Published Date

TORONTO, June 2, 2022 /CNW/ - Back in Toronto for its third season, the Absolut Empire's Ball has delivered another showstopping run, welcoming Canadian queens from all backgrounds to participate in the ultimate drag competition. Now, all eyes are on the prize heading into this year's Grand Finale, a Pride Toronto affiliated event on June 18th, where one house will be crowned the next drag empire.

Created, produced and hosted by international drag superstar and Canada's Drag Race Season 1 finalist, Scarlett BoBo, the Finale will see House Bontemps, House Diamonds, P.H.A.G. House and Haus Injustice compete, with performances by Scarlett BoBo, Ivory Towers, Helena Poison, and more.

"I come from a strong Drag Family background, the BoBos are a legendary house, and I wanted to return that sense of family and elevate it with a ball," says Scarlett BoBo. "Every year it gets bigger and bigger, and the finale is where everyone showcases their talent to the world. I can't wait to see what these houses bring to the ball this year, it's going to be iconic!"

The Absolut Empire's Ball is the only grassroots drag competition that welcomes all types of entertainers to compete in a safe and inclusive space with their chosen houses, all in celebration of Pride and in support of important causes. Sponsored by long standing LGBTQ2S+ ally, Absolut Vodka, proceeds from the event, including $1 from every Absolut Vodka sold, will go to Rainbow Railroad and the 519. Patrons will also have the opportunity to donate to Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP) onsite.

"The Absolut Empire's Ball has grown into a vital event over its history, bringing together the diversity of our communities and shining a spotlight on the creativity of established and upcoming drag queens," says Kimahli Powell, Rainbow Railroad Executive Director. "Thanks to the leadership of Scarlett and support of Absolut, funds from the Absolut Empire's Ball have helped Rainbow Railroad provide life-saving support to dozens of LGBTQI+ people facing persecution around the world."

Since 2018, the Empire's Ball and Absolut Vodka have donated over $40,000 to LGBTQ2S+ charities in Toronto, becoming a drag sensation that has featured dozens of performers across Canada.

"Balls have been, and continue to be, a backbone of Queer and Trans history and liberation. Balls are a space where racialized 2S, queer, and trans folks are able to truly and fully express ourselves unbound by binary expectations of gender expression and sexuality," says the 519. "A powerful fusion of fashion, dance, and personal as well as community expression, drag balls are sites of power, community, family, and resilience. The 519 is committed to holding space for our current and future generations of houses and to nurture and support this foundational tradition of the communities we hold so dear, and on whose shoulders we stand."

"We're so excited to have the Absolut Empire's Ball as an affiliated event of Pride Toronto on June 18th," says Sherwin Modeste, Executive Director, Pride Toronto. "It's a full circle moment for us, as the Season One finale was held on our Yonge and Dundas Stage. The Absolut Empire's Ball and Scarlett's spirit of inclusion and investing in the community in Toronto is inspiring, and we look forward to their support in raising funds with us for Black CAP at the finale."

On June 18th, join the Ball in the heart of Toronto's Gay Village and raise a glass in celebration of Pride and in support of incredible local talent and causes. Secure your tickets to the Absolut Empire's Ball Finale today at, while supplies last.

Published Date

TORONTO, May 26, 2022 /CNW/ - Today, Junction Craft Brewery (JCB) is pleased to announce their acquisition of Woodhouse Brewing Co.—an independent craft brewer based in Toronto—and the establishment of a new parent company, Junction Craft Beverage Co. (JCBC).


For 11 years, the brewery has been a staple in the west Toronto beer scene, producing a range of exceptional craft beers including their flagship beer, award-winning Conductor's Craft Ale. In October of 2021, the company initiated a formal restructuring, allowing them to streamline their finances and operations, positioning the business for a post-COVID world and fast-changing beverage market. With the creation of this parent company, they are commencing a multi-year expansion and brewery investment strategy, solidifying their evolution from brewery to beverage company. JCBC will build and further define the growing suite of services and brand portfolio established under JCB.  Today the business consists of two areas:

  • JCBC brand portfolio - Junction Craft Brewery, Woodhouse Brewing Co., Caribru
  • Craft Beer Services - Co-packing services supporting craft beverage entrepreneurs and businesses

"Over the last two years, JCB has evolved into a multi-brand/co-packing business. We are now well-positioned to accelerate our growth, keeping pace with the changing beverage market. Leveraging our facility strengths, successes and learnings, we've expanded our capabilities to include Ready-to-Drink (RTD), non-alcoholic beer and sparkling beverages," says Stuart Wheldon, CEO of Junction Craft Beverage Co. "We're seeing constant creative innovation coming out of the small and medium-sized beverage space. Our goal is to be right there with our peers, offering value added services to our partners, from product development and production to logistics and distribution support. Combined with our own brand strategy, we're creating a business that celebrates all things craft and lets us do the thing we love most: create exceptional beverages for our customers."

In support of this new strategy, JCBC's acquisition of Woodhouse Brewing Co. adds a selection of quality craft beer to complement their growing brand portfolio. Woodhouse founder, Graham Woodhouse, joins JCBC as VP of Sales, overseeing the entire brand portfolio and retains an ownership stake in the business.

