Read about Passover and Easter wine pairings, get...
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Mar 31, 2015  |  Vote 0    0

Read about Passover and Easter wine pairings, get tips from T-Fal for active kids and read about new cookbooks and other Food News

Compiled by Lisa Day

News
Barbecue information

The barbecue season is quickly approaching, and Canadians across the country are turning their thoughts to gathering in the backyard and grilling up their favourite foods over open flame.

But with the latest trends and accessories, you can make your barbecue so much more than just a cooking rack over a fire. Different cooking methods and styles release new flavours. Other trends make life easier and complement the backyard oasis where people escape from the daily grind.

“Barbecue accessories seem to be endless these days, but there are several that will truly make your grilling experience that much better,” said Steve Gauci, director of retail operations at Napoleon Gourmet Grills in a release. “Staying on top of these trends will help you experience foods in new ways with new flavours that will excite your taste buds, or may just make cooking outside that much easier and convenient for you.”

Here are some of the latest trends that will be popular in backyards across Canada this summer:

• Charcoal tray. Just because you have a gas grill doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the flavours of classic charcoal cooking. Place a charcoal tray on the burner of your grill, fill it up and enjoy delicious, smoky flavours.
• Get colourful. Stainless steel is giving way – a little bit – to coloured porcelain lids. The porcelain doesn’t require as much cleaning and polishing as stainless – and the colour can be selected to match your backyard decor.
• Infrared grilling. Just like they do in a restaurant, the high heat of infrared grilling comes from 10,000 ports flaming a ceramic burner until it glows red. The result is a clean, consistent method of cooking that produces juicier, tastier steaks and burgers.
• Smoker tube. Pick your choice of woodchips, soak them in water, put them in smoker tube and place it on one of your heat shields to enjoy beautiful smoked meats.
• Shish kebab wheel. A handy attachment that fits right on to your existing rotisserie spit, the shish kebab wheel holds your skewers of meat and vegetable in place as it evenly cooks them over the consistent heat your grill.

Barbecue buying
With all the new bells and whistles available in barbecues these days, grill-shopping can seem more like luxury car shopping, and can send folks running for a frying pan to cook that sirloin, rather than have to endure the headache of choosing.
With grilling season nearly upon us, Napoleon Gourmet Grills has come up with this list of tips on how to pick the grill that’s right for you.

Here are some tips to help choose what is best to suit your needs:

You get what you pay for – in most cases, barbecue’s are priced according to quality. Do your research, but if you want a quality grill that’s going to last a while, be prepared to pay for it.

Buy local! Canadian and U.S. manufacturers have an outstanding reputation, and it also makes getting parts much easier.

Consider size, accessories and BTU’s – Don’t go into buying blind, think about what you will be cooking, how many people you will be cooking for and the space it will be sitting in. Going into a buy without planning can result in you getting the “ol’ car salesman” and buying something you don’t actually need.

Check the warranty – be sure to ask your dealer about what is/isn’t included in the warranty. A good warranty for grills will cover 10 years for burners, sear plates and castings, which are the heart of your grill.

Stick to your budget and take care! Think about what you can afford, and what you need. Take care of the unit you purchase, and you won’t need to buy another one until technology changes again and you want the latest innovation!

Easter wine pairing
Whether you are serving a rack of lamb, a glazed ham or a roasted turkey, make sure you pair it up with the right wines to bring new flavour sensations to your guests’ palates,.
If you are unsure what wines will go best with your Easter dinner, don’t panic – Small Talk Vineyards has put together its list of the best wines to pair with traditional Easter dinner dishes.
“Hosting Easter dinner for family and friends can seem daunting,” said Hank Hunse, Small Talk Vineyards owner in a release. “But making sure you have the right selection of wine on hand will help alleviate some of that stress.”

Cabernet-Merlot
Cabernet-Merlot will pair perfectly with your rack of lamb. Cabernet-Merlot can be identified by a deep dark colour and usually has hints of berry, plum and currant.

