While in Tokyo a couple of years ago, I walked into Bar Helissio for an afternoon tipple. One of the bartenders greeted me with a smile and asked which drink I'd like. "Something refreshing," I replied. A few minutes later, the bartender presented a bright green cocktail – Midouri Whisky Sour – served up in a coupe glass. It was simply delightful.

Haven’t heard of Midori before? Well, it is a neon green, sweet, muskmelon-flavoured liqueur crafted by the Japanese distiller, Suntory. In 1978, Midori was launched at a star-studded party in New York City’s Studio 54. In 1981, it became a back-bar staple with 100,000 cases produced worldwide. Eventually, production was shifted to Mexico. In 2001, its sales exceeded 250,000 cases. Today, Midori is available in over 30 countries and is favoured mostly by young drinkers. Midori is used as a core mixing ingredient in cocktails like Midori Margarita, Melonball, and Midori Sour.

In the Midouri Whisky Sour, the acidity of the limes and lemons balances the sweetness of Midori. Due to the lower alcohol content of the liqueur, I prefer adding some Maker’s Mark or Jack Daniel’s for a tantalizing twist. The addition of Sprite completes the drink by adding a slight fizz to it, but you can replace it with club soda if you think it’s too sweet for you.


  • 3 tbsps. of Midori
  • 2 tbsps. of whisky
  • 2 tbsps. of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp simple syrup
  • Sprite

The Process

Take an ice-filled shaker, add the whisky, Midori, lemon juice, lime juice, and simple syrup and shake vigorously. Once done, strain into the glass over ice and add a dash of Sprite. Garnish it with a maraschino cherry or two and your Midouri Whisky Sour is ready. Cheers!

Stirring Up History with the Mamie Taylor

A drink named after a prima donna of an opera company from Ontario, supremely popular in the 1900s but forgotten in the coming years, that’s Mamie Taylor for you. The very popular singer-actress, Mamya Taylor is rumoured to have requested a ‘long, hard drink’ after one of her performances at a downtown bar. And the bartender in charge was only too eager to please the princess. But the drink that graced the table was nothing like what she had ordered. Golden and gorgeous, served in a tall glass shimmering with a cold sheen of moisture, the drink was soft, smooth and perfectly sour. Mamya and her entourage loved the drink and asked for the name. The witty bartender behind the mischief wasted no time in saying, “Why, but that was a Mamie Taylor you just had!’ and the cocktail was born. In his book Vintage Spirits & Forgotten Cocktails, Ted Haigh claims that the Mamie Taylor was the most popular cocktail of its time. The subsequent fallout the cocktail is surprising. But whatever be the truth, the drink was one of its kind.

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Sip on Serpent's Tooth for Succor This St. Patrick's Day

The Serpent’s Tooth, like the name suggests, is a cocktail with a bite. With spicy liqueurs, bitters and a dash of tart lemon juice, it definitely packs a punch.The origins of its name is uncertain. Some presume it to be borrowed from Shakespeare’s King Lear (“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!”). Others claim that since the drink has Irish roots, it is an allusion to the legend of St. Patrick. And as we get close to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, let us tell you a little about the myth attached with this drink. St. Patrick was a Romano-British Christian bishop and missionary in fifth-century Ireland. A popular folklore maintains that he banished all the snakes from the country, after they attacked him on a hill-top. He was enduring a 40-day fast at the time, and in defense, managed to chase every snake into the sea.  No snake has ever been sighted in all of Ireland since the episode. However, all evidence reveals that Ireland has never been home to snakes at all. Regardless, the tale is an entertaining one, and continues to be passed down generations. St. Patrick’s Day is observed to mark the passing away of this legendary saint. It is a day now marked by overflowing spirits and vibrant, verdant fervor. And, who can pass on an opportunity to drink and make merry with friends?

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Weekend Treat: Chipotle BBQ and Whiskey Chicken Tacos

This weekend, try something new — something that takes time but is worth all the effort. Think juicy slow-cooked chicken legs and whiskey. If you are in, here’s a Mexican recipe that is bound to win hearts.You will need…

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