our Whale Tail Cork Puller & Bottle Stopper comes in a handmade cherry wood Brent Rourke Shaker Box – a unique gift for your favourite connoisseur. Visit for more Wine & Bar accessories. Set $115 Mahone Bay & Halifax Waterfront (Lower Water St.) 1.800.565.3369 /

Party in a bag!

Bottega Gold (Italy, $27.79, 1012018) What better way to add sparkle to the occasion than by serving "Gold"? Bottega Gold is a refreshing new Italian sparkling wine that is a great way to celebrate any occasion. Try it mixed with peach nectar to make a Bellini cocktail. Available for the holiday season only.


J Lohr Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (California, $23.49, 1003533)

When you need to bring a bottle to impress, look no further than this Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s loaded with inviting hazelnut, vanilla, blueberry and plum aromas and boasts a rich fruity palate. The finish is dry but not bitter. Impressive!

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

So simple. We offer two different flavours of cheeseball mixes: the Ravishing Cranberry and the Smokin' Chipotle. These are paired up with our pepper jellies which, of course, are best served over some Brie cheese. Choose a couple of great kinds of crackers to go with all your new appetizers. You are so popular! $15.99 Available at Galloping Cows, Port Hood, 902-787-3484 or online at

FOOD & DRINK | Pairings

Winter Brunch

TASTING MENU Individual Smoked Salmon & Goat Cheese Quiches Ingredients (pastry):

Valerie Bishop, Retail Product Specialist at the North Sydney NSLC, offers recommendations for wines and cocktails to match our brunch menu. Whether it’s a New Year’s Day levee, a Boxing Day gathering or a Saturday morning with friends, these brunch recipes are simple to make and delicious. These recipes are easily scalable, up or down, so whether it’s a small gathering or large party—you can prepare as many as you need.

7 eggs ¾ cup heavy cream 2 tbsp pesto 2 tbsp grated Parmesan Salt & pepper to taste 1 package puff pastry ½ cup crumbled goat cheese ½ cup smoked salmon, minced

Directions: 1. Preheat your oven to 400 ˚ F. 2. Combine six eggs with the cream, pesto and Parmesan in a bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk until well mixed. 3. Roll out the puff pastry until you have two 9 x 12 inch rectangles. 4. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining egg to make an egg wash.

Now at the NSLC.

5. Cut out 12 pastry circles, each approximately three inches in diameter. 6. Place the pastry circles in the muffin tins, press gently against the sides of the pan to form a cup. 7. Give the tops of the pastry a light brush of egg wash. 8. Add a teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese and minced smoked salmon to each pastry cup. 9. Fill the pastry cups with equal amounts of the egg and cream mixture. 10.Bake for 20-25 minutes until the egg is set and the pastry golden brown. 11. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then invert the muffin tin over a cutting board or baking sheet to release the quiches. Serve garnished with fresh basil or dill.


FOOD & DRINK| Pairings Valerie: Try matching the quiche with Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc. With its vibrant gooseberry aromas and burst of citrus flavour, this well-balanced wine has just enough acidity to offset the richness of the smoked salmon. If you prefer a bubbly cocktail, try mixing Zonin Prosecco Special CuvĂŠe with orange juice. Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, $19.99, 1005024)

Zonin Prosecco Special CuvĂŠe (Italy, $17.99, 1001368)


Bacon Makes it Better Strata

FOOD & DRINK | Pairings Bacon Makes it Better Strata Ingredients:

4. Lay the bacon slices over the bread and top with half the cheese.

6 large eggs 2 ½ cups milk ½ cup whipping cream 1 cup Parmesan, grated 1 tsp salt 1 lb smoky bacon, cooked but not crispy 1 large loaf rustic French bread, cut in ½” thick slices 1 cup white cheddar, grated

6. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top.

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 ˚ F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Valerie: Punch up the flavour of your brunch by serving a Bloody Mary with this dish. Try the pure flavours of Russian Standard Vodka in your favourite Bloody Mary recipe.