Riesling - Gewürztraminer
Riesling - Gewürztraminer blends are made from two aromatic grape varieties that are much more commonly found in varietal form. These wines are often characterized by their floral aromas, off-dry flavours and gentle spiciness. This variety pairs perfectly with your ham or with any seafood dishes you may be serving.

Riesling-Sauvignon Blanc
Don’t forget about the vegetarians in the family. Riesling-Sauvignon Blanc blends pair perfectly with salads and seasonal vegetables by combining sweet and fruity to create the perfect match.

Icewine
There is always plenty of chocolate to go around at Easter so get creative with your dessert and pair it with an icewine. Matching sweetness with sweetness will give your guests an unexpected and pleasant surprise.
Visit www.smalltalkvineyards.com

Gardening tips
With the growing popularity of the eat local movement, there is a resurgence in people growing their own fruits and vegetables mere steps away from their kitchen doors.

Rows of tomatoes, patches of strawberries, climbing vines of peas, fragrant (and delicious) herbs, the variety and selection of what can be grown in Canada is diverse. The health benefits are two-fold – nutrient-rich food and calorie-burning exercise – it will save you money and it is pretty easy to get started, said Niki Jabbour, an expert in growing edibles who presented two seminars at Canada Blooms earlier this month.

“Anyone who has enjoyed the sun-sweetened flavour of homegrown tomatoes, the fresh snap of French filet beans or the cool crispness of baby cucumbers will understand the benefits of a vegetable garden,” said Jabbour, a best-selling gardening author and one of the gardening enthusiasts behind savvygardening.com

“Even a small planting is a rewarding way to shave some serious dollars off your grocery bill, enjoy the great outdoors, stay fit and eat healthier. Plus, if you have children or grandchildren, it’s a fun way to introduce them to the wonder of nature and where our food comes from.”

Jabbour offers the following tips for getting your own vegetable garden started.

Pick the right site.
• The best place is a spot that receives plenty of sunshine – at least eight hours each day – and has decent soil. If your soil is less-than-ideal, don’t panic! Instead, build a raised bed to grow your vegetables, filling it with quality garden soil and compost.

Start small.
• I always tell novice veggie gardeners to keep it small! A manageable 4x8 foot raised bed or even a few pots of edibles will be much easier to care for than a large garden. Start with a handful of your favourite crops and once you’ve got a handle on planting, tending and harvesting, you can always decide to go bigger the following year.
Keep your soil healthy.

• Healthy soil is the key to a productive vegetable garden and I keep my garden in top shape by working in several inches of compost each spring and between successive crops. Organic fertilizers, like fish emulsion or liquid kelp, can be used to boost crops during summer, and a mulch of straw or shredded leaves beneath crops will keep soil cool and moist.

Plant your menu.
• Grow what you like to eat, but my favourites include ‘Sungold’ tomatoes, ‘Lemon’ cucumbers, ‘Emerite’ pole beans, ‘Super Sugar Snap’ peas and ‘Peppermint’ Swiss Chard. Use quick growing veggies leaf lettuce, arugula, radishes or spinach to fill in empty areas of the garden. They’ll germinate within days and be ready to harvest after just a month. Most herbs are also very easy to grow and if you like to cook, you can save money by growing your own parsley, basil, thyme and oregano.
Protect your harvest.

• Gardeners who wrestle with rabbits may wish to try growing vegetables and herbs in tall containers on their sunny decks and patios. A simple barrier like a fence or sturdy chicken wire can also be used to surround raised garden beds. For a small garden, use lengths of PVC conduit to form ‘hoops’ over the bed and top with chicken wire or bird netting to exclude rabbits and deer. In my own 2000-square-foot vegetable garden, I have an electric fence – a simple wire – that surrounds the plot and keeps the veggies safe from Bambi.

Add some colour.
• I like to include colourful annual flowers such as nasturtiums, zinnias, sunflowers and sweet alyssum in the vegetable garden. Not only are they gorgeous, but they’ll attract pollinators and beneficial insects, which can help ensure a bumper crops of homegrown veggies.

