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Ronald Clayton by Dave Mitton

The story of the Ronald Clayton

I created this cocktail in memory of my late grandfather in 2007. Ronald Clayton Mitton was a dairy farmer from Albert County, New Brunswick where I grew up. When we were little, the grand kids would go over to visit, and we would get a bowl of his homemade vanilla ice cream with maple syrup drizzled over top of it. I never realized it until I was older but that smell of tobacco that he would smoke in the house is such a fond memory of my childhood, I love that smell so much and think of those times whenever I come across that scent.

Also, my grandfather didn’t drink very much, but when he did, it was the “working man’s drink”, Canadian whisky. I was very fortunate that the four elements I wanted to use Canadian whisky, vanilla, maple, and tobacco worked together.

There have been a couple different variations of the cocktail. I think this is the best by far. Lot No. 40 Canadian whisky is big and full bodied with lots of spices to it, ginger, clove, cinnamon, also rye bread with some subtle hints of pepper and a touch of light vanilla in the background.

My grandfather was a big strong man not to be messed with, but also very sweet, soft, and gentle as well, just like this drink I made for him. I hope you enjoy it as well. »

*Edit: In 2007 the cocktail renaissance in Canada was just getting underway, and no one was thinking about the dangers of incorporating tobacco into a cocktail, at least I wasn’t. This new variation has a faux tobacco essence and I feel still makes a beautiful cocktail that capture memories of growing up with my grandfather.


2oz Lot No. 40 (infused with vanilla*)

0.50oz faux tobacco syrup**

3 dashes Urban Moonshine Organic Maple Bitters

Hard ice

Method: Combine all ingredients in mixing glass, add ice so mixing glass is ¾ full and stir about 18 to 20 times to chill and blend but not to dilute the drink too much. Strain over one large cube of ice in Old Fashioned glass.


*Vanilla Infused Lot No.40

Split vanilla bean in two, lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with the back of your knife and place in bottle of whisky along with the pod. Give it a shake and leave it for about one day.


**Faux Tobacco Syrup


1½ cup Havana Club 7yr rum (Hints of Tobacco Leaf & Vanilla)

1 cup raw sugar

Lapsang Souchong tea


Combine rum and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. If the alcohol ignites, place the saucepan lid over the flame to extinguish. Continue simmering for 10 minutes, remove from the heat. Pour the syrup through a sieve that is packed with tea into another saucepan. Repeat several times until you can smell the tea in the syrup. Make sure no tea is in the syrup, let cool and transfer into a bottle and refrigerate for up to one month.

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