2. Whisk the eggs, milk, cream, Parmesan and salt together and set aside. 3. Place half the bread on the bottom of the baking dish. Pour half the egg mixture over the bread.

5. Top the bacon with the remaining bread and pour remaining egg mixture over top.

7. Let the mixture settle and then place in oven. Bake in oven for 50-60 minutes or until nicely browned.

Russian Standard Vodka (750 ml, $28.98, 1010162)

FOOD & DRINK| Pairings

Setting up the Caesar Bar: Some like it hot Light a fire under your brunch routine by creating a Caesar or Bloody Mary bar, so guests can make their own versions of the classic Canadian brunch cocktail. Put out Worcestershire sauce, a variety of hot sauces, bowls of freshly cut limes, and freshly grated or prepared horseradish, along with a bowl of celery salt to rim the glass and a selection of garnishes, including pickled beans, stalks of celery and wedges of lemon. Add some gourmet flare by making your own Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary Mix. Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary Mix Ingredients: 5 lbs cherry tomatoes 1 red pepper, cored, seeded, diced 4 Jalapeños, cored, seeded, diced 2 tbsp rosemary 2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 ˚ F. 2. Place all the ingredients on a rimmed baking sheet. 3. Roast for 45 minutes. 4. Remove from oven and let cool. 5. Transfer to a blender and purée. 6. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Green Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

Green Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts Serves 8-10 Ingredients:

Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary Mix

Snowbird Caesar: A Bermudian twist on a Canadian classic! Ingredients: Celery salt 1 ounce Gosling's Black Seal Rum (750 ml, $28.98, 1001047) Clamato juice or our home-made roasted tomato juice Dash Tabasco sauce Dash Worcestershire sauce Salt & pepper

Directions: 1. Rim the glass with celery salt. 2. Place 1 ounce of Gosling's Black Seal Rum in a highball glass filled with ice. 3. Top with Clamato juice and add a dash of Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper according to taste.


10 cups baby spinach 6 oz pepper goat cheese, crumbled ½ cup dried cranberries ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted Salt & pepper to taste ¼ cup cranberry juice 1 tbsp white wine vinegar ½ shallot, finely minced 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp Jost Maple Wine or maple syrup Pinch salt & pepper 3 tbsp olive oil Optional: ¼ cup cooked bacon, diced

Directions: 1. Place the baby spinach, crumbled goat cheese, dried cranberries and pine nuts in a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

2. To make the dressing, start by combining the cranberry juice, vinegar, shallot, mustard, maple wine or syrup, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a bowl. 3. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies. 4. Add the dressing to the salad and toss. Valerie: If you want to stay with the sparkling theme for your brunch celebration, make a Bellini. Try mixing Bouvet Ladubay Brut with peach purée. Bouvet Ladubay Brut (France, $18.49, 1001013)

FOOD & DRINK | Pairings

Setting up the Champagne Bar: Add Colour to the Affair Mimosas – sparkling wine and orange juice – are often served at brunches, but we suggest adding a little colour to the affair. Here are a few of our suggestions.

Coffee and Donuts

Coffee and Donuts Makes 30-40 donuts Ingredients: 1 ⁄2 cup white sugar 1 package active dry yeast 1 ½ cups warm water 1 tsp salt 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup evaporated milk 7 cups all purpose flour ¼ cup shortening Vegetable oil ¼ cup icing sugar 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Directions: 1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water. 2. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and milk. Mix thoroughly. 3. Add four cups of flour. Beat until smooth. 4. Add the shortening and flour; blend. 5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. 6. Roll out the dough until it is about 1⁄8 inch thick. 7. Cut into two inch squares. 8. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer until it reaches 375° F. Gently lower the donuts into the oil and turn so they fry evenly on top and bottom.