Visit http://www.insidetoronto.com/blogs/post/5475948-book-time-reviews-the-book-with-no-pictures-edmund-unravels-and-other-children-s-books-as-well-as-b/ to read reviews on gardening books.

Health Canada talks soy
Last week, Health Canada released a statement about soy and heart health.
Health Canada has one of the world’s most rigorous review processes for health benefits of foods, and has to date issued only a small handful of such announcements, which makes this announcement important, said registered dietician Diana Steele, owner of Eating for Energy and a part of the Earth’s Own Nutrition Advisory Panel. Earth’s Own Nutrition is a company dedicated to nutritional innovation and sustainability in order to actively improve people’s lives and well-being, said a release.

The statement, which can be found at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/claims-reclam/assess-evalu/soy-protein-cholesterol-eng.php, said consuming protein-rich soy is linked to lowering cholesterol levels and contributes to protecting heart health. 

“Soy foods have been known for their health benefits for years,” Steele said in an email to insidetoronto.com
“Health Canada’s acceptance of the health claim provides a stamp of approval for Canadians. Consumers read food labels. This health claim will help educate consumers on how much soy protein is recommended for cholesterol-lowering benefits.”

Live Below the Line
From April 27 to May 1, people are invited to Live Below the Line.

The third annual campaign transforms the way individuals think and engage with extreme poverty by challenging Canadians to eat and drink on $1.75 a day for five days, something people living in extreme poverty face.

Earlier in the month, Toronto’s upscale Mexican restaurant, Los Colibris (www.loscolibris.ca) invited the media to sample a day’s worth of authentic Mexican dishes, all for under $1.75, that Los Colibris Chef Elia Herrara, created specifically for the campaign. See photos for recipes.

Visit www.livebelowtheline.com for details.

Passover wine pairings
With Passover April 3 to 11, those hosting a Passover meal, or Seder, are looking for great recipes and wine ideas to make the meal delicious and memorable.
Jay Buchsbaum, wine educator at Royal Wine Corp., the largest distributor, importer and producer of kosher wine and spirits in the world, offers suggestions.

“Consumers can find better quality wines, complex and layered, to pair with the variety of foods served up at the Seder and throughout the eight-day holiday,” Buchsbaum said. “There has been growing demand for wines made in Israel, which have received many awards and accolades from critics and the trade...”
Here’s a sampling of some great Passover food and wine pairings:

Gefilte fish:
• Carmel Selected Sauvignon Blanc, Israel $9 to ­$11 – delightfully aromatic with floral notes and a backdrop of fresh cut grass. Flavours of tropical fruit are balanced with a clean citrusy finish.
• Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand $20 to ­$22 ­– A vibrant, crisp Sauvignon Blanc with a bouquet that includes gooseberries, lush tropical fruit with a slight hint of oak.
• Herzog Reserve Russian River Chardonnay, California $28 to ­$30 ­– Rich and complex, drawing on pear, citrus, hazelnut, and mineral flavors, all framed in a creamy smooth texture with plenty of toasty oak.

Matzo Ball Soup
• Baron Herzog Chenin Blanc, California $8­ to $10 – A fresh and round mouth feel with intense fruity notes of nectarine, gooseberry and pine with a bright, clean finish.
• Elvi Cava Brut, Spain, $18 to ­$20 ­– Bubbly and dry, with interesting floral, mild citrus and strawberry notes. Crisp and clean with a lingering finish.
• Carmel Single Vineyard Kayoumi White Riesling, Israel $25­ to $27 ­- Fragrant, delicate nose of citrus blossom, green apple and lime.

