Black Manhattan: A Twist On a Classic


Classic Cocktail Twist: Manhattan

The Black Manhattan is one of my new favourite drinks.  If you are a cocktail person, you are most likely familiar with a classic Manhattan.  If you are not a cocktail person a classic Manhattan is Rye, Sweet Vermouth & Bitters.  It’s a very boozy drink, but absolutely delicious.  I love a classic Manhattan, but I have to say, lately I’ve definitely been preferring a Black Manhattan.

Black Manhattan Vs Classic Manhattan

So what’s the difference between a regular classic Manhattan & the Black Manhattan?

Manhattan Cocktail Black Manhattan Cocktail

As you can see, the only difference is swapping the vermouth for Averna.  As far as ingredients go, these drinks are VERY similar.  That said, don’t let it fool you, the flavour profile is completely different.  Aside from the dark complexion, the Averna gives the drink a more herbal/medicinal feel – but in a good way.  I like to make mine with a hint of sweetness ( I add a spoonful of Maraschino syrup).


2 oz Rye Whiskey (You can substitute with Bourbon but traditionally a Rye).

1 oz Averna Amaro

2-3 Dashes Angostura Bitters

1 barspoon Luxardo Cherry Maraschino Syrup

*Garnish with 3 Luxardo Cherries.



Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.  Stir for 20 seconds.  Strain into coupe glass.  Garnish with 3 cherries.  Enjoy.

This drink will go down fast and smooth.  Don’t let that fool you. It is a boozy one.  Take your time, enjoy it.  That said, if it goes down too fast – no worries, make yourself another one…after all it’s only a few ingredients!



3 Penny Stocks guaranteed to double in 2020!

Penny Stocks

3 Penny Stocks Set To Double In 2020

Okay, seriously. If you ACTUALLY clicked this headline – this is for you.

Stop chasing penny stocks.

Stop chasing unsustainable high yields. 

If you think you will find your next great stock on a blog, facebook group, reddit thread or from a friends “hot tip” – you probably shouldn’t be buying individual stocks.  I cannot count the number of people I’ve had message me over the last couple of weeks asking about penny stocks, oil stocks, etc.  People who have never invested a penny in their lifetime, messaging me telling me they are going to easily double their money in the next few months….

Are there some penny stocks that will double this year? Of course.  Do I (or anybody else) know which ones?  Of course not. If we did, we’d be billionaires.  The amount of people searching for “good penny stocks” or “best monthly paying stocks” or “dividend stocks yielding over 10%” is astounding…and it’s dangerous.

We’ve all been there, starting out trying to figure out what stocks to buy, how to make a quick buck.  Almost every experienced investor will tell you they got got burned early on, either chasing yield, listening to a hot tip or speculating/gambling.

High Dividend Yield Stocks

Almost everyone agrees getting a dividend payment from their stock is great.  It feels good, you can reinvest that money or use the cash – so why wouldn’t you want to find stocks that pay out the biggest dividends?  The answer is simple:

Sustainability & Future Dividend Growth

Owning shares in a company that pay a dividend feels great. You know what feels even better though?  Having confidence that the dividend will not only be around for years to come, but that it will continue to increase.  What good is a 10% dividend yield if it gets cut next month – or if the stock price declines 15%?

Here are some metrics that can help give you confidence in the sustainability of a dividend:

Payout Ratio & Earnings Per Share

Payout Ratio: This one is pretty straightforward.  What percent of earnings is the company paying out to its shareholders as dividends.  For an extremely simplistic example, assume company ABC makes $100 this year, and pays an annual dividend of $50.  The company would have a payout ratio of 50%. Look for companies that have a conservative payout ratio.  Payout ratios will vary between industries, but typically you want to find a company that is paying out less than 40-50% of annual earnings.  The big exception here would be REITS – but that is a discussion for another day.

Earnings History & Projections

Another important metric to focus on is earnings per share.  Are earnings increasing?  A super conservative payout ratio is great, but if earnings are falling each year, that payout ratio, by default will start to increase.  If a company is not able to increase its earnings, eventually the dividend is going to get cut.  Look for companies that have a history of growing their earnings per share, in good times and bad.

Strong Balance Sheet

Always look at the financial statements for a company before pressing the “buy” button.  A lot of metrics could look great, but if a company is over leveraged, it means they could be at risk in the future.  Always ensure a company has no problem meeting its debt obligations.  If they can’t this means they may need to raise equity (issue more shares/dilute your stake in the company), cut back on costs (cut dividends), or worst case face a possible bankruptcy.

