Monday, January 13, 2014

Clamming Up


Love the Bloody Caesar? Your bartender sure doesn’t. Patrons get a pass for ordering this labour-intensive cocktail at bleary brunch time, but requests made during dinner are generally met with behind-the-back eye-rolling. The reason for this animosity is one part laziness and one part snobbery. The Caesar is obvious, kind of tacky, and—if made with the commercial brands of clam-and-tomato juice—a big old mess of high-fructose corn syrup, sodium, and carbs. Sure, the Caesar may be a contender for our national drink, but craft cocktail–makers tend not to be moved by the patriotic spirit. Walter would like to change that.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Holiday Cocktails


Yes, it’s hard to accept that the sun now sets at 4 p.m., there’s frost on your windows, and Shoppers is playing “Here Comes Santa Claus” on a near-endless loop. You need something stiff and festive to make peace with this turn of events, so we surveyed the city’s top bars for 25 spirited winter cocktails. It’s the least we can do to bring you tidings of comfort and gin.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


How do you make a Sazerac without Sazerac? That’s the problem facing Toronto home-cocktail enthusiasts left waiting for the six-year-old spicy American rye to make it back onto LCBO shelves. They can, however, take a cue from local bartenders, who, undaunted by the shortage, have put their own spins on this simple classic. Read the rest here.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


It’s not often I feel this way about a bar. And trust me, I’ve been to a few. I know I’m smitten, because I keep trying to think up reasons to casually drop by. I’m trying to keep it breezy, but if I show up any more often, I worry I might be accused of stalking the place. I am pretty much stalking the place. Jump to full article.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Hoarding Alert: 1792 Ridgemont Reserve - Suitable for the 4th of July


Good news/bad news: The print edition of The Grid will now begin to feature the occasional round-up of worthwhile new products at the LCBO. Unfortunately, however, this means that the online weekly column will no longer be up and running. That got us thinking, though, that we might post the occasional Hoarding Alert here, since we still need some kind of a public notification system for when good stuff comes in. As such, we begin this (hopefully) regular feature by pointing to the arrival of 1792 Ridgemont Reserve, a spicy little bargain of a bourbon for $49.95. Since bottles are already trickling into Toronto stores, we can't think of any reason not to head to King and Spadina immediately to pick up a bottle. How better to celebrate the 4th of July than with America's most famous whiskey, bourbon.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Funny how your facebook page easily becomes the place you post everything, instead of the blog. Anyhow, here goes half-hearted effort to change that. A link to the most recent Bar Star at The Grid.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


This Tuesday *** ONE SHOW ONLY *** Come have a Jamie Kennedy bag lunch and some book learnin' about the history of bars and how democracy probably wouldn't exist without them. Noon at the Gardiner Museum. You can do it en route to the LCBO to pick up some Dictador 12-year old.