Ordination Anniversary Celebration

Last year on Saint Andrew’s day I celebrated the day and my ordination anniversary with a variety of Scottish food and beverages. This year is a milestone year, as yesterday marked 10 years of ordained ministry.

anniversary single malt
I started my anniversary celebrations with the Auchentoshan, a lowland whisky.

Given that I thought I try and do something a little special and celebrate the day with some good single malt, among other things. In preparation for the day, I posted in the Manitoba’s Bartenders Guild group on Facebook. This a group that I joined a little while ago to make up for my lack of knowledge of cocktails, etc. They are also the group that sponsored the Bruichladdich  Scotch tasting event that I attended earlier this year.

I received several good suggestions, but the most common answer I received was that The Toad in the Hole in Osborne Village was the place that I should go. I took their advice and made my plans, intending to go to the Toad for 6 pm. I also invited any friends who wanted to join me. However. I didn’t bother to check when the Scotch was available and it turns out that the Toad only opens it’s whisky bar at 8 pm on Fridays. I still need to make a visit to Toad in the Hole to see what the list is really like.

Now, I could have waited, but I’ve reached that point in my life that I like to be in bed by a reasonable hour, and if I wanted to enjoy my beverages during an extended evening, I was prepared to start drinking that late(In other words, I’m old and need my sleep).

One of the people who had responded to my request on Facebook, was Stephan Poissan, the manager at the Langside Grocery, a relatively new cocktail bar in the West Broadway neighbourhood of Winnipeg. Given where I was, the Langside Grocery is a fairly quick trip over from The Toad in the Hole.

Langside Grocery derives it’s name from the fact that it’s premises were, in former times, a grocery store. As I arrived I noticed that the building has big windows that are divided into many small panes. I had recently watched The Christmas Carol that Goes Wrongand have been reading Gyles Brandreth’s, Oscar Wilde Mysteries, and thought the building has a real nice Victorian look to it.

Inside their are two long bars along the streetside windows, with two long banquettes along the interior wall. These banquettes feature a few tables, with some chairs opposite. It makes for a tight and cozy little place.

Langside Grocery opens at 5 pm every night, and when I arrived at 6:30 pm I was the only person in the place. I took a seat at a table at one end of the smaller banquette, and went to take a look at the whisky’s behind the bar. My server came and asked if I would like anything to drink, and brought me their whisky menu when I told him what I was looking for.

They don’t have a large selection of single malts, but I was simply hoping to try a couple that I hadn’t tried before. Looking over the menu I chose the Auchentoshan Three Wood. This is a lowland single malt whisky which derives it’s name from the fact that is aged in three different types of wood casks. This is the scotch pictured at the top of the post.

Langside Grocery is more of a drinks and nibbles place than a restaurant, so there’s a limited menu. However, they do offer a decent charcuterie board, and since I hadn’t had supper that’s what I ordered to go along with my scotch.

While I was enjoying my beverage and waiting for my food, I had a chance to talk with Stephan, the manager, who had responded to my Facebook request. Stephan is a former dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, who, after he retired a couple of years ago took his current position with Langside Grocery. Stephan is a friendly and engaging individual. I’ve run it several ballet people working in the service industry of the years, and have inevitably found them really good people to deal with.

Anniversary charcuterie
A compact but crowded charcuterie board.
Bread to accompany the charcuterie board.

The charcuterie board itself, is quite compact, but the emphasis here is on the delivery food rather than placing it in decorative fashion. There were three different cold cuts, which I liked, and among the other items that were on the board, I really appreciated that there was a good little pile of almonds and not just two or three for decoration.

Langside Grocery cocktail
The Penicillin, a scotch based cocktail at Langside Grocery.

While I ate my charcuterie, I decided to order a second beverage and this time chose a scotch based cocktail. This one’s called The Penicillin, it’s base is Johnny Walker Red Label, and has a bit of Lagavulin to give it a bit of extra flavour. the picture above doesn’t quite do it justice, as the actual colour is more bright orange, but I was really fighting with the lighting as I took the picture. I found this to be a really tasty cocktail.

As I was enjoying this drink the place was beginning to fill up. Soon, there was a party of four that was seated at the table next to me. They were quite willing to go with that arrangement and the server was quite happy to have me remain where I was, but since the bar by the window was completely empty I decided to move there. Before I left the server recommended to the table The Penicillin Cocktail, a recommendation I heartily endorsed.

After moving I had finished my cocktail and was considering what scotch I would order next. While I was pondering my decision, my server came up with another penicillin cocktail. It was a complementary beverage from the party. It was much appreciated, and I took the opportunity of thanking them before I left.

Anniversary creme brulee
Creme Brulee, a little sweet dessert to help top off the evening.

After finishing my second cocktail, I decided I wanted one more scotch and a little bit of dessert to go with it. For the dessert I chose the Creme Brulee. It was good and smooth and with a sugary top that gave a really good crack when you hit it with the spoon.

My final scotch for the evening was the Oban 14 year old. This scotch seems like a good introduction scotch for people who haven’t drunk scotch before. It doesn’t have much of the fiery character of the more peaty scotchs, but has a really smooth flavour and is easy drinking. A nice way to finish the evening.

I ended up spending the evening on my own, but the staff at Langside Grocery made the whole evening feel very relaxing and comfortable. Langside Grocery is definitely a place I intend visiting again.

On the way home, I stopped in at Safeway and ran in to my friend Merle West. Merle was the parish administrator at Holy Trinity when I was ordained, and her grandson was the first person I baptized, so that encounter was a fitting end to this anniversary evening.




  1. Happy 10th Ordination Anniversary. God’s faithfulness will take you even further. Thanks for sharing this post. The celebration alone has inspired me.

    Every blessing!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on your anniversary! I have to laugh – you and I must be twins from different mothers. I’d learned only 2 years ago that whiskey tastes GOOD. I was out this past February meeting a friend. It was cold, it was snowy and I wanted something warm and “grown-up”. I knew I liked Whistle Pig and some other 15 year old whiskeys I’d tried. The bar had Oban 14. I said “sure, let me try it”. It was perfect for that evening – warm, smooth and I didn’t have to be an expert whiskey drinker to enjoy. I’m so glad I found you, Donald. *grin* (I’m heading off to finish reading my Maisie Dobbs mystery now.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the anniversary of your ordination. I pray that your walk with God will continue to grow in strength and love. I like some of your readers have only just discovered that whiskey tastes nice having bought my first bottle ( a small bottle of Jura) today for Christmas and deciding I really ought to give it a go.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like you had a great celebration. That cocktail sounds delicious. My restaurant is Thai and we use a Thai whiskey, Mekhong as a base for our cocktails. I must admit it’s a bit rough to drink neat however, unlike the gentle taste of single malt. Thanks for sharing. Cheers Sebby

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on the anniversary of your ordination. You are very unique. Looks like you really enjoy what you do.

    With regard to your post, I totally understand being old and needing your sleep. I am in the same boat.

    By the way, the Creme Brulee lookks great!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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