9. Transfer the donuts to a large paper bag. 10. Combine the cocoa powder and icing sugar, toss into the paper bag and shake. 11. Serve warm with your favourite special coffee recipe. Valerie: Let’s sit back and enjoy our coffee and donuts. If you’re offering your brunch guests coffee anyway, it only makes sense to add a little “spirit.” Try an Irish Coffee with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey. Topping the coffee with whipped cream adds elegance and softens the taste of the whisky. An easy option: add a splash of the new Baileys Biscotti in your java. This is a delicious alternative to cream and it also works in tea. Jameson’s Irish Whiskey (750 ml, $31.99, 1000061)

Baileys Biscotti (750 ml, $30.99, 1016287)

Now at the NSLC.

Sensational Simplicity As for the all-important sparkling wine, forego Champagne, as it is best served on its own. Instead choose the less overt flavours of Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava or a simple Canadian sparkling wine such as Peller Estates French Cross Sparkling Pinot Grigio (Canada, $11.99, 1008561). Make it Juicy Serve an array of juices to add a punch of flavour and a splash of colour to the event. Add a sophisticated touch to the presentation by serving the juices in decorative bottles set in a Champagne bucket. Here are a few of our favourite combinations: 1) Peach nectar mixed with Prosecco 2) Pomegranate juice mixed with Cava 3) Blood Orange juice and French Cross Sparkling Pinot Grigio (Canada, $11.99, 1008561) It’s Very Berry-licious Set out bowls of fresh fruit. Strawberries and sparkling wine is a classic combination, but you could also try blackberries, raspberries or even chunks of fresh pineapple. Place a muddler (a pestle for mashing the fruit) beside the fruit bowls. We recommend one tablespoon of muddled fresh fruit for every five ounces of sparkling wine. 43



PUMP HOUSE BREWERY Courtesy of: The story of Pump House Brewery is the story of a dream come true. The husband and wife team of Shaun and Lilia Fraser opened Pump House in September 1999, fulfilling Shaun's long-term dream of starting his own brewery. Shaun actually appeared on the "Thrill of a Lifetime"

television show in the 1980s, when he was given the chance to brew beer at a Labatt's plant after his inability to land a job with any of the big breweries. While it didn't turn into a full-time gig (Shaun didn't have the food science or chemical engineering background required to be a brewmaster at the plant—he was educated as a geologist), it started him off on his journey to owning his own brewery and eventually winning Now at the NSLC.



the Canadian Brewery of the Year Award. I sat down with Shaun for a conversation at the brewery on Mill Road in Moncton to complete his story. Background As is often the case, Shaun spent a few years homebrewing before brewing commercially. Over the three to four years he was homebrewing before getting his first chance to brew professionally, he completed hundreds of batches. His first professional brewing job was with HansHaus Brewery in Dieppe, NB, in the late 1980s. The German who hired Shaun received his Doctorate of Brewing Science at one of the best brewing schools in the world. After a couple of years working with the brewery (it closed shortly after Shaun left), he started to brew at Fat Tuesday's in Moncton. After a couple of years of all malt brewing, Shaun moved into the equipment side of things and worked for Charlottetown Metal Products (now know as DME). He eventually went to work for


Experience Nova Scotia

‫ﱾﱽﱼﱻ‬ White Point Beach Resort


another company in the US, where he successfully gained over 50 per cent market share of the craft beer equipment market in New England. He moved into foreign and difficult installations world wide and helped open breweries in Ireland, England, Palestine, Israel and Kazakhstan. It was while setting up a brewery in Kazakhstan that Shaun met his future wife Lilia. Lilia came to Moncton with Shaun on a 3-month vacation and decided to stay. Shaun showed her the beer industry and Lilia did all of the financials for the business plan for Pump House Brewery (Lilia had worked as both a Manufacturing Engineer and Undercover Policy Officer in Kazakhstan). Shaun is the idea guy and Lilia looks after the details. The name “Pump House” was chosen to reflect Shaun's role as a fireman. Shaun retired from his role as a Captain this past November, after almost 28 years of service as a fireman.