Lemon Almond Cake
• Muscat de Baumes de Venise, France $18­ to $20 ­– Very aromatic, with apricot, peach, lychee and some candied orange peel notes. A touch of viscosity in the mouth and a well-balanced acidity.
• Herzog Late Harvest Chenin Blanc, California $20­ to $22 –­ Very aromatic nose of honey and fresh apricot. Sweet, but very well balanced with bright acidity and a lush and full mouth feel with a lingering fresh fruit finish.
• Binyamina Reserve Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, Israel $26 to ­$28 ­– Rich and complex aromas of tropical fruit, lychee, red grapefruit and rose water.  Its sweetness is beautifully balanced by a natural crispness and the fruity overtones.

T-fal helps parents tackle childhood obesity with renewed Healthy Cooking for Healthy Kids Program
Childhood obesity in Canada is an issue that only continues to grow annually, with more than 1.6 million Canadian kids carrying extra weight and 11.7 per cent considered  obese, according to Statistics Canada.

A lack of physical activity is a factor when considering the rising epidemic of childhood obesity. Gone are the days of playing outside until the streetlights come on. Kids are online more than ever, averaging eight hours of screen time per day. According to Active Healthy Kids Canada, only seven per cent of Canadian children meet the guideline of 60 minutes of physical activity per day.
Resources and help can often be hard to come by for parents who are at a loss for how to deal with this critical issue.
T-fal, Canada’s leading family brand, is re-launching their award-winning Healthy Cooking for Healthy Kids Program this March, this time including resources for helping kids get active. The campaign provides parents with easy and accessible advice and tools to help their family get on the road to healthy living.

The program includes healthy recipes that the whole family will love, as well as healthy eating and physical activity reward charts, web links, grocery lists and portion size placemats, all of which are free of charge and are available to print at t-fal.ca/nutritionmonth
Parents will also be able to connect with a leading nutritionist on social media, where they can read advice and have their healthy living questions answered.

Active tips
You don’t need a gym membership or expensive equipment to help your kids get active – there are plenty of forms of exercise that can be done at home. Here are some tips and tricks to help them move throughout the day:
• Make it a family activity: Getting active as a family shows kids that exercise can be fun and make you feel good. Take it outdoors and go ice skating, build a snowman or play a game of Capture the Flag. Inside, preparing a meal can burn 70 calories, or play a game of Freeze – have kids dance to music and “freeze” in their current position when the music stops. The last one standing wins.
• Break it up: Kids need 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, but it does not need to be done all at once. Encourage kids to break up their guidelines into increments of 10 to 15 minutes daily, by suggesting quick fixes such as getting off the bus one stop early and walking home or taking the stairs instead of an escalator. Every little bit helps.
• Aim for variety: Fitness is not a one-size-fits-all activity – some kids are natural athletes, while other kids might prefer more recreational activities like dance and games. Encourage your kids to try out different forms of exercise to find a way to get active that they enjoy.
• Keep track: Having kids keep track of their daily physical activity helps them form good habits and a consistent routine. Using the printable reward charts from the nutritious-delicious.ca website, reward your kids’ efforts at the end of each week with a special treat.
Walk it out: Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. Take the dog, or go for an excursion with the whole family.

Wedding wines

So much goes into planning a wedding that it is sometimes easy for matters to fall by the wayside.

With booking a church and hall, buying the rings, arranging the guest list, investing the time and money into a dress, deciding what the wedding party will wear, setting up the music and playlist and determining the menu. Ah, the menu – beef or chicken? Vegetarian options? How many courses? What is for dessert? Fundamental to the wedding menu – indeed, the piece that can tie together the entire menu – is the wines that you choose to set on the table.

“We understand that weddings are expensive, but you don’t want to go too cheap on your wines,” said Marcel Morgenstern, sommelier and proprietor of Burnt Ship Bay Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake in a release. “You spend money on your dress, on the decorations, on the food. You don’t want to simply say, ‘A red and white.’ Pick wines that will match this important occasion.”
Morgenstern offers the following tips when considering which are the right wines for your wedding.

