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Hot Dining: Cranberry Bellini Recipe

Cranberry Bellini

Toast the new year with this festive Cranberry Bellini, an updated version of the Italian classic, created by Hendrick’s Gin Brand Champion, Charlotte Voisey. We think it will make the perfect addition to any New Year’s Eve party.

• 1 oz (30 mL) Hendrick’s Gin (which recently won gold for “Best Distilled Gin” at the 2011 International Spirits Challenge)
• 1 oz (30 mL) cranberry juice
• 1 oz (30 mL) simple syrup
• 1/2 oz (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
• 4 oz (120 mL) champagne

• Combine ingredients in a mixing glass (except champagne)
• Shake well
• Strain into a flute glass
• Top with champagne
• Garnish with a sugared cranberry

Serves one

*To make simple syrup: Bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil. Stir to dissolve and then let cool.

Hot Dining: Summertime Drink

Summer Lemon Zinger. Created by William Grant and Sons and Charlotte Voisey.

For all those cool cats out there who will be kicking back on this sunny weekend (and who are over 19 years old!), we’ve got a fun summer drink you can whip up for your next barbecue. The “Summer Lemon Zinger” was created by Charlotte Voisey, a William Grant and Sons mixologist.

Designed for picnics, barbecues, or lazy porch-side evenings spent with friends, this Canadian Whisky cocktail is easy to prepare in a big batch ahead of time.

-1 ½ oz (3 tbsp/45 ml) Gibson’s Finest 12 Year Old Canadian Whisky
-1 oz (2 tbsp/30 ml) tea (brewed strong and allowed to cool)
-2 oz (4 tbsp/60 ml) fresh made lemonade (equal parts lemon juice, sugar and water)

-Combine ingredients in a glass or pitcher over ice
-Garnish with available fresh fruit – raspberries, orange, and lemon wheels work well

Serves 1

Weekend Bonus: Ice, Wine and Dine Festival

Holiday Ornament MartiniNovember 20 & 21 Fire jugglers, stilt walkers and strolling songsters take over Elm Street this weekend, as the Ice, Wine and Dine Festival transforms the relatively quiet downtown strip into a festive holiday block party.

Organized by local businesses, the event also features live music, fortune tellers, magicians and ice-sculpture carvers, while restaurants and cafés serve up delectable food and drink specials under heated patio tents—recently opened pub The Queen & Beaver offers mulled cider and warm gingerbread, Commensal has organic hot chocolate and a tasty $5 vegetarian sampling platter. Even the Elmwood Spa participates in the festive fun by handing out free Lindt chocolate goodies. Those who seek heartier fare can stop by the Duke of Somerset and feast on pot roast sandwiches and the miniature deep-fried Mars bars, or pop into the Wolf and Firkin pub for spicy chili served with toasted garlic bread.

Culture vultures are encouraged to peek inside the Arts and Letters Club—a heritage building that, this weekend, hosts visual artists, poetry readings, music performances and more—while party enthusiasts will want to stop by the impressive Ice Martini Lounge, a chic outdoor space featuring a frozen ice bar. Here, revelers can pose for photos beside large-scale ice sculptures and sip on signature cocktails like the “Yongetini,” made with crème de menthe, chocolate liquor and vodka, and garnished with chocolate rosebuds. This downtown neighbourhood event has something for anyone looking to catch a bit of early holiday cheer.

Elm Street (two blocks north of Dundas Street) between Yonge and Bay streets. 4 to 9 p.m, free (excluding food samples); for further information, click here.