Welcome back to the Beach Reclaiming her perch overlooking the surf kissed white sand beach on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, the Main Lodge at White Point promises a delightful adventure for your senses. Grand beachstone fireplaces and stunning oceanviews enveloped in the warmth of White Point hospitality pair perfectly with our new menu in Elliot’s Dining Room. Savour sunsets filled with planked salmon and slow roasted striploin from the buffet. Curl up with a cocktail or glass of wine from our extensive wine list. Be sure to head to the “Crow’s Nest” for Wine Tastings and Cooking Classes.

Indeed, it’s a Great “Winter” Day at White Point! White Point Beach Resort • Elliot’s Dining Room 75 White Point Beach Resort Road, White Point, Nova Scotia • B0T 1G0 • 1.800.565.5068 •

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

PRODUCER’S SPOTLIGHT | Pump House Expansion In 2004, a new brewery on Mill Road in Moncton, with accompanying restaurant, the Barnyard BBQ, was opened. Lilia was responsible for the design of the location and oversees all operations at both restaurants while Shaun looks after the brewery. The original Pump House location at 5 Orange Lane focuses on brewing smaller batches, creating 800 litres at a time. The larger brewery, located on Mill Road in Moncton, produces 2,400 litres per batch. Annual volume is approximately 500,000 litres. The brewery on Mill Road is as advanced as you'll see for a brewery of this size in North America. It has a bottle washer, tunnel pasteurizer, flash pasteurizer and Empty Bottle Inspection technology, to name a few of the features you likely won't see in comparable breweries. Future Plans There are no immediate expansion plans for the brewery other than the addition of outdoor fermenters. This is due in large part

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to the much longer conditioning time required for the Premium Lager that came out late last year (the lager takes 8 weeks as opposed to 2-3 weeks for the ales.) Shaun and Lilia planted a vineyard three years ago near Magnetic Hill and plan to produce wine within the next three years. They are also planning on getting into distilling within the next two years. Distribution Pump House beer is currently available in all provinces except Quebec. Blueberry Ale, Scotch Ale, Premium Lager and Thai Wheat are just a few of the beers brewed at Pump House; this award-winning brewery also creates seasonal specials. Beer connoisseurs find dozens of varieties and flavours, from wholly traditional to totally innovative. Pump House is a dream come trueâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;for Shaun and Liliaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;and for artisanal beer lovers all over Canada.

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PRODUCER’S SPOTLIGHT | Pump House Scotch Ale Braised Lamb Shanks Serves 6 Serve with Pump House Scotch Ale (Part of Pump House Variety Pack) Ingredients: 6 lamb shanks (local preferred) All-purpose flour Salt & pepper 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp butter 1 onion, finely chopped 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 1 ⁄3 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary ½ litre Pump House Scotch Ale ½ litre beef stock

Warming Up with Pump House Easy Braises As those cold North Atlantic winds hit shore, there is nothing more comforting than the thought of nestling in with a hearty winter stew and a full-bodied ale. We’ve been inspired by Moncton’s Pump House Brewery to create flavourful dishes to match their robust brews. The following recipes pair well with beers available in the Pump House Variety Pack, now available at an NSLC store near you.

Tagine Chicken Serves 6-8 Serve with Pump House Special Old Bitter (Part of Pump House Variety Pack) Ingredients: 4 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp butter 3 lbs chicken pieces (legs and thighs) 6 pearl onions, peeled


Pinch saffron 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced 1 tsp ground cumin 1 litre chicken stock 2 cinnamon sticks 1 cup raisins ½ cup black olives Juice of one orange

Directions: 1. Place a tagine (a heavy North African cooking pot) over medium-high heat; add the butter and olive oil. 2. Add the chicken pieces and pearl onions; brown on all sides. 3. Add the saffron, ginger, garlic and cumin and sauté until fragrant. 4. Add the chicken stock and cinnamon sticks; reduce heat to medium and cover. 5. Braise the chicken for about 45 minutes. 6. Add raisins, olives and fresh orange juice; simmer for another 5 minutes. 7. Remove the cinnamon sticks and discard. Serve with couscous.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

