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Spring drinks: Chianti, Bacardi, saison

Hey, look! Three recent National Post columns: • Saison beer is delicious, but you’ll never find out unless you run out and grab some. (Well, at least if you live in Canada, where shortages and empty liquor store shelves are a way of life, à la pre-1989 Poland.) • Congrats to Vancouver bartender Mike Shum, who won some sort of Bacardi-sponsored contest for this lovely creation, the Chan Chan cocktail. It’s a daiquiri twist that’s really worth making for yourself at home. • Finally, get yourself some Chianti and cook up some red-sauce Italian and fuhgeddaboutit.

‘Bring a thirst to Nova Scotia and it will be slaked’: Update

Have you ever noticed how many microbreweries and wineries there seem to be in Nova Scotia these days? Not to mention a couple of small distilleries. Back in October, I went to the province to check out the booze scene, with an eye to writing a travel piece about drinking one’s way through Nova Scotia. Fun to do, fun to write. Cool water seeps into my boots as Ben Swetnam guides me through the fine mist that lingers over the vineyard. It is an October morning, the height of harvest season at Avondale Sky Winery. Ben plucks a cluster of…

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Updates! Sailing, Scotch, shilling T.O., and Screaming Lord Sutch

So! Interesting couple of weeks. I was off to Key West, Fla., for a few days this week to go sailing as a guest of Mount Gay rum, which HAVE I MENTIONED I ENJOY VERY MUCH? (Actually, I have endorsed it on more than one occasion. So I don’t really feel bad about accepting a junket from Mount Gay. It’s only payola if you don’t like the product – right?) Key West is a pretty cool place: soaked in sunshine, littered with Ernest Hemingway memorabilia and populated with crusty-looking sun-dried barflies who probably don’t give the first shit about anything….

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It is fancy rum tasting day

Not all Mondays are this pleasant, so I thought I’d share. The subject of this coming Saturday’s Happy Hour column is quality sipping rums, and, well, I have to taste what I write about. The trick to being a booze writer is to drink enough to enjoy it and make notes, but not so much that you get too buzzed to write. So far I have kept focused. But the Mount Gay 1703 is pretty much my favourite rum, and it is next. So what’s your Monday at work like, suckers?