The art of drinkingPublished on February 13, 2018

  • Mary Taggart
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Top Shelf Distillers located in Perth, Ontario bases its business on the premise of an old fashioned good time. Bottles have a vintage vibe and can be found at LCBO.
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • North of 7 Distilleries holds the distinction of being Ottawa’s first craft distillery. Find the 40%, 750 ml, regular Leatherback rum at LCBO.
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers is located in the Niagara wine county region. The family owned business focuses on flavour infused spirits and bitters. Find them in area LCBO stores.
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

I’m really not much of a drinker, but . . . I do love a party and the look of a fancy cocktail excites me!

My butler’s pantry at home is well stocked with liquor, liqueurs and a multitude of glasses to go along with an array of exotically-named beverages and creative libations. They may actually get dusted off and put to use a few times a year, and you might want to check the expiry date on some bottles. But, I do love the look of them on display – in my mind, a fully-stocked bar is like the finishing touch of a well-dressed home.

The current mood of the world today sometimes calls for a stiff drink, which is perhaps why the bar scene is becoming one of the hottest lifestyle trends. The person serving those drinks garners great respect in the hospitality industry, and Paula Roy turned the glass on four highly-regarded bartenders around Ottawa to gain some personal insights into what makes a mixoligist tick.

The newly revamped Zoe’s Lounge at the historic Chateau Laurier hotel was a fitting backdrop for this feature, which combines the trend with this issue’s theme of Heritage & Restoration. We also take a look at a variety of places rooted in history. Andrew King’s Back Story reveals Ottawa’s connections to famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and the feature helps to explain why we see his influence dotted about the capital.

In our New & Notable column, Sandy Connell takes us to the Ottawa Little Theatre which has recently been restored with great respect to its heritage. I have fond memories of this King Edward Street theatre from my youth. When we moved from Montreal to Ottawa in the late 1970s, my mother struggled to make the move easier for her two teenaged daughters with a penchant for dramatic arts. Time spent in workshops at the Ottawa Little Theatre was an ideal solution for me and my sister.

The Ottawa community has made significant contributions to the arts in the past several years, which serves our society well. Discovering and preserving where you find joy is a powerful experience, and the arts offer a great escape from the world while allowing us to reflect on the past and be hopeful for the future.

In reflection,


Mary Taggart

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