Directions: 1. Dust the shanks with flour and season with salt and pepper. 2. Place a large pot over medium heat; add the olive oil and butter. 3. When the butter is melted, add the shanks and brown on all sides. 4. Remove shanks and set aside. Add the chopped onion and carrot; reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until the vegetables are soft. 5. Return the shanks to the pot and add the rosemary, red wine and beef stock. 6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low; braise shanks for two hours. 7. When ready to serve, gently remove shanks from the braising liquid. 8. Strain the braising liquid to remove solids. Return liquid to a pot and bring to a boil; reduce until the liquid achieves a gravy-like consistency.


Winter Vegetables

Scotch Ale Braised Lamb Shanks

Truffle & Honey Braised Winter Vegetables Serves 6 Serve with Pump House Fire Chief Red Ale (Part of Pump House Variety Pack) Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil 4 tbsp butter 1 lb carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise 1 lb parsnip, peeled, cut into long strips 1 small celery root, peeled, cut into chunks 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped 1 cup white wine

3 tbsp honey 1 tbsp truffle oil Salt & pepper

Directions: 1. Place a large pot over medium heat; add truffle oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. 2. When the butter has melted, add the root vegetables; sauté for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. 3. Add the white wine and thyme; deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan.

4. When the liquid has mostly evaporated and the vegetables are cooked through; place the vegetables in a serving dish and drizzle them with the honey, remaining butter and truffle oil. Toss to coat evenly. 5. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Pump House Variety Pack (12 x 341 ml, $23.99, 1016655)

Set your imagination on Fire Luxardo Sambuca Sauté, Flambé, Gourmet Sambuca Flambéed Shrimp Sauté shrimp over high heat. When the shrimp are cooked, reduce the heat to medium-low and add Sambuca; light quickly with barbecue lighter. When the fire is out, add some cream, tomato paste to finish. Serve warm.

Sauteed Lamb with Sambuca Cook lamb chops to desired temperature. While the lamb rests sauté onion in olive oil, then add fresh tomatoes and chopped rosemary. Finish with a splash of Sambuca. Cafe Luxardo Combine one ounce of Luxardo Sambuca with half an ounce of cream liqueur in a heat proof mug. Top with fresh coffee and whipped cream.

Also available in Nova Scotia Luxardo Passione Nera, Luxardo Limoncello, Luxardo Amaretto and Luxardo Maraschino

Now at the NSLC.


SPOTLIGHT | Restaurants Son Vida

Son Vida By Jennifer Durkee-Smith Everyone has their go-to spots for a drink or meal, but with great new restaurants opening up in Halifax, you may just find another favourite. Here are a few of the latest hot spots heating up the city’s dining scene.

Son Vida Son Vida, the Hamachi Group’s latest offering, is bringing a Mediterranean influence to Bedford South.


“We were inspired by the Spanish culture,” says Boris Mirtchev, Son Vida’s owner. “It’s about food and wine. People meet to share, drink and have a great time.” Son Vida offers almost 60 different tapas plates, including vegetable, meat, and seafood options, with a few entrées on the menu as well. The restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients — all the pasta is made 51

SPOTLIGHT | Restaurants from scratch, for example — and the restaurant supports local farmers and fishermen whenever possible. The accompanying wine list is substantial, and includes Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese wines, as well as Nova Scotian offerings. Son Vida 540 Southgate Drive, Bedford (902) 407-0077/

The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar On Barrington, a sweet new spot is garnering attention, and not just for its desserts. The Middle Spoon combines delicious and decadent desserts with specialty cocktails, making it the perfect spot for after-work drinks, or an innocently decadent, home-style dessert, “like your grandmother would make,” says owner Lacey Doherty. Wanting to bring Halifax something unique, The Middle Spoon also focuses on delivering some of the best cocktails in the city. “There are few places in Halifax that are doing cocktails right,” says Doherty. Resident mixologist Jenner Cormier is working hard to ensure they’re one of the best: from making their own syrups and bitters, to creating a fresh, new cocktail menu for each season, The Middle Spoon has shrugged off the classic cocktail in favour of complete originality. Check out their custom cocktail nights on Tuesdays, and have a drink designed around your favourite spirit.

