Meet Mark, a man about town with a refined palate and always wearing a smile. Mark loves the Stratford food and drink scene, exploring the outdoors and volunteering at special events. Usually a VQA wine drinker, Mark has been exploring local craft beverages and shares his Top 5 when meeting up with friends. Try Mark’s faves in Stratford.
Mark likes an after-work break with Black Swan Brewing Co. Wild Child while talking up friends at the brewery. It’s a sour ale in the Berliner Weisse style, a great thirst quencher and a nice transition beverage for wine drinkers looking to explore craft brews.
Mark starts his day enjoying the simplicity of an Americano each morning at revel, sans caffeine! You can imagine how energized he was when accidentally, he was presented with a triple strength regular Americano!
Now it’s almost the weekend! Mark’s thinking…how about another local craft beer with dinner? He chooses The Bumbling Bear, a blueberry wheat beer by Shakespeare Brewing Company. And, DYK they use blueberries grown just down the road from their brewery.
Mark meets friends for a Cosmopolitan made with Junction 56 Distillery vodka. He likes to take a little time to relish the cocktail and celebrate the weekend before ordering his favourite pizza at Pazzo Pizzeria.
2 ounces Junction 56 vodka
1 ounce cranberry juice cocktail
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
¾ ounce triple sec
Lime twist (for serving)
Combine vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice, and triple sec in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is very cold, about 20 seconds.
Strain cocktail through a strainer or a slotted spoon into a martini glass. Garnish with lime twist.
Still capturing the warm fall rays, Mark seeks out a welcoming patio to order a bright Matcha Mint Julep. Savouring all the health benefits of matcha, it’s a refreshing afternoon sipper, starting with matcha from Distinctly Tea.
Matcha Mint Juleps
You can shake the cocktail mixture with ice before straining it into the glasses if you want it extra cold.
2 teaspoons Distinctly Tea matcha
3/4 cup cool water (reduce if using crushed ice)
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh spearmint leaves ( plus a few sprigs for garnish)
2 tablespoons organic blonde cane sugar
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
Place the matcha in a bowl, and gradually work in a tablespoon of the water drop by drop, stirring constantly, until the matcha is a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the rest of the water.
Place the mint leaves and sugar in a jar or measuring pitcher, and mash with a muddler (or the back of a wooden spoon) until the sugar is dissolved and the leaves are bruised. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, and all of the bourbon and the matcha mixture. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the mint to extract all the good stuff. Taste, adding more lemon if you feel the drink needs it, then pour into two ice-filled tumblers and garnish with a few mint leaves.
Enjoy Mark's Top 5 craft beverages. What is your Stratford #fave?