"We've worked with the Woodhouse team for years, producing a number of products for them," says Wheldon. "Bringing Woodhouse onboard is both an exciting and logical step for us. We're excited to work with Graham and his team, supporting the great work they have done and providing them with additional infrastructure and resources to help continue to grow the brand and reach new customers."

"As one of Ontario's largest contract brewers, we're proud of what we've accomplished over the last eight years," says Woodhouse founder, Graham Woodhouse. "Joining JCBC, a larger organisation with a physical brewery, allows us to access new channels, more easily bringing new products to market. It's important that we continue to serve our customers by supplying exceptional products where and however they want to purchase them. We are excited to be a part of this journey with JCBC."

Today, JCBC produces over 70 different products for more than 30 different partners, including craft beer, spirit based RTDs, non-alcoholic beer, and sparkling beverages. Their online offering provides customers with free same day delivery across Toronto for both JCB and partner products. With the new addition of Woodhouse, and the establishment of JCBC, customers can expect to see an expanded product offering and more exciting announcements in the coming months.

Woodhouse products are now available online and at the JCBC retail shop and taproom.

Connect with JCBC | Website

Published Date

Braving the “all boys” clubhouse of the world of whisky has not been easy, but Shelley Sackier has managed to do just that out of her love for the drink. In her new book, Make it a Double: From Wretched to Wondrous: Tales of One Woman’s Lifelong Discovery of Whisky, she offers a witty and immersive look at the history, mythology, science, and magical touch that makes whisky taste like liquid gold.

There has never been a better time for Shelley’s inimitable voice to shed light on the world of whisky. Women are not only impressively contributing to the burgeoning sales of the spirit—making up nearly 40% of the whiskey-drinking population in the United States—but they are also growing in number as they enter into, train within, and lead the industry with their determined creativity and innovation.

By turns funny and poignant, and filled with vivid insight into this rich craft, Make it a Double will make even a teetotaler want a wee dram. In the tradition of Blood, Bones, and Butter, and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, this fascinating inside-look at the world of women in whisky establishes Shelley Sackier as a fresh new voice in the rich world of culinary narrative.

About the Author: As a woman whose first sip of whisky created the female doppelganger of a Mr. Yuk sticker, Shelley Sackier’s view of the spirit changed on a trip to Scotland. After completing a short course in Scotland’s Bruichladdich Distillery, she began writing about—and working within—the world of whisky. For the past twenty-five years she has devoted her efforts toward creating a plainspoken, easygoing, and humorous grasp on the subject to welcome more into this realm. As the Director of Distillery Education at Reservoir Distillery in Virginia, her aim is to distill down this sophisticated spirit one simple sip at a time. She is also a critically acclaimed author of three YA novels. Visit her at

Published Date

ATOTONILCO EL ALTO, Mexico, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- PATRÓN tequila, the world's number one super-premium tequila*, is now the official tequila of the F1 Paddock Club, the ultimate trackside experience Formula 1® offers to VIP guests at each race weekend.  This marks the first-ever exclusive tequila partnership within the F1 Paddock Club debuting at the premium yacht experience at the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2022, and further solidifies PATRÓN's role in the world of F1®, following the recent collaboration with beloved Mexican racing icon Sergio "Checo" Perez earlier this year.

The Paddock Club, the pinnacle of Formula 1® hospitality, takes fans behind the scenes and into the heart of the action. Along with exclusive experiences including a unique trackside view of the start/finish straight and the pit lane, guests can also access tours of the pit lane and hang out in spaces above the team's garages that feature a bar experience - now serving signature PATRÓN tequila cocktails - refreshments, entertainment, and appearances by F1® drivers.

"Just as PATRÓN goes to extraordinary lengths to deliver perfection in every drop of our 100% naturally perfect tequila, that same tireless dedication to perfection can be seen in F1 – from the drivers, to the crews to the passionate fans who live for the sport. This is an exciting time for motorsport with the explosive growth and rising interest from fans around the globe and at PATRÓN, we are thrilled to be part of that passion as the official tequila partner for F1," said Kathy Parker, President & Global Chief Marketing Officer of PATRÓN.  "After the announcement of our collaboration with Checo Perez earlier this year, becoming a part of the exclusive Paddock Club experience was a natural next step for PATRÓN to help make guests race day experience simply perfect with a PATRÓN cocktail in hand."

F1 Paddock Club guests will now get exclusive access to enjoy custom PATRÓN cocktails at the PATRÓN bars inside the F1 Paddock Club lounge including the signature cocktail of the season – The PATRÓN Pole Position Paloma. This cocktail will be served amongst a variety of other PATRÓN specialty drinks for guests to celebrate responsibly at race weekends around the world to toast to your favorite F1® team.

