John Hall is an iconic whiskey maker, based in Grimsby Ontario, with a long history in the industry as a winemaker. After 30 years in winemaking, he left for a while to work in the corporate sector, but his true calling was always bringing him full circle to his true love of the science of food, and blending. Realising that the way of the Canadian whiskey had gone the route of international consolidation, he decided to pursue a dream to get into the whiskey business. A dream that he had chased since his teenage years in Windsor growing up in the shadows of the Hiram Walker Distillery. Canadian whiskey is iconic, and he was on a mission to make the best that he could, and bring his creativity and passion to this golden liquid much revered internationally, like maple syrup and hockey.
The newest release from Forty Creek, named from the area in which it is made (40 miles from Niagara Falls), is their Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve. “Forty Creek Copper Pot is made in the same award winning style as Barrel Select. The difference – Forty Cree Copper Pot is amped up in flavour, delivering a bolder and richer taste profile and is bottled at 43% alc./vol. to compliment the depth of flavours.” Explains John Hall.
I had an event recently where the chef made a really tasty cocktail, and I thought it would pair really well with this new release from Forty Creek. Then, it was time to play around with both of these whiskeys and some classic cocktails, with Allison, the beverage program director and sommelier at Death Row Meals. Available at the LCBO the Forty Creek Barrel Select is $25.75 and the Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve is $28.45.
2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Puree*
2oz Forty Creek Barrel Select
1 oz. maple syrup
½ oz. Grand Marnier
1 tsp. honey
1 3’ long piece orange peel twist, all white pith removed
- Add 1 cup ice cubes to chilled cocktail shaker along with pumpkin puree, Forty Creek Barrel Select, maple syrup, Grand Marnier and honey.
- Shake vigorously and strain into double old-fashioned glass filled with fresh ice and orange peel.
- Garnish with honeyed ginger threaded onto a thin cocktail skewer
Honeyed Ginger Garnish
¼ pound fresh ginger
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
1 cup unpasteurized Ontario honey
Peel ginger and slice thinly on a mandolin.
- Add water, ginger slices and spice to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover pot and cook for about 30-40 minutes until tender.
- Drain water from pot leaving ¼ cup, add honey and simmer uncovered for another 20-30 minutes until slices are slightly darker in colour and glossy.
- Store ginger in the honey syrup in fridge where it will keep nicely for 3-4 weeks.
*Purchase canned organic pumpkin puree or make your own. Split a small or medium organic pumpkin in half from stem to bud end, place cut side down on
parchment lined half sheet and roast in a 375F oven for 45 minutes to one hour until flesh is soft. Let pumpkin cool slightly and then scoop out flesh into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.
Forty Creek Cherry Whiskey Sour by Allison Slute of Death Row Meals
2 oz Forty Creek Barrel Select
1 oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz maraschino cherry syrup (I used the syrup from Luxardo Cherries) or simple syrup macerated with a couple of fresh cherries
A dash of bitters (I used cranberry, but citrus or traditional bitters would work as well)
- Shake with ice
- Strain into an ice filled old fashioned glass to serve on the rocks
- Garnish with 2 maraschino cherries
The Forty Creek Barrel Select was chosen for the Whiskey Sour because of its classic whiskey characteristics. It delivers a smooth and mellow finish, with a full body and a hint of sweetness.
Forty Creek Rusty Nail by Allison Slute Death Row Meals Sommelier
1 ½ oz Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve
½ oz Sortilege
Pig Candy and a Maraschino Cherry
- Mix contents over ice
- Pour into a rocks glass
- Garnish and enjoy
A dryer and spicier whiskey, the Copper Pot Reserve would add the same “umph” that you get from the traditional blended scotch whiskies. This is why we felt it was the ideal match for a Rusty Nail.
Amanda (@citygirlchef), Allison (@allisonslute), and myself (@foodie411) really hope you will pick up a bottle of Forty Creek for yourself and try these great cocktails, perfect for the holiday season. Please share your thoughts with us on Twitter, and use the hashtag #40CreekXmas. Cheers!