Jenner Cormier

The Middle Spoon Desserterie & Bar 1559 Barrington Street / (902) 407-4002 Chocolate Decadence 52

Contemporary Cocktails Occasions Winter 2012/2013

SPOTLIGHT | Restaurants Stone Fired Pizza

Piatto The pizza scene in Halifax has expanded with the introduction of Piatto, nestled on the corner of Morris and Hollis streets. Piattoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty is Neopolitan-style pizza: trademarks include their feather-light crust, made from fine, low gluten flour and sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, grown only in the Naples region, near Mount Vesuvius. A 900°F wood-fired oven produces the piping-hot pizzas in only 90 seconds.

A sleek, modern interior, punctuated with rich wood accents, creates a relaxing ambience, and the carefully-chosen wines are served in tumblers for an authentic Italian touch.

Piatto 5144 Morris Street 902-406-0909 /


BEVERAGES |Beer Basics By Adam Morin Beer comes in every shade between topaz yellow and midnight black, but the ones north of amber are renowned for their full flavour and complexity. Dark beer uses a small portion of heavily roasted malt barley, imparting flavours of caramel, chocolate, coffee and smoke (among others). The resulting brew mixes bitter, sweet and savoury notes. While they may not be to everyone’s liking, for those looking for a complex beer experience, there is no better place to start than dark ales. Generally speaking, dark beers (like red wine) should be served at cellar temperature, which allows their complexity to shine through while keeping alcohol flavour and aromas in check. Also like red wine, full-bodied beers pair best with rich meals like steak, lamb or game. However, all dark beer isn’t created equal; there are dozens of varieties available to suit all tastes and needs. Below is a brief description of the main types of dark beer found at most NSLC stores.

Porters Porters have been brewed in the environs of London for at least 300 years and this original dark ale is still a favourite. Porter was named for the dockworkers who took a liking to it. Porters are made from a combination of high-extract pale malt, creating body and roasted barley, which supplies the colour and rich flavours. Porters have dark, almost opaque colours and a taste imbued with caramel, coffee and chocolate notes. This is a beer to sip (ideally just below room temperature), ponder and enjoy. You can also enjoy it served with rich chocolate desserts. Example: Fuller’s London Porter (500 ml, $3.44, 1011137)

Stouts Stouts tend to have a more pronounced hop profile and are consequently drier than Porters. Stouts can also be relatively high in alcohol, intensely bitter and very filling; “cold barley soup” as the saying goes. The first Stouts were brewed in the late 18th century for the Russian Imperial court. In an outpost of European (con’t on p.54) 55

BEVERAGES |Beer Basics decadence, marooned in subarctic climes, a rich, warming beer was sorely needed. This style eventually gained popularity in England and became known as "stout porters," indicating a familiar Porter-style beer with a little extra oomph. There have been stylistic changes over the centuries; nowadays, Stouts range from the relatively tame, such as Guinness Pub Draught, to intensely potent Russian Imperial Stouts, which are often 8 per cent alcohol or higher. It's important to remember, though, that colour has little or no bearing on the body of the beer. The magic lies in the malt-to-water ratio, as this determines the specific gravity and potential alcohol of the beer, which in Stouts is generally very high. Stoutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bittersweet, heavy nature makes it an ideal pairing with bitter chocolate, but its smoky tones also make it a fine pairing with smoked salmon and even rich stews. Example: Guinness Pub Draught Can (8 x 440 ml, $24.49, 1001811)

Brown Ale

The Black and Tan originated in English pubs as a mixture of draught Pale Ale and Stout or Porter. Subsequent modifications to the recipe allowed for a mix of Lager and Stout, known as a Half and Half. Another option for those easing into the dark beer world is the Crown Float, which combines Stout and cider.

