Opening Cottage Holiday Weekend Cocktails Party

I just finished reading Love and Ruin, the Paula McLain book about Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gelhorn’s tremendous and tumultuous relationship, and chic cocktails are very much on my mind. So, I’m planning an opening weekend cocktail party and you’re all invited. In honour of the Royal Wedding this weekend, many of our aperitifs will be sparkling. Add some Milford Bay smoked trout, some veggies and spinach dip from Silver Streams in Port Sandfield and you’re Muskoka party ready.

cocktails on the dock

Chambery Cassis

chambery cassis

Last weekend, we popped into Chabrol, a favourite resto in Yorkville that serves very authentic French bistro food, and looking for a refreshing cocktail to accompany my incredible lamb shank. I’ve already tried experimenting on my friends and we’ve declared it the Kick off Cottage drink:

Serve in Rocks Glass


1.5 oz Dry Vermouth

.74 oz Cassis

add ice

Top with Sparkling Wine

Give a light stir

Aperol Spritz

This is still one of my favourite aperatifs and I will definitely be serving it this summer. Here’s the official recipe from Aperol. Even though we are at the cottage and not on the coast of Italy, it always refreshes.


Start by adding ice into the glass then pour in the Prosecco, the Aperol and add a splash of soda, top with a slice of orange. This serving avoids the Aperol settling at the bottom.


Preparation Time: 5 min

  • step 3ADD A DASH OF SODA
  • step 4Garnish with slice of orange


I don’t happen to like gin, but if it’s your thing, this cocktail is a classic summer aperitif.

1 oz. London dry gin
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. vermouth rosso
cocktail glass
  1. Add the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake well with cracked ice.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  4. Garnish with a twist of orange peel.


The Toronto Cocktail

toronto cocktail

In honour of the Royal Wedding this weekend, we offer this cocktail from over the pond but called the Toronto. The recipe was first recorded by legendary London Barman, Robert Vermeire, in his 1922 edition of “Cocktails: How to Mix Them”. In it, he states the cocktail is “…much appreciated by the Canadians of Toronto.”




  • 2 ounces Canadian rye whisky
  • 1/4 ounce Fernet Branca
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 orange peel


Combine rye, Fernet, simple syrup, and bitters in a mixing glass and fill with cracked ice. Stir for 20 seconds and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Squeeze a piece of orange peel over the drink and use as garnish.


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