Enjoy The Spirit Of Christmas at the 2017 Toronto Christmas Market

The Spirit of Christmas, aka… The Spirit of York

The Toronto Christmas Market is one of Toronto’s favourite holiday traditions and a throwback to a simpler time. One where carolers were the norm, not the exception. The Market takes you back, allowing you to relive Christmas just the way you envisioned it as a child. An idyllic “Christmas town”… it’s a magical place that attracts people for the day, a weekend, even filling them with a magical feeling that lasts a lifetime.

But at the 2017 Toronto Christmas Market, as thousands descend to rediscover the magic and romance of Christmas, they will find that The Spirit Of Christmas has a new address… the Spirit of York, 12 Trinity Street. That’s right, the Spirit of York is the only distillery in Toronto’s historic 180-year old Distillery District. New to the neighbourhood, Spirit of York marries time-honoured distillation techniques with state-of-the-art equipment to produce some of the finest, most premium spirits you will ever taste. And just in time for Christmas. 

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Spirit of York – part art, part science and all they want for Christmas

The Spirit of York exquisitely captures the spirit of Christmas. With all the charm and character one would expect, it warms the soul. As Gerry Guitor, co-owner of Spirit of York, so elegantly puts it, “Christmas isn’t a date on the calendar it’s a feeling. A time when the stresses of the year magically melt away and we’re left with nothing but feelings of joy.”

But how does one answer the age-old question, what do you get the person who has everything? The one thing they’ve yet to discover they even wanted, of course. As Edward Lees, Creative Director of Audacity Advertising & Design; the agency that created “The Spirit of Christmas” campaign say’s, “The best gifts don’t satisfy a need. They simultaneously create and satisfy a want.” One thing is for sure, Spirit of York has gone to great lengths to ensure the stress that typically accompanies searching for that perfect gift, is non-existent.


Affordable luxury. It’s no longer an oxymoron

No matter your budget, Spirit of York has that perfect premium gift for the spirit lover in your life. From single bottles of their premium Vodka and Gin, to carefully thought out and thoughtful gift boxes, they have something to delight even the most difficult to shop for. So, take a deep breath, let the tension you hold in your shoulders dissipate and the anxiety that keeps you up at night just disappear.

There’s something to whet the appetite of all connoisseurs interested in tasting great spirits… appealing to all consumers looking to find an incredibly special, thoughtful and truly unique gift. From Swirl Glass gift sets (no two are alike), to sets that include Swirl Glasses and their premium Gin and Vodka, Tasting boxes that include both their Gin and Vodka, plus premium, Caesar or Gin & Tonic gift boxes that include their spirits and the ingredients to take these two classics to fresh new heights.

Spirit of York – a more refined way to Christmas shop

Reassuringly distinctive, the Spirit of York itself provides a luxurious atmosphere to start and complete your Christmas shopping. The re-imagined heritage space is where the past and present are dramatically intertwined. From its rustic bitters library that speaks volumes without ever saying a word, to its floor-to-ceiling windows that provide unobstructed stunning views of artisans perfecting the distillation process in plain sight.

Spirit of York Christmas Gift Boxes will make an impression that says you’ve gone to great lengths to choose a truly unique gift for the connoisseur of fine spirits in your life. Ice cubes will be lining up to get the opportunity to spend some time with these premium spirits. Whether you’re on Santa’s Naughty or Nice List, may The Spirit Of Christmas find its way to you this Holiday season in the form of Spirit of York’s premium spirits. And if it does, be sure to savour Spirit of York’s Vodka and Gin as it was intended… Just. Like. This.


Spirit of York Distillery Co.
12 Trinity Street
Toronto, ON
M5A 3C4
Call 416.777.0001 or email info@spiritofyork.com for more information


Spirit of York Distillery Co.: The Spirit Of Christmas

Advertising Agency: Audacity Advertising & Design Inc.