• Dry, crisp whites (Pinot Grigio, Unoaked Chardonnay) or something with a slight hint of sweetness (dry Rieslings, Gewuerztraminer-Riesling blends) are great, especially if you have a chicken or fish option. These wines are also great sipping wines.
• Soft, medium-bodied reds (Cabernet Merlot) are the best choice as a crowd-pleasing food pairing wine. You want them to have enough body to stand up to your prime rib, but not too big so you can sip on them during the rest of the evening.
• Sparkling wines are always a great way to start the reception and to serve with the cake towards the end of the evening.
Visit www.burntshipbay.com

Contest
A recent study revealed almost 70 per cent of Canadians feel it’s important to volunteer simply because it’s the right thing to do.

Post Shreddies said there is genuine goodness in every Canadian; it’s part of who we are as a nation and deserves to be celebrated. To applaud this goodness, the cereal brand has begun a nationwide search for those spreading goodness in their community with its third annual “Search for Goodness.”

“Whether it’s a neighbour who volunteers at the local soup kitchen or the person who always helps out at the hockey arena, we all know someone filled with genuine goodness who makes a difference in our community,” said Amy Bernstein, the senior product manager of Shreddies & Shredded Wheat, at Post Foods Canada Inc. in a release. “Volunteers are vital to the social fabric of communities across this country and we want to recognize those who make a difference and show them a little thanks for all the goodness they bring to others.”

The Shreddies “Search for Goodness” is an opportunity for Canadians to nominate someone who spreads goodness in their community. Nominations can be submitted by visiting searchforgoodness.ca before May 10. Once a person has been nominated, Canadians can vote for their favourite story once a day to help the nominee make it into the Top 10 finalists. The Top 10 stories will make the shortlist of nominees, and the winner will be selected by a panel of judges at Post Foods Canada Inc. The winning story will be told in a Post Shreddies ad.

Last year, sisters Julia and Emma Mogus, from Oakville, were selected for their tireless efforts to help youth in remote communities in Northern Ontario by donating books.
Visit www.postfoods.ca

Cookbooks
Idiot’s Guides Vegetable Gardening
DK Books, dkbooks.com
$21
Thanks to a growing interest in the local food movement, self-sustainability as well as health and money-saving concerns, vegetable gardening is more popular than ever. Using full-colour step-by-step example, this guide covers the techniques and tools needed for every type of garden.

The Rainbow Juice Cleanse
Dr. Ginger Southall
www.offthemenublog.com
$21.50
The Rainbow Juice Cleanse is a revolutionary program that employs the nutritious healing properties of vegetables to kick-start weight loss and improve overall heath. In just seven days, you will detoxify your body and lose up to seven pounds.
Editor’s Note: What a beautiful book. It’s so colourful and delicious looking. However, I am not a fan of detoxes. And I would rather get my vegetables in a solid form. Saying that, there are enough recipes in this book to keep me happy, too. In addition to juices, shakes and smoothies, there are also soups, entrées and sides, salads and dressings and desserts. Yummy. There is lots of information, beautiful pictures and interesting recipes including Cinnamon Pumpkin Pie, Purple Lemonade and Thai One on Tonic (shakes, juices and smoothies), Chee-Z Cauliflower Mash (sides), Rainbow Tricolour Spiral Salad (salad) and Blackberry Banana Split Ice Cream (dessert).

Mr. Food Test Kitchen’s New Guilt-Free Weeknight Favorites Cookbook
The Mr. Food Test Kitchen, www.MrFood.com
$24.99
Every family is familiar with the stress that comes with finding fast and healthy dinners during the often-hectic school and work week. Once you hit the finish line Friday night, it’s only a short two days before it all starts over again. For those with diabetes in the family, the stress is only amplified as planning meals can be daunting and tricky. But that’s all about to change.
Based on the success of last year’s Hello Taste, Goodbye Guilt! The Mr. Food Test Kitchen has once again teamed up with the American Diabetes Association for their new book Guilt-Free Weeknight Favorites, which includes 150 recipes that are not only healthy and fast, but also amazingly tasty. These recipes include Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Veggie White Lasagna and Fudgy Turtle Cookies, among others.

