Cocktails to sip by candlelight

Let’s stamp out global warming, one cocktail at a time. Or two. But make sure you drink them by candlelight.

As cities around the world turn off the lights Saturday from 8 to 9 p.m. as part of the global Earth Hour effort, the Fairmont Royal York Hotel’s famously cosy Library Bar will be serving a trio of cocktails created to mark the historic event.

Bartender Mike Astins, a 15-year veteran of the bar trade, came up with the recipes, tweaking familiar cocktails to follow the Earth Hour theme.


At first blush, we were struck by the fact the recipes seem to contain a liberal amount of liquor, not to mention a varied mix of kinds of alcohol. Turns out Astins is a very inclusionary barkeep.

“I take a lot of pride in using all my liqueurs equally,” says the affable Astins.

“I don’t like any liquor to sit there and feel unwanted.”

Doubtless romance will emerge as a theme on Saturday night, with all that sitting in the old English club-like comfort of the Library Bar amid flickering candles.

For that, Astins would likely suggest his Earth Hour creation, Turn Your Lights Down Low, a potent mix of gin, triple sec, rum, vodka, fresh lemon juice, a splash of simple syrup and a drizzle of black Sambuca.

Sweet drink fans will gravitate toward The Green Movement, a blend of vanilla vodka, Tequila Rose liqueur, cognac, Frangelico and a splash of cream, shaken and strained into a martini glass rimmed with green-coloured simple syrup.

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Global Warming

  • Fresh ice

  • 1/8 each of an orange and lemon, cut into cubes, rind left on 3 ripe strawberries, cut in half 2 oz Crown Royal

  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (made by boiling together 1 part water and 2 parts sugar until sugar dissolves; cool)

  • dash Angostura bitters

  • splash of soda water

  • Add fruit to the bottom of an Old Fashioned glass. Top with bitters and simple syrup. Muddle all together with a muddler or handle of a wooden spoon. Add whisky. Top with soda. Makes 1 drink.