The PATRÓN Pole Position Paloma Recipe
1.5 oz PATRÓN Reposado
3 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
.5 oz Agave syrup
.5 oz Fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 oz Sparkling water
+Sugar and salt for rimming
+Grapefruit wedge for garnish

"We are proud to be bringing the world's number one super premium tequila together with F1, to enhance our VIP experience for our fans in the prestigious F1 Paddock Club," said Chloe Targett-Adams, Director of Race Promotion & Hospitality at Formula 1®. "PATRÓN is the perfect brand to be our exclusive tequila partner for the Paddock Club and look forward to creating a best-in-class cocktail experience at the upcoming races this season and in 2023."

Published Date

TORONTO, May 19, 2022 /CNW/ - Attention Caesar lovers! For the second year in a row, Mott's® Clamato® is inviting Canadians to help crown the "Best Caesar in Town®" and give one deserving establishment a shot at winning $25,000.  But it doesn't stop there! "For every Mott's® Clamato® product sold between May 19th and September 5th, $1 of every purchase will go towards a donation to the Bartenders Benevolent Fund (up to a maximum of $30,000)."

"When it comes to cocktails, nothing's more Canadian than a Caesar. That's why we're so proud to support the bartenders, mixologists and industry professionals who've helped make this iconic cocktail what it is today," said Cameron Butt, Director of Marketing for Mott's® Clamato. "We also wanted to show our solidarity with the hospitality industry that's been through so much these last two years and shine a light on all the bars and restaurants that make this country great."

Starting on May 19th (National Caesar Day) until July 4th, Canadians will be given the opportunity to nominate their favourite local bars and restaurants that make the best Caesar by visiting Any establishment that receives at least five nominations will immediately advance to the semi-finals and move one step closer to the chance of winning the $25,000 grand prize. $15,000 will also be awarded to the second place finalist and $10,000 to the third place1. As a show of thanks, all nominators will automatically be entered for a chance to WIN a Backyard Lounge Prize for their participation.

From all the nominations received, a judging panel will select 30 semi-finalists who will be asked to submit a short video sharing their Best Caesar recipe. Out of the 30 selects, a top 10 will be announced and then it is up to you. Public voting opens on July 29th and will run until September 5th. All 10 videos will be shared online to help Canadians and the judges make their final decision.

Key dates to remember2:

●    Nominations Open - May 19, 2022 – July 4, 2022

●    Semi-finalists submissions - July 5, 2022 -July 18, 2022
●    Judging Period - July 19, 2022 - July 27, 2022
●    Top 10 Finalists Voting Open to Public - July 29, 2022 – September 5, 2022
●    Live Virtual Ceremony - September 28, 2022

Sorso Lounge, from Airdrie Alberta, was the 2021 winner, which was chosen among 255 Canadian restaurants for their "Suffering Caesar" cocktail inspired by Guatemalan Worry Dolls. London Richard's video was one of ten videos shared on the company website where Canadians voted to help choose the grand prize winner. 

Who will be the 2022 winner? Now's your chance to help Mott's® Clamato® crown the "Best Caesar in Town®" and show your favourite bar or restaurant some love3. For full details, including competition rules and regulations, please visit:

1: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. During the Nomination Period, Nominators may nominate, via the Entry Form (each, a "Nomination" and collectively, the "Nominations") on (the "Website"), a local bar/restaurant (each, a "Bar/Restaurant" and collectively, the "Bars/Restaurants") that makes the best Caesar in town, using a Mott's® Clamato® product, to give that Bar/Restaurant a chance to win $25,000 CAD (the "First Prize"), $15,000 CAD (the "Second Prize") or $10,000 (the "Third Prize"). Such Bar/Restaurant must meet to the best of the Nominator's knowledge the qualifying conditions established in Section 2 (Eligibility) of these rules and regulations.

2: KEY DATES: The Mott's® Clamato® Best Caesar in Town 2022 Competition (the "Competition") is brought to you by Canada Dry Mott's Inc. (the "Sponsor") and is being managed and implemented by its promotional agency, Mosaic Sales Solutions (hereinafter the "Representative"). The Competition consists of (i) the preliminary nomination period taking place between May 19, 2022 at 9:00:00 a.m. Eastern Time ("ET") and July 4, 2022 at 8:59:59 a.m. ET (the "Nomination Period"); (ii) the semi-finalist video submissions taking place between July 5, 2022 at 9:00:00 a.m. ET and July 18, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the "Semi-Finalist Submissions"); (iii) the judging period taking place between July 19, 2022 at 12:00:00 a.m. ET and July 27, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the "Judging Period"); and (iv) the voting period taking place between July 29, 2022 at 9:00:00 a.m. ET and September 5, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the "Voting Period"). The Competition begins on May 19, 2022 at 9:00:00 a.m. ET and ends on September 5, 2022 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET (the "Competition Period"). 

3: ELIGIBILITY: The Competition is open only to Bars/Restaurants in Canada who meet the following criteria: • The Bar/Restaurant must have five or less physical locations within Canada; • The Bar/Restaurant must be an independently owned/non franchised licensed establishment; • The Bar/Restaurant must serve Mott's® Clamato® Caesars; • The Bar/Restaurant must have a valid liquor license • The Bar/Restaurant must be in business and operating before January 1, 2021, through to present and shall not have filed for Bankruptcy


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