This style represents a uniquely English tradition: in fact, the Brown Ale was a precursor to Stouts and Porters. Brown Ales are made using a combination of pale and roasted malts, imparting a toasty, nutty flavour. Lighter in colour and body than most Stouts and Porters, they make a great introduction to the world of dark beer. Brown ales are traditionally relatively low in hop bitterness, which further accentuate their sweet malt profile. Example: Newcastle Brown Ale (500 ml, $3.49, 1001825)

Black and Tan Ingredients: 8 oz Propeller Pale Ale (6 x 341 ml, $12.99, 1006639) 8 oz Guinness Pub Draught Can (8 x 440 ml, $24.49, 1001811) Directions: 1. Pour the Propeller Pale Ale into a pint glass. 2. Slowly pour Guinness over a spoon so it floats on top.


Occasions Winter 2012/2013

BEVERAGES |Beer Basics


Brown Ale

Bock Bock beers are strong lagers that are lightly hopped. The use of lager yeast and a combination of pale and roasted malts result in a beer with a rich, malty, toasty flavour, but without the fruitiness and hop notes associated with many dark Ales. Over the centuries, stylistic and seasonal variations have emerged, resulting in Bock beers ranging in colour from copper to medium-brown. Regardless, all Bock beers are full-bodied, a result of being quite

high in alcohol (generally above 7 per cent ABV). They make a great way for Lager drinkers to explore the world of dark beers. Example: Holsten Festbock (500 ml, $3.19, 1000462)

Now at the NSLC.



occasion on the


Bistro on Prince

Your Father's Moustache

Rockbottom Brewpub

Join us at the Bistro on Prince – located off the lobby of the Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Centre, Truro – and dine in style with one of our new menus. With great local flavours, you'll find something to please every palate.

Your Father’s Moustache is the place to be for great food, fun and live entertainment in downtown Halifax. Our scrumptious menu includes fish and chips, lobster, pasta, steaks, seafood and weekend brunch, all carefully prepared and reasonably priced.

At the Rockbottom Brewpub there's nothing quite like our truly unique brewpub experience. The type of brewpub experience you can only have at one place. At the Rockbottom Brewpub, award winning brewmaster Greg Nash creates some of Canada's best craft beer right on site. If you're looking for great food, fantastic entertainment and incredible craft beer, make your way to the bottom.

Holiday Inn Truro, 437 Prince Street, Truro (902) 897-8008 |

We offer great daily specials, plus, the Moustache is hopping with live entertainment like Joe Murphy and the Water Street Blues Band, a Saturday afternoon tradition.

5686 Spring Garden Road, Halifax (902) 423-2938 |

5686 Spring Garden Road, Halifax (902) 423-6766 |

The Port Pub Located in a unique nautical setting with a serene riverside view of the rising and falling tides, the Port Gastro Pub is where you go to enjoy a unique Annapolis Valley microbrewery. East Coast Living magazine named our Rojo Mojo Red Ale the best in Atlantic Canada. Named 2011's Best decor and design by RANS, not only can you experience a great atmosphere and great beer, but we also create our dishes to order with some of the freshest local ingredients available. We are becoming a true wedding and special occasions destination. We pride ourselves on excellent service with atmosphere. 980 Terry's Creek Road, Port Williams (902) 542-5555 |

Frank & Gino's Grill & Pasta House

The Carleton Music Bar & Grill

Voted Best Restaurant in Colchester's 2010/2012 People's Choice Awards

Located in a beautiful heritage building in the heart of downtown Halifax, The Carleton offers a varied and affordable menu, great wine selection and specializes in martinis. It's also THE place to go for great live music and holds the current Venue of the Year award from Music Nova Scotia and the East Coast Music Association.

