High Spirited Food and Drink for Flappers and Hep Cats

Posted : July 7, 2018

Our blog is chock full of great ideas for fun things to see and do in York Durham and Headwaters. We are always adding new content and updating old posts, but sometimes you might stumble upon something from our vault. If this article has inspired you to hit the road, be sure to double-check that the featured stops in this post are still welcoming visitors.

Psst – did you know that York Durham Headwaters (YDH) once had something of a racy reputation?

See, it all goes back to the Temperance movement, which started in 1916. Alcohol production and consumption was taboo and many a social life threatened to dry up.

That’s where YDH comes in. It wasn’t technically illegal to make and sell booze; it was just heavily frowned upon by teetotallers, who – by the way – were way more intimidating than they sound! Our heavily forested region was the perfect cover for distillers and bootleggers, and YDH was close enough to Toronto to keep the city’s top-secret gin joints hopping!

Intrigued? So were we! In fact, we dug up every scandalous secret we could find and poured them into the Temperance and Temptation tour, which launches this summer!

Just like martinis can be shaken or stirred, the tour is offered in two different and equally delicious formats!

Pouring a Drink

You can go all in with the Experience Tours, where you’ll hop on a bus and visit local wineries, craft breweries and distilleries to sample the finest giggle water in all of Ontario! The tour includes great food, live music and dramatic re-enactments of clashes between teetotallers and rebels! Be sure to dress in your best 20s-era garb and plan to stay over at a local hotel or B&B.

Or do the Self-Guided Tour and fill your jalopy with friends! Don’t forget to appoint a designated driver – maybe treat them to a yummy gift basket from Fromage? Simply download the FREE app, plug in your GPS and the app will tell you where to stop. Along the way, you’ll hear incredible stories of our sordid past and you’ll get all the secret codes and passwords, so you can sample sinful spirits and in-house specials reserved for tour-goers.

Lucky for us, Temperance is finito and we can once again [responsibly!] enjoy our region’s world class wineries, craft breweries and distilleries! Stocking up for patio season? We recommend paying a visit to these outstanding local establishments:

Brock Street Brewing Co.

Sample small batch, all-natural brews that are crafted strictly according to the Bavarian Purity Act of 1516. Spoiler alert: these premium beers are smooth and totally refreshing!

The Second Wedge Brewing Co.

This friendly neighbourhood brewery features a lively beer garden surrounded by edible landscaping. And their beer? Let’s just say their eight varieties will not disappoint!

Old Flame Brewing Co.

Enjoy lagers that are handcrafted using time-honoured methods and fresh ingredients or book a tour to go behind the scenes and sample award-winning craft beers in the tasting room!

Market Brewing Co.

Catch live music in this craft brewery’s rustic taproom while sipping one of their seven fresh brews and enjoying a tasty snack from a nearby food truck. #yesplease

Adamo Estate Winery

This small batch boutique winery produces award-winning wines to please every palate. Come for a tasting and stay for a light meal at the café overlooking the vineyard.

Holland Marsh Wineries

Enjoy handcrafted wines made with the best local grapes and old-world methods, and book a tour, which ends with a tasting of six wines!

Gallucci Winery Inc.

This family winery offers full-bodied reds, friendly whites, exceptional ice wine – and everything in between! Sip your favourite on the terrace and feel your worries just melt away.

Last Straw Distillery

Discover moonshine, gin, rum and vodka crafted by one of Ontario’s youngest head distillers! Enjoy a tasting at the store or tour the distillery to find out exactly how they make their spirits.

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