yukon blonde toronto

The other week, I had the chance to take part in a bourbon tasting event with Jim Beam, before heading off to the surprise Yukon Blonde show they put on at the Mod Club (if you were lucky, you might have even won a pair of tickets to it from me).

There are few things that go together better than a good bourbon and live music, so this was the perfect night for me.

I arrived early at the venue, where a handful of bloggers were on hand to learn all about the different varieties of bourbon Jim Beam makes. Each bottle had various levels of aging involved, and there was even a Honey and Apple variety that I was proceeded to happily drink the rest of the night. Who knew flavoured bourbon was a thing? Turns out it’s a really, really great thing.

jim beam mixologist

Their fabulously bearded mixologist taught us all about what goes into aging the perfect bottle of bourbon, and I found it interesting that whiskey barrels can never be reused for whiskey because, high standards (they do get recycled for aging other kinds of liqour though).

Also, there is a minimum rule that (I might be remembering this wrong) whiskey in Canada must be aged at least 2 years, and all Jim Beam bourbon is aged at least 3 years. So this might be why I find bourbon so much stronger than any other hard liquor I indulge in.

jim beam canada

We each had the chance to create our own drink for the evening, and because I was so into the Apple bourbon during the tasting, he suggested I try this combo:

1 ounce regular Jim Beam

1 ounce apple Jim Beam

1 part simple cinnamon syrup

Top with ginger beer

No lie – it ended up tasting like apple pie. It is going to become my new go to staple at my home bar. So simple, so yummy.

After we had our new cocktails in hand, we headed downstairs to see the Luke Austin Band open, and then Yukon Blonde took the stage. As per usual they brought their uplifting, carefree west coast pop rock to Toronto and the packed venue was singing along to every song. While On Blonde hasn’t pulled me in quite as much as Tiger Talk did back in 2012, I still always have a blast seeing these guys live. Jeff and co. always give their all onstage, and the crowd of diehards that won their way into this event were definitely happy to see them again.

Overall, it was an excellent night of live music and great tunes, and I will be incorporating more bourbon cocktails into my bartending repertoire immediately.

 Lisa