Friday, March 15, 2013

Rise Kombucha cocktail recipes

The Kombucha Julep 

1oz Rise Kombucha mint syrup
2 oz bourbon
3-4 mint leaves
2 raspberries
1 cup of crushed Rise Kombucha Rose Schizandra ice

served in a julep cup

by Andrew Whibley - Pub Le Mile/Bremner

Kombucha Summer Smoothie

1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1oz coconut syrup
1oz pineapple juice
1oz Rise
Kombucha Rose Schizandra
1 scoop of ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

by Andrew Whibley - Pub Le Mile/Bremner 

Morning Surprise

1/2 of a plum
1/2 oz rose syrup
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz Prunelle de Bourgone
1 oz Calvados

Top off with Rise Kombucha Rose Schizandra.

by Gabrielle Panaccio - LAB Comptoir à cocktails


1/4 of an apple, sliced
1 oz ginger syrup
3/4 oz lime juice

Top off with Rise Kombucha Mint Chlorophyll.

by Gabrielle Panaccio - LAB Comptoir à cocktails 

World’s Forest
1 oz elderberry syrup
3/4 oz lime juice
5 basil leaves
2 dashes of lavender essence

Top off with Rise Mint Chlorophyll (half a bottle).

by Eddy Germain - LAB Comptoir à cocktails

Beauty and Hendrick’s

2 oz Hendrick’s Gin
1/4 oz rose syrup
1/2 oz cucumber juice
1/2 oz lemon juice

Top off with Rise Kombucha Rose Schizandra

by Eddy Germain - LAB Comptoir à cocktails


1 oz de gin
1 oz gin
3/4 oz Chartreuse 
4 cucumber cubes
3/4 oz lime juice
1 egg white
2 oz Rise Mint Chlorophyll

by Maxime Boivin - Barroco 


2-3 hibiscus bflowers
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 oz homemade grenadine
2-3 drops of orange blossom water
Rise Rose Schizandra

by Maxime Boivin - Barroco

Rise Kombucha

Yesterday was the launch of Rise Kombucha's new flavours, Mint/Chlorophyll (it tastes a lot better than you think) and Rose/Schizandra (a berrie that stimulates senses and reinforces the nervous system).  The party was at La Maison du Développement Durable, where four professional mixologists, from pub Le Mile and Barroco, mixed two different drinks each, one with alcohol, the other, virgin, using the two new flavours.

Kombucha is made by fermenting tea leaves. It's been popular in Asia for more than 2000 years. It was traditionally drank for multiple purposes, like to prepare soldiers for battle.  That might explain why I came out of the evening thoroughly pumped up after tasting, re-tasting and trying again just to be sure all of the eight cocktails.

To officially decide what drinks were the best, a quartet of tv personalities landed their taste buds.  Geneviève Borne, Jacinthe René, Karine Vanasse and George Laraque had the difficult task of judging all the drinks and decide which one (with and without alcohol) would win.
Their choices were Bouquet, by Maxime Boivin, for the alcohol category, and Morning Surprise, by Gabrielle Pannacio for the non-alcoholic one.
You can try all the recipes here.  Make sure you make the Kombucha Julep, a solid drink with bold taste, perfect for an experienced drinker like me!

Other flavors of kombucha are available on the market (the maple/blueberry one is ridiculously good!) and can be bought in grocery stores, bars, specialized stores and at Crudessence, for 3,75$.

Rise Kombucha is a clean and fresh drink, brewed to perfection by experts.  It's sparkly and definitely original. For the health conscious, it's a perfect match.  Kombucha has detoxifying and antioxidant properties and helps digestion.  It's also only 75 calories per bottle.

Personally, all I can say is that the two bottles I got at the event are long gone and I'm getting some more on my next grocery trip, just in time for St-Patrick's Day... I can only hope that its digestive qualities will be enough when faced with the Irish weekend!

