Wednesday, July 21, 2010

oh so Exclusif!

I had the pleasure of an invitation to last night's Courvoisier/Matchstick event at the Park Hyatt. My outings are generally to more modest establishments so my 'plus one' and I made the most of the situation, admiring the view from Bloor and Avenue as we savoured an Exclisif Sidecar or three .

Toronto from Avenue and Bloor
Sidecars and skyline

The party was all about creating awareness of Courvoisier amongst the young folks who would otherwise dismiss Cognac as a dusty old grandpa drink. It's true, "the brandy of Napoleon" was never on my mental list of bar options. So, after a slightly bewildering display of French Empire-themed dancing and stilt walking...

Stiltwalking Napoleon?

...we got down to the tasting. We learned to detect a 'nose' of ginger cookie, plum, coffee, creme brulee, candied orange or iris within two different Courvoisier blends.

Tasting the two blends.

Next was the fun part: cocktail mixing free-for-all! Each table was set up with an extensive spread of mixers, garnishes and other alcohols. The challenge was to invent a new Cognac-based drink. Play time!

the set-up

One of my attempts was an orange juice, honey and mint combo which wasn't too tasty although it might be  just the thing to soothe a cold. I drank it anyway.

This one didn't pass muster.

A much better mix was the Exclusif, ginger ale, cranberry and brown sugar cocktail I devised. Delicious! I liked it on my second try at making it, too, so I wanted to make up another batch for the official judges to sample. Somehow, cocktail superstar that I am, I jammed the two parts of the shaker together in such a way that nobody could get them apart. Oops.

I jammed the shaker

I resorted to mixing in-glass and here's the final cocktail with a blueberry garnish. The drink needed a name and at at the time, after so many samples of the product, I thought "Kiss from Andreas" was a great name. With a clearer mind, I realize it is not. I didn't win the cocktail invention contest but my mix was very tasty regardless!

my creation

All in all, everyone had a great night, drinking lots of Cognac and making a huge mess. Thanks to Courvoisier and Matchstick for inviting me!


Darlin' T said...

How fun! It's always nice to get invited somewhere swanky with free booze or cupcakes. :)

Julie said...

wow, looks like it was a really fun event!! I know the exact room you were in, in the Park Hyatt- it's utterly amazing.

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