There has been a lot of hoopla this past week about marking the 200th birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. It’s easy to idealize this Father of Confederation that we Canadians all learn about in school. Looking back at him with mature, modern eyes leaves me much more conflicted. He was a terrible racist, creating a head tax on the Chinese workers who had been so necessary in the building of the national railway, because he consider them an “inferior species.” He was revealed to have been involved in graft on a major scale to get the railway built at all. But possibly the most reprehensible thing was his treatment of aboriginal peoples, with a ruthless program of assimilation, the results of which are still being felt today. But, back when I studied him in school, the most negative thing that tended to be said about him was that he was “a drinker.” Which is probably the main thing I liked about him, that and the fact that he was such an avid procrastinator, he earned the nickname “Old Tomorrow.” Which brings us to today’s cocktail.
There is an existing Sir John A cocktail, but I could not really figure where the peaches came in. In his part of the country, apples would have been the thing. He was friends with (and received generous campaign donations from) Hiram Walker, and there was plenty of rye whisky around in his day, so although there is no concrete proof that this would have been his tipple of choice, I went with that (it is known he enjoyed wine, the occasional ale and brandy, and that he would drink gin while pretending it was water). This cocktail is made with all-Canadian ingredients; I am sure Old Tomorrow would have wanted it that way.
Stir together in an ice-filled old fashioned glass.