A year ago today, there was drizzle and fog to start the morning. But it cleared up in Winnipeg by 2 p.m. and the temperature peaked at 17 C at 6 p.m.
The Environment Canada forecast for April 14, 2013 is a high of 1 C, with five to 10 centimetres of snow in the evening. It's enough to drive a winter-weary Winnipegger to drink.
Here are some cocktails to consider imbibing instead of worrying about the seemingly permanent state of winter and whether you'll ever see green grass again:
Forever Dark 'n' Stormy
The Dark 'n' Stormy is a classic cocktail popularized on the sunny shores of Bermuda. It's traditionally made by pouring ginger beer and dark rum over ice and adding a wedge of lime.
In Winnipeg, where the winter just won't seem to end, we have a more legitimate need to drown our sorrows. Hence this sub-Arctic take on a British colonial classic, with a nod to our tooth-decaying means of choice -- the Slurpee.
Ginger ale slush (see below)
1 1/2 ounces dark rum
Directions: Go to 7-Eleven and buy a ginger ale Slurpee. Immediately take it home. This is an important step. If you can not find a ginger ale Slurpee dispenser, pour any commercial ginger ale -- Canada Dry, Schweppes and no-name are all fine -- or ginger beer into an ice-cream maker or granita machine.
When the slush is ready, pour it into a plastic cup and add dark rum.
Drink from a straw and pretend it's nice outside. For added effect, wear shorts and sandals.
Parcel Four Score
The Four Score was created in 1954 in honour of Winston Churchill's 80th birthday. Surface-parking lot Parcel Four was created when the City of Winnipeg decided to realign William Stephenson Way, a street named after the Winnipeg-born Second World War spy who served under Churchill.
In honour of the very tenuous connection between the contentious gravel lot and the man who led Great Britain through its darkest hour, here's something to sip while you contemplate potential uses for the most valuable plot of city-owned vacant land in Winnipeg's core.
1 1/2 ounces of brandy
One ounce of Lillet, vermouth or any other fortified, aromatized wine
Half ounce of yellow chartreuse, Strega or any other herbal liqueur
Directions: Invite several friends over. Place all liquids into a glass with ice. Stir gently to cool. Strain into a lowball glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Offer to one of your friends without offering it to any of your other friends. Rescind the offer following the public outcry. Attempt to drink it yourself. Sit back and think about what you have done.
The Leaf Doesn't Fall Far
According to multiple accounts, the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau could never get enough orange juice. Decades before Bev Oda charged taxpayers $16 for a single glass, Trudeau always made sure the stuff was on hand.
It's unclear whether eldest son Justin Trudeau is just as crazy about OJ, though he certainly wants to follow in other aspects of his father's footsteps.
Here's a Manhattan-based drink to mark the expected coronation today of the new Liberal leader, who may or may not have the ability to transform the Prime Minister's Office into a hereditary institution:
1 1/2 ounces Canadian whisky
Half ounce of dry vermouth
Half ounce of sweet vermouth
Half ounce of maple syrup
Directions: Pour maple syrup and bitters into a shaker with ice. Add vermouth and whisky. Shake gently and then strain not once -- but twice -- into an old-fashioned glass, because we've clearly done this before. Whether we'll regret doing it again remains to be seen.
Hair of the Panther
Florida Panthers' enforcer George Parros has a truly magnificent moustache. Winnipeg Jets fans are the most creative in the National Hockey League when it comes to creating chants.
After the Jets built up a huge lead over the Panthers on Thursday night on the way to a 7-2 victory, the fans resorted to chanting "Parros moustache." The right-winger had just taken a double-minor penalty and the outcome of the game wasn't in any sort of doubt.
"I guess if I'm going to break the 1,000 (career penalty minutes) barrier, it may as well be to a sold-out crowd yelling at my moustache," Parros tweeted after the game.
In honour of his sense of humour as well as the hangover from Thursday's big loss, here's a morning-after pain-reliever that could get caught anyone's bushy 'stache:
One ounce of tequila
St. James Pale Ale or any other non-hoppy beer
Tabasco, Tapatio or other hot sauce
Salt and lemon pepper
Directions: Wet the rim of a pint glass with lime juice. Rim with salt and lemon pepper. Fill with a 50-50 mixture of beer and Clamato. Add tequila and a dash of hot sauce. Keep it out of your moustache while you imbibe.
The Bad Batch
AFTER an unusual number of hospital admissions for adverse reactions to methamphetamine, the Winnipeg Police Service took the unusual step of issuing a public warning Thursday night about a possible "bad batch" of the illegal stimulant hitting the streets.
Winnipeggers can be justified in wondering whether there is such a thing as good meth. The answer is no, but police should be commended for any harm-reduction attempt.
In honour of their effort, here's a truly terrible and utterly tasteless drink:
One ounce of non-premium gin
No ice or garnish of any sort
Directions: Pour both ingredients into a tumbler. Try not to wince when you drink it. Then have something else.