Forest of the World

Beauty and Hendrick’s

Ariane, George and Stef :P
* update: It's confirmed, a bottle of mint/chlorophyll is the perfect cure for a hangover.  It works way more efficiently than gatorade, and taste better too! 
~Stef, the day after St-Pat's~ 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert

The Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert is this weekend.

On March 15, 16 and 17, at Palais des Congrès de Montréal, and March 23 and 24 at Centre des Congrès of Quebec City, hundreds of exhibitors are presenting green products ans services.  Stuff that's good for us and our planet.

I had the chance to test a few products before the expo and wow! I can't wait to discover and try the rest!

The first product I tried is a coconut vinegar, made by Organika, plain and with raw honey.  The taste reminds me of apple or rice vinegar, smooth with a hint of sweetness, but with a subtle coconut finally that sets it appart.  It tastes wonderful on a cucumber and tomato salad.  I used the honey one to deglazed a sauce that was used to cook chicken.  I still need to tweak it a little, but it's promising!  My next experiment will be a salad dressing on a spinach, almonds, bean sprouts and raisins salad.

The second product I tried is a Spice Tasting Kit by d'Origina Être Boréal.  The Girardville Forestry Cooperative produces about twenty different spices, all harvested in Quebec's boreal forest. The kit contains samples of: Lovage Root, Labrador Tea Spice, Powdered Wintergreen, Peppery Green Alder, Pine Forest Spikenard, Subtlety of Wild Currant Wonder and Honey Flowers.  It's a great way to test all those new flavours without breaking the bank.

It's always a bit intimidating to cook with new spices, especially when they are so different than what we're used to, so the kit also offers four recipes to use all of the spices provided.  I tried the Honey Flowers brownies and it was a success. The floral and honey taste of the spice shines clearly through the strong chocolate flavour. 
I also tried some of the recipes found on the d'Origina web site. I made the Labrador Tea Marinade for fish, on trout, and the pavé de saumon grillé à la délicatesse de gadelle sauvage (in the oven, since my BBQ was still under a foot of snow).  I'm not done experimenting and, Saturday, I'll go buy more of their spices available at the Expo.

If you need more convincing to go to the expo this weekend, note that Zorah biocosmétiques will be there to launch the first ever line of eco-friendly makeup made in Quebec!

You'll find the list of exhibitors here.

Palais des Congrès de Montréal
March 15-16-17, 2013

Friday 11am to 8pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 10am to 5pm

Main entrance:
1001, place Jean-Paul-Riopelle

Centre des Congrès de Québec
March 23-24, 2013

Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 10am to 5pm

Main entrance:
1000, boul. René-Lévesque Est

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cooking with maple everything

So to launch maple season in style, here's two awesomely great cookbooks!

First of all, winner of the Paris Cookbook Fair's "Cookbook of the year 2012" award: Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack, by Martin Picard.

The book is simply a work of art, filled with pictures, drawings, stories and anecdotes.  Doesn't matter if you like to cook or not, it's beautiful to look at.
The recipes' complexity goes from simple to Saint-honoré, so you should be able to find something you can make without setting your kitchen on fire or throwing the book out the window, which would be a bad idea 'cause it weights a ton and might kill someone if you live on the 2nd floor.

For those who prefer to keep a more classical approach, le Grand Livre de l'Érable is for you... if you can read french. A collaboration between Philippe Mollé and the Fédération des Producteurs Acéricoles du Québec, the book has three distinct chapters.

The first part talks about maple in all its shapes and colors; the history, legends, chemistry, properties and classifications. The second part is a collection of 40 of the best family recipes from all over Québec.
The last part has recipes by les Créatifs de l'Érable, professional chefs from Québec and Europe who work with maple to elevate it to another level.

Both books have been on my kitchen table for a few days and are steadily getting filled with post-it bookmarks.  I'm waiting for my annual trips to the sugar shack to fill in on maple goodness and start cooking!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Maple syrup time!

♪ En caravane allons à la cabane! 

Sugar shack season is finally here!!!

