Celebrate HBO Sundays with Boozy Show-Inspired Cocktails!

Get ready for the return of True Detective and two new HBO comedies, Brink and Ballers, this Sunday, with these custom cocktails in hand

True Detective is back Sunday, June 21! Celebrate season two by making a night of it with your posse and some Grey Goose, plus HBO Canada’s new comedies, Ballers and The Brink. Hot boozemaster Oliver Stern—managing partner of Toronto Temperance Society—created these delicious custom vodka cocktails to accompany each show. Cheers!


Oliver Stern

The Show: True Detective
The obsessed-over anthology series returns with a new setting (Los Angeles), a well-guarded plot (blast!) and a new A-list cast, including Canucks Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch, plus Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn.

HBO Sundays

Rachel McAdams in True Detective (Photo: Erik Putz)

Oliver says:
“Like a detective show, this drink is a big mystery—it may look like a martini, yet it’s not as simple as it appears; it’s a clear cocktail, but it’s packed with complex, bold flavours.”

The Drink: Valley of Lies
1 ½ oz. Grey Goose
½ oz. sweet white vermouth
¼ oz. fino sherry
¼ oz. St.Germain Elderflower Liqueur
3 dashes of absinthe
Lemon peel for garnish

Stir in a mixing glass with ice until chilled. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

The Show: The Brink
Resolving a dangerous geopolitical whoopsie may rest in the hands of three bumblers in this dark comedy: a naughty Secretary of State (Tim Robbins), a goofy foreign service officer (Jack Black) and a thick fighter pilot (Pablo Schreiber).

HBO Sundays

Jack Black in The Brink (Photo: Erik Putz)

Oliver says:
“Just as preventing war can be funny, I wanted it to look dark and serious, but the flavour is a fun combination of bittersweet, refreshing and herbaceous.”

The Drink: Grog of War
1 stick rhubarb
1 cup rhubarb
1 ½ oz. Grey Goose
1 oz. Campari
½ oz. lemon juice
Dill sprigs

Make rhubarb syrup by juicing a large stalk of rhubarb and adding 1 cup sugar to the juice, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Shake 1 oz. rhubarb syrup and remaining ingredients with ice. Double-strain to remove any bits of dill and serve on large ice cube. Garnish with another dill sprig.

The Show: Ballers
Mark Wahlberg and Friday Night Lights’ Peter Berg have teamed up as executive producers for a comedy starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a retired football legend who helps players navigate the flashy, fickle world of sports.

hbo cocktails

Dwayne Johnson in Ballers (Photo: Erik Putz)

Oliver Says:
“With the green and white, it looks like a football field. I wanted something refreshing you could have after a game.”

The Drink: Go Long
1 cucumber wheel
1 small handful mint leaves
1 oz. simple syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. Grey Goose
1 egg white
4 oz. soda
Mint sprig for garnish

Muddle cucumber and mint leaves with simple syrup. Squeeze in lime juice; add vodka and egg white. Shake without ice, then shake with ice. Double-strain into a Collins.