Products
Colombia Fruit

Spring brings warmer weather, buds on trees and Colombia fruit.
According to a press release, in 2014, Colombia exported more than US$63.8 million worth of fruits to Canada including Goldenberries, yellow pitayas, passion fruit and granadillas. New this year are tamarillos.
Also known as a tree tomato, this fruit is bitter when eaten raw, but its true flavour comes out when sweetened. Belonging to he same family as tomatoes and physalis , the skin is not edible.
Tamarillos are low in calories; 100 grams of fresh fruit contain just 31 calories. They fruit contain dietary fiber, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins and area very good source of electrolytes and  potassium.
Tamarillos are good for cooking and blending when the skins have been removed. The best way to eat them raw is in the form of fresh juice, just with water, ice, and a sweetener. When cooked, they pair well as relish for cheese, or in sauces for mild-flavoured meats.

Delight in chocolates in the Junction
Each year, Jeniffer Rashleigh and her talented team of chocolatiers at Delight in the Junction handpaint a unique variety of Easter chocolates including the Surprise Egg. From koi fish to dragons, bouquets to bunnies, these one-of-a-kind creations come bursting with organic Easter treats.  
“We are constantly searching out new ideas and new inspirations for our chocolate designs,” said Rashleigh in a release.
Read a review of this chocolate shop by Toronto’s Best Food blogger Liza Zawadzka – www.insidetoronto.com/blogs/post/5515392-just-in-time-for-easter-the-best-chocolate-in-toronto-can-be-found-at-delight-on-dundas-street-west

Ergo Chef Locking DUO Tongs
The kitchen tong is quite possibly the most under-rated cooking utensil in your top drawer. Not any longer, said Ergo Chef.
Ergo Chef has created the Ergo Chef Locking DUO, which have a one-of-a-kind dual construction, according to a release. The release also said the BPA-free silicone side is safe for non-stick pans and heat resistant to 500 F. The stainless steel side is great for extra grip and use on aluminum or stainless steel pans or grills. The ergonomic angled head is perfect for picking up delicate foods and the slotted head easily drains liquids for no mess. With a comfort non-slip grip and heavy duty spring for precise control, these are the only tongs you’ll need for any and all methods of cooking. The DUO Tongs are available in three sizes: nine inch, 12 inch and 15 inch and ran in price from $11.99 to $16.99.
Visit www.ergochef.com

Fresh City Farms
Did you know there is still a farm in Toronto?
Fresh City Farms, located in Downsview Park, is an organic farm on six acres of land and a greenhouse, which includes an aquaponics system. Fresh City offers farm tours, events and workshops. They also deliver what they grow, along with fresh products from other Ontario partners, to thousands of doorsteps in Toronto each week.

On March 11, Fresh City launched its curated organic meat, fish and vegetable recipe bags that come with step-by-step instructions and all the ingredients needed to eat organic and seasonal meals.

“Our members already love the convenience of having farm-fresh grociers delivered to their house,” said founder Ran Goel in a release. “Our new recipe bags close the gap – you want to cook from scratch, you want fresh and local ingredients, but you don’t have the time.”

Fresh City grows its own produce and works directly with other Ontario farmers to source what it doesn’t grow. They also reuse the insulated tote bags and ice packs they deliver the recipes in.
The recipe bags cost $8 to $12 per serving.

Fresh City’s recipe bags are delivered weekly or bi-weekly. Members choose between meat, fish or veggie recipe bags and Fresh City does the rest. The meat is organic from local farms with humane rearing practices and the fish are sustainably harvested or farmed.

All produce is certified organic or organically grown and comes from farms as close from home as possible.
Visit www.freshcityfarms.com for details.

Editor’s Note: Fresh City Farms generous delivered a two bags of goodies to me recently. Bag No. 10 came with all the food you need to make Sesame Tuna Steak with Avocado Salsa and Rice and Red Pepper Pad Thai with Tofu and Broccoli. Both were to serve two, which worried my husband as we were feeding three adults and a child, but the portions were generous.

