Although it may feel like summer now, the solstice doesn’t actually take place until Sunday, June 20th when the sun reaches its highest and northern-most points in the sky. This marks the longest day of the year and for us living in the Toronto area, that’s almost fifteen and half hours of incredible sunlight! Image of Sunset
This year's summer solstice also falls on Father’s Day which means an even greater celebration is in order! And as timing has it, Canada Day is just over a week after both the summer solstice and Father's Day. To commemorate all these occasions, we are throwing one huge party, Spirit of the Summer, and we invite you to join our celebration while enjoying your own outdoor space!
Every celebration should start with a special drink and ours will be the Caesar with a twist – brightening up the classic Canadian beverage with a splash of pineapple juice and a dash of pineapple habanero hot sauce (we recommend Get It While It's Hot from Milton, ON. The result is a blast of flavor that is of cosmic proportions, exactly what’s required for this type of celebration. Check out the recipe for the Solstice Caesar.
Peculiar that Clamato juice was invented in New York, and Canadians are its biggest customers, for Caesars of course! To support local, we tend to look to our favourite Canadian brand of Caesar mix. Singers, which is made locally in Ancaster, Ontario.
Did you know you can get some award-winning vodka and spirits to add into your Caesars (or other cocktails) from the many new distilleries across the country, including several in Ontario? King’s Lock Craft Distillery is the one I recommend have collaborated with.
And the final, not-to-be-missed step to any good Caesar is the garnish. Traditionally served with celery and a celery salt rimmed glass, today there are countless options and new creative additions are being created all the time: from pickles, kimchi, seaweed, bacon, seafood…the options are endless! The new trend for Caesars is to have a cornucopia of garnishes. You literally get a meal in your drink!
Fire is used symbolically throughout summer solstice celebrations in praise of the sun, to bring luck and to ward off the darkness. BBQ, campfire cooking and smoking pays homage to the sun and it makes for awesome cooking! Food just seems to taste better when it's grilled, enjoyed outside and shared!
Our menu for the Spirit of the Summer celebration event, takes inspiration from some of Canada’s top grill masters and chefs such Rob Rainford and Chuck Hughes. So, get your BBQs ready as we are going do a Canadian version of pulled pork with solstice influences.
The southern tradition of pulled pork has become a much-loved dish around the world with various cultural influences creating many new versions.
As our featured Solstice Caesar is made with a splash of pineapple juice and a dash of pineapple habanero hot sauce, chef Rob Rainford’s recipe for pineapple rum sauce is where the inspiration for this pulled pork recipe is from. With the bright flavours of both pineapple and habanero providing the solstice influences, we add a Canadian stamp by using maple syrup in the barbeque sauce. With the growing demand for plant-based options, we’re also offering this recipe using jackfruit. Equally, satisfy and mouth-watering! Both recipes can be reviewed from our recipe file.
Traditionally severed on a bun will coleslaw and pickles, we’re suggesting a cilantro-lime coleslaw which will add texture and cut through the richness of the meat while enhancing all the flavours. This recipe is also included in our recipe file.
But how about trying this spicy and sweet pulled pork served up in tacos, on nachos or even pizza with grated cheddar and garnished with cilantro and a squeeze of lime. A truly Canadian version would be on top of poutine. Leftovers could be served on top of waffles, then topped with a poached egg, with a hint of kimchi and a side of cilantro-lime coleslaw for a mind-blowing brunch!
Finishing our celebration meal on a sweet side with the Nanaimo Bar, a Canadian classic, originating from Nanaimo, British Columbia. The soft layer of luscious yellow custard is sandwiched between rich chocolate ganache and a coconut- graham crust that is to die for. The recipe can be found in our recipe index as well.
And as the celebration continues to nightfall, toast some marshmallows and everyone can have fun making s’mores. Graham crackers sandwiched between toasted marshmallows and chocolate is pure summer fun. Crackers or pretzels offer a sweet and salty take.
We hope you enjoyed this tour of our Spirit of the Summer celebration. We have captured this event in our Spirit of the Summer event including a virtual mixologist offering tips and recipes for the perfect summer cocktails. Check it out on our Events page.