Recipes, new products and epicurean outings ideas, all with a maple twist, will be posted here all through March, don't miss it!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Café Barista

I'm writing this while drinking a homemade latte made with Café Barista coffe.  We went for a visit of their place yesterday. Alex Sereno, Enrico Serena and Carlos Orsini have transformed their Chabanel district office into a coffee shop, roasting plant and tv studio.  Their positive energy and passion for high end italian style espresso is contagious, it was a great evening!

Les produits offerts
Le nouveau barista
Tablette de paradis

We visited the roasting plant, where they prepare their different blends of coffee everyday. The beans come from all over the world and are mixed precisely to create specific blends that will be sold to the public and signature ones for a few lucky restaurateurs.

The guys want to keep business smallish so they will never have to reduce the quality of the final product.  You won't find their coffee in big supermarkets, but in specialized stores and gourmet markets.

If you don't have one of those places nearby, you can order online.  Café Barista offers free shipping everywhere in Quebec and Ontario, in 24 hours! So you really have no excuse to not get this awesome coffee, made here, by really nice people.
They have such a variety of taste and strength in their coffee that you'll find the perfect one for your taste buds for sure.

Yesterday was also the launch of their latest podcast's episode.  CafeBarista.TV is a webTV that features everything epicurean. In the 3 x 3 minutes show, Stefano Faita presents his family's business, Quincaillerie Dante and shows us how to make an affogato, a wonderfully simple and delicious italian dessert.

And that brings us to their new concept... how to prepare a delicious meal in 10 minutes or less.  Everybody is invited to send their recipes ideas, the only rule being it has to be done in less than 10 minutes.. easy right? The idea is to see if it's possible to eat right, quickly, when you get home from work, without resorting to takeout or frozen pizza.

Great plan... but I still have no idea how to make it a reality!

Speaking of food... the buffet provided was out of this world good!  Natural cold cuts (organic, happy meat) were provided by Fumagalli and Dolce & compagnie, Enrico Perugini's baby, had brought cannoli and sfogliatelles, an italian pastry imported directly from Naples and freshly baked in Montreal. it's so good you'll cry.

All these discoveries suddenly make me want to hang out in this area of Montreal that's 5 minutes from my place and that I'd always thought was a no man's land.. obviously, it's not! Especially now that I've met the new friendly barista ;)

Cannoli and sfogliatelle, try them!!!
Affogato takes minutes to prepare.  You make strong coffee, pour about an espresso worth in a bowl or short glass, add ice cream, crumble a few amaretti on top, there you go!
affogato, quick and delicious dessert
Follow Café Barista on:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mondial des Cidres de Glace

This weekend (February 8 to 10) is the 6th edition of the Mondial des Cidres de Glace, in Rougemont.
24 producers from Quebec will be there to introduce you to their products.  I've already tasted a few of them because I have a serious love affair with ice cider, so believe me when I say you want to go to the Mondial!  It's a very efficient way to taste a lot of ciders, without breaking the bank (and your liver)

In addition to ice cider tasting, to soak up a bit of the alcohol between tasting, there will be a food fair. Local producers will offer poultry, cheese, bread and pastries, honey, fudge, maple products and more.

New this year, two shows will conclude Friday and Saturday evening.  Sylvain Cossette (Friday) and Luce Dufault (Saturday) will offer a performance at 9:30pm.  Tickets are 36$ (taxes included) and places are limited.
*update: the heated venue only has 250 seats. Tickets are on sale on Admission or at Rougemont's City Hall (cash only), at 61, chemin de Marieville.  450-469-3790.

Rougemont municipality will also offer a display of fireworks and music, Friday only, at 8:30pm. Guess which day I'm going? :P

Add to that play areas, live ice sculpting, animation, tasting for kids (non-alcoholic, duh!) and the Mondial promises to offer a good time to all!

Pictures and verdict will be posted sometime next week.

Winners of this years's Quebec ice cider contest

Check out the Mondial des Cidres de Glace's website for admission fees and how to get there.