Frank & Gino's fabulous menu has something to satisfy everyone's taste! Their fun and relaxed atmosphere is the perfect place for casual and delicious dining. Corner of Robie and Juniper Street, Truro (902) 895-2165 |

1685 Argyle Street, Halifax (902) 422-6335 |

go ahead... get out and

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Occasions Winter 2012/2013

New to NSLC Stores

Easy Entertaining with Verano... Verano Shiraz (Spain, 750ml, $14.99, 1016062) Spanish Sliders

Makes 6-8 sliders 1 lb lean ground beef ½ onion, minced 1 tbsp smoked paprika 2 tbsp minced flat leaf parsley 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Grilled Lamb Rib Chops

Salt & pepper to taste Slider rolls Roasted peppers Combine the beef, onion, paprika, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Form the beef into sliders (expected yield of 6-8 sliders). Cook the sliders to desired doneness. Place the sliders in the rolls and top with roasted pepper and Manchego cheese.

Verano Tempranillo Cabernet (Spain, 750ml, $14.99, 1016063) Grilled Lamb Rib Chops

Makes 8-10 pieces 2 lamb racks, sliced into chops 1 tbsp smoked paprika ½ tsp nutmeg ½ tsp saffron

Cook for your Crush at Christmas Crush Pinot Grigio VQA Niagara (Canada, 750ml, $13.99, 1015785) Smoked Salmon Tartar

Makes 8 pieces 4 tsp Greek yogurt ½ tsp minced fresh dill 8 leaves endive 2 oz smoked salmon, chopped Dill sprigs, for garnish

Combine the Greek yogurt and fresh dill in a bowl. Place the endive on a platter and top each leaf with equal amounts of the smoked salmon. Drizzle the yogurt sauce over the smoked salmon. Garnish with sprigs of dill.

½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp peppercorns 2 tbsp olive oil Combine the paprika, nutmeg, saffron, sea salt and peppercorns in a mortar. Grind until smooth. Add the olive oil. Rub the spice mixture over the lamb rib chops. Refrigerate overnight. Grill over medium-high heat, three minutes per side. Let stand before serving.

Smoked Salmon Tartar

LIFESTYLE | Occasions

Did you



Mulled wine recipes first became part of holiday traditions after being mentioned in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Near the end of the novella, a repentant Scrooge tells Bob that they will discuss his impending raise “over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop,” a reference to a popular drink of the day that combined warm wine, oranges and sugar. Did you know that as far back as the 10th century, Norway’s King Haakon I enacted a law that each household must brew a special beer for their Jul (Yule) celebrations? Traditional Christmas beers are heady, high alcohol brews often enhanced with winter spices. The name of one of Nova Scotia’s favourite holiday libations, Eggnog, is likely a simplified version of the more descriptive Egg and Grog in a Noggin. In early colonial North America, rum was often known as grog and a noggin was a small, wooden mug.


Holiday Cheer

Did you know Christmas pudding was originally a thick soup made with raisins and wine? In England, it is now traditionally served as a Christmas dessert paired with a glass of Port. The classic holiday farewell, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” traditionally followed a glass of mulled cider. Wassailers (carolers) would stand outside the door and call for the master to bring them a figgy pudding and a cup of good cheer (wassail). They wouldn’t leave until they got some. Put down your Champagne glass and raise a glass of Scottish Ale to toast the New Year. We often toast the memories of old friends at New Year’s Eve with sparkling wine, while singing Auld Lang Syne. But Burns’ lyrics say, “And we’ll take a right gude-willy waught (draught beer) for auld lang syne.” Did you know that January 17th is hot buttered rum day? It is coincidentally (or not) also the original date of the Twelfth Night celebration, which replaced ancient holidays established before the Christian calendar was introduced.

Occasions Winter 2012/2013

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