Not only did we all have enough to feel full, but my stepdaughter had the pad Thai for lunch the next day. My husband was on cooking duty and he said it was time consuming, but he did enjoy doing it. You got enough to make the dish so, for example, we got half a red pepper. The extras – sesame seeds and the spicy sauce – were in little packages, which worked out well as there were too many sesame seeds and we used it later and I hate spice (which I was told the sauce was super spicy; my husband and stepdaughter freely poured it over their dishes). Everything was tasty and it was great to enjoy dishes we usually wouldn’t cook at home.

Piger Henricus artisanal gin
They’re delicious in soups and casseroles and now they are making  a debut in the first-of-its-ind handcrafted, artisinal gin, hitting LCBO shelves soon.

Piger Henricus is the newest Canadian gin on the market, featuring parsnips. Made with traditional London gin botanicals such as juniper, berries, coriander, angelica root, lemon zest ad cardamon, the addition of parsnips gives the drink a distinctive taste, says Stephan Ruffo, one of the three founding partners of the gin.

Since launching in Quebec in 2014, Piger Henricus is receiving rave reviews. The gin retails for $39.95 per a 750 ml bottle and can be found at the LCBO.

Editor’s Note: As I don’t drink, I sent a bottle to my gin-loving coworker, News Editor Michele McLean, who wrote:
Wow! I love parsnips. I never liked them as a child, but I’ve learned to love them as an adult, especially with some cream and nutmeg.
But parsnips in gin? That is exactly what’s in Piger Henricus gin. Other than a big drawing of a parsnip on the label and the fact it’s listed as an ingredient, I never would have guessed the root vegetable was in there.
I’m not sure if you are supposed to drink gin straight up or on the rocks, but I figured if I was going to review it, I had to. My first sip and I soon discovered the strength of this gin. It’s strong! Perhaps it’s the alcohol content. Wowza! Once your taste buds calm down, it does mellow and I could taste the lemon zest. It also has juniper, berries, coriander, angelica root and cardamom. But could I taste parsnips? No.
I decided to sample the Piger Henricus in one of my favourite drinks – the good ol’ gin and tonic. I like mine with lots of ice and lime and this gin did not disappoint. It was smooth. How could it be so strong solo, but be so smooth with tonic, ice and lime? It seems it all comes together and has a distinct flavour with lots of different notes coming through.
Delicious!
I guess I’ll have to have to taste my parsnips on the side.

Gin sake martini
45 ml (1 1/2 oz) Piger Henricus gin
15 ml (1/2 oz) dry sake
1 zest of fresh parsnip (using vegetable peeler)
1 green olive
3 ice cubes
Combine the dry gin, sake in a shaker filled with ice cubes.
Shake vigorously for eight to 10 seconds.
Strain into martini glass.
Garnish with olive and parsnip zest.
 
Sunset Mary
45 ml (1 1/2 oz) Piger Henricus gin
120 ml (4 oz) carrot juice
Dash of lemon juice
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
3 drops red Tabasco (to taste)
Pinch of celery salt
Celery salt (for glass rim)
Pinch of black pepper
2 to 3 thin slices of parsnip
1 celery stalk
Ice cubes
Wet rim of glass with a lemon wedge and dip it into a small plate with celery salt.
Combine ice cubes, gin, carrot juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, celery salt and black pepper in mixing glass containing ice.
Mix with mixing spoon.
Strain into glass using an ice strainer.
Garnish with rinsed celery stalk and parsnip slices.
 
Celery Gin Tonic
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tbsp sugar or maple sirup
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces Piger Henricus gin
1 small stick of parsnip
Lemon twist
Muddle celery with sugar and lemon juice in a blender for one minute.
Add gin.
Pour in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until the outside of shaker becomes frosty (about 30 seconds).
Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Garnish with parsnip and lemon twist.

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