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If a kiss is on your wish list this season, skip the mistletoe and head straight for the Champagne, the key ingredient in Candy & Cane, a romantic his-and-her cocktail duo made by the award-winning mixologist Hakim Lebreau, star of the bar at Montreal's Le Vauvert. "It's something I invented when my girlfriend asked me to make cocktails for a reception she was throwing," says Lebreau, who used strawberries and rosemary to give his two-pronged recipe its seasonal red-and-green hue.

To do the drink pair justice, you'll need two types of glassware - a small, stubby glass for "him" and a long, slender flute for "her." Each has the same foundation: Muddle the rosemary, lemon, strawberries and simple syrup in a shaker, then add bitters. For the "feminine" Candy, add vodka and St. Germain elderflower liqueur; for the "masculine" Cane, add cognac. Shake well, pour into their respective glasses (which should be filled with ice and rimmed in sugar), top with Champagne and garnish with rosemary sprigs and strawberry slices. Then pucker up: The kiss does cometh.

Candy

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1 ounce vodka

1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur

1 rosemary branch

4 strawberries

3/4 ounce simple syrup

1/2 lemon

2 ounces Champagne

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1 drop Angostura bitters

Cane

1 1/4 ounce Cognac VSOP

1 rosemary branch

4 strawberries

3/4 ounce simple syrup

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1/2 lemon

2 ounces Champagne

2 dashes Angostura bitters

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

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