Creative Director: Edward Lees

Copywriter: Edward Lees



How to use Cocktail Bitters to make impressive mixed drinks

A cocktail is not a cocktail without Cocktail Bitters

Not surprisingly, with a name like “bitter” it’s hard to make friends. Like Johnny Cash said, “life’s tough for a boy named Sue.” But with the craft cocktail resurgence, cocktail bitters are making a huge comeback. So, get ready to jump on the cocktail bitters bandwagon. But, with over 400-discernable flavour characteristics that our senses can detect, choosing which bitters are most pleasing to your palette requires some guidance. So, let’s brush up on your bitters.


What are Cocktail Bitters?

Simply put, cocktail bitters are alcohol flavoured extracts. Ironically, they were originally created for medicinal purposes. Traditionally they’re made by distilling different spices, aromatic herbs, bitter roots, fruits and flowers in a base liquor like Vodka. Typically around 15% alcohol, there are two-forms of bitters – potable and non-potable. To simplify things, if it’s in a large bottle it’s potable. Such as a liqueur like Amaro, an after-dinner digestif. You probably remember it from back in the day in your parent’s liquor cabinet. But if it’s in a tiny bottle it’s a non-potable bitter. These are the cocktail bitters we’re talking about. Tiny bottles of highly concentrated flavours added to cocktails but not to be consumed on their own.


A cocktail without cocktail bitters is like a steak without seasoning

Ever wonder what a bartender was talking about when they said they add a touch of this and a dash of that? Now you know, cocktail bitters. These potent liquids are part of every self-respecting mixologist’s tool kit. And if variety is the spice of life, then cocktail bitters are the salt and pepper of the liquor cabinet. But one thing to keep in mind while you’re shaking and stirring… with bitters, a little goes a long way. Like a seasoning, they contribute to the overall flavour of the cocktail. To either enhance or add contrast, not become the dominant flavour. So, if you’re looking to add flavour, aroma, depth and complexity to your cocktails, look no further than cocktail bitters.

Bitters Basics

There are literally hundreds of bitters with a slew of ingredients comingling to make up each one. So, it’s difficult to categorize them. From sweet to spicy, herbal, floral, citrus and more. Probably the biggest category though is aromatic bitters. Followed by orange bitters which are traditionally used in Martinis but also add depth to Daiquiris. Generally speaking though there are some great combinations to keep in mind. Effervescent drinks mix nicely with light and fresh citrus bitters. Dark, syrupy drinks pair nicely with aromatic bitters. And with the holidays upon us, spiced bitters are the perfect complement to creamy or sweet drinks. The cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg add a nice balance.

Cocktail Bitters: Off the endangered species list and on the most wanted list

Cocktail bitters promise spirit connoisseurs and those that aspire to be, the chance to discover and explore new flavour profiles and characteristics. As each sense is awakened and experienced in all its glory. Everything is better with bitters. So, join the bitter boom and give bitters the love they deserve to start making cocktails that are truly memorable. And if you’re not sure where to start, drop by Spirit of York. We’d be happy to share our passion for premium spirits with you. After all, Spirit of York’s bitters and spirits are a match made in mixology heaven.

Spirit of York Distillery Co.
12 Trinity Street
Toronto, ON
M5A 3C4
Call 416.777.0001 or email info@spiritofyork.com for more information


Spirit of York Distillery Co.: Bitters 101

Advertising Agency: Audacity Advertising & Design Inc.

Creative Director: Edward Lees

Copywriter: Edward Lees

Source: http://spiritofyork.com/how-to-use-cocktai...

Audacity Advertising dangles the proverbial carrot. (by Edward Lees, Toronto, Canada)

If you’ve driven through Bronte, Ontario lately you might think you’ve fallen down Alice’s fabled rabbit hole – complete with 6.5-foot giant carrots growing magically from the ground. If you did a double take you’re not imagining things. As a teaser for the much-anticipated opening of TASTE Marketeria, two large trees flanking the entrance have been turned into giant carrots.

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The carrots were created by Audacity Advertising & Design Inc, as part of the branding for TASTE Marketeria. As a giant symbol for all they stand for – local, organic and fresh – the carrots provide the perfect backdrop for the local farmers market it will be hosting throughout the summer and into the fall. They are truly a case of seeing is believing.

In my last blog, “How to woo a client with a dozen long-stemmed carrots” I talked about not telling potential clients about the agencies creative firepower but rather demonstrating it. The 6.5-foot carrots dramatically demonstrate what TASTE Marketeria has to offer. As a bonus they demonstrate nicely the spirit of what Audacity is all about – creating absolutely unignorable brand experiences that drive business for our clients. And according to Doug Greco owner and president of Catch Hospitality, the group that owns TASTE, the carrots are having the desired effect. Talk about driving traffic - good luck finding a parking spot!

The exterior signage at TASTE gave us another opportunity to tell their story. As a boutique food shop and veritable feast for the senses we wanted to find a positioning that was as niche an ownable as they were. We asked them, what if we could “own” the attributes most near and dear to consumer’s hearts. The same attributes Taste stands for – Local, Fresh, Organic.

Leveraging the logo for Taste Marketeria, TM, we created a campaign that allowed them to own in a tongue-in-cheek way those same attributes - Local™, Fresh™, Organic™ - a positioning that was unique, relevant and completely ownable by them and only them.

Then we brought those attributes to life with headlines that told their story and gave them a personality. Lines like, “Farm to fork in under 100km” for - Local™. Or, “Our seafood arrived just before you did” for Fresh™. The complete series can be enjoyed below.

TASTE opened September 1st and already it and the giant carrots are the talk of the town. Passersby stopped at the traffic lights in front have been pointing, smiling and very nearly rear-ending the cars already stopped. Locals have been walking up to take a closer look at the carrots, to get their picture taken with them. But don’t take my word for it the media has already had a lot to say, click here to read more. Taste is exactly what the area has been waiting for.

TASTE Marketeria: The Proverbial Carrot.

Advertising Agency: Audacity Advertising & Design Inc.

Creative Director: Edward Lees

Art Director: Frank Lepre

Copywriter: Edward Lees

Director of Strategy: Michael Reneau

Account Director: Holly Simmons

How to woo a client with a dozen long-stemmed carrots.

Recently a client caught our eye and we instantly knew we just had to have them. Was it how they looked, how they carried themselves, how others reacted to them? It was all those things and more. Like so many suitors before us Audacity Advertising & Design Inc. set out to charm its way into a meeting. But unlike the wooers that came before us we knew introducing ourselves via email or phone wasn’t going to help us stand out from the crowd.

So what did we do…we sent them a dozen long stemmed carrots - the perfect tease for the creative idea we’d already come up with. The one that promised to make them the talk of the town.  After all who would send a client carrots. Only an idiot or a genius. Luckily our eventual meeting proved we were the later.

Our client told us, “That was the single most creative agency intro I’ve ever received. I just had to meet you guys”.  For now I will hold off on revealing the client. Our first project, showcasing much of the same work from that first meeting, is set to launch in a few short weeks. So stay tuned - at that time we will reveal the client and the work.

Our successful meeting proved to us that nowadays you have to pull out all the creative guns to catch the attention of a client. They are inundated with voicemails, their inboxes are stuffed full and DM pieces from agencies espousing their vast experience and creative might have a one-way ticket to the trash.

So why is it important to go the extra mile? Well obviously it’s better to prove you have “creative might” rather than just say you do…but that goes without saying. If you are going to promise to make a client’s brand stand out and be embraced by consumers a good start is to make yourself absolutely unignorable and irresistible.

But more than any of those things it’s an opportunity to prove to the client that you have a deep understanding of their brand. That you have insight into their customer’s lives. And probably most importantly it shows you know how to tell the truth of their brand in an interesting and relevant way. An authentic way that bypasses consumers heads and goes straight to their hearts.