Dividend Growth History

Lastly, look for companies that have a history of increasing their dividend each year.  This typically shows they have confidence in the business, and they like to reward shareholders.  It is important to do your own research, and just because a company has increased their dividend for 10+ years in a row, doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t get cut in the future.  That said, if a company has strong and growing earnings, increasing revenue, a strong balance sheet and a history of paying a growing dividend, you are probably on the right track.

Finally, since you may have been lured here with the click baity headline, and the hopes of finding 3 great stocks to buy, out of pure guilt I will post 3 Canadian stocks below I believe meet the following criteria:

  • Conservative Payout Ratio
  • Increasing Earnings
  • Strong Balance Sheet
  • Dividend Growth History

3 Canadian stocks to consider:

  1. Alimentation Couche Tard
  2. Metro Inc
  3. CN Rail


As always, do your own due diligence.  Happy Hunting.






Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Review

Spoiler Alert – I decided to write this review because I was craving a sip of Blanton’s bourbon, but I didn’t have an open bottle.  As a general rule I only open a new bottle once I finish one of my open bottles.  I had about 1.5 ounces left of Jefferson’s, noticed I hadn’t reviewed it yet, and needed to clear some space on the bar shelf…so here it goes.

This is a bottle my sister got me for Christmas 2 years ago.  I had never had it previously, and I’ve been nursing this bottle for a while. Jefferson’s seems to sell for quite a premium here in Manitoba (i’m not sure why).  The bottle retails for $97.00 Canadian at the Manitoba Liquor Mart.

Jefferson’s Reserve

Date Reviewed: April 07, 2020

Atmosphere: In a Glencairn glass, neat at home during the covid 19 pandemic

Distillery: McLain & Kyne

Mash:  Unknown

Age: No Age Statement

Type: Bourbon

ABV%: 45.1%

Price I Paid: Zero – but it retails for $97.00 Canadian

Appearance:  Classic Amber colour, but more watered down than most.

Nose:  I found this bourbon to be extremely muted. It lacks the typical sweet vanilla/brown sugar scents that most are accustomed to with a bourbon.  The only thing that stands out is some oak/wood but even that is pretty tame.  After a few swirls, some VERY subtle hints of cherry cola come out, but again very faint.  This might be the least expressive nose of a bourbon on any bottle I’ve had over $20.

Palate:  The taste follows the nose.  The oak from the barrels is the dominant flavour profile.  It is very smooth, with no burn, but leaves a lot to be desired.  The second sip is a little better, some sweeter notes slightly poke through, but it’s not enough to capture my interest.

Finish: The smooth finish is definitely the best part of this bourbon.  No heat, no burn, just a nice easy finish.

Conclusions:  It’s a tame, easy to drink bourbon, but it lacks any real depth.  If this was a $40 bourbon, I’d say keep a bottle for the finish alone – but at almost $100 it’s a hard pass for me.  When you can get Bookers or Blanton’s for the same price it’s a no brainer.  That said I’ve heard some of the other Jefferson’s expressions are real good (Oceans for example) which I will definitely try.

Overall Score:  73/100


March Update: Everything Sucks Edition

Dividend and Passive Income Report

Personal Highlights – Covid 19 Edition:

  • The last couple weeks (although they feel like years) have been absolutely insane. I’d say words can’t describe how I am feeling, but I don’t have to describe anything, you are all living in this same crazy world too.
  • Basically everything is finally closed except essential services, our kids have been home with us for a couple of weeks, while we both work from home.  I’d be lying if I said it was easy.
  • We always kind of looked forward to the couple hours at night after the kids are asleep – but now this precious time has become even more sacred.  The first week of the lockdown was pretty rough, but as the weather got better, so did our state of mind.  We set up the patio furniture, spent hours and hours in the back yard, had our first couple of Barbeques (and beers on the patio).  Things were finally looking up….and then we got a fuckin’ blizzard. So this next week is probably going to be pretty damn tough again.
  • I’ve started hosting Friday night Google Hangouts drinking nights with a group of friends.  I figure since we can’t all get together in person this is a nice alternative.  In fact, it’s actually allowed us to see some friends we hadn’t seen in months, so at that’s nice at least.  Plus we all get really drunk, and usually end up drunk debating about politics, how to solve world issues or threatening to kill eachnother….good times.
  • The kids seem to be coping with everything okay so far.  They can’t wait until “the germs are gone” and they can have sleepovers at grandmas.  (We can’t wait either) 🙂
  • I posted about some hopefully possible positives that could come from the Covid 19 pandemic.  You can read that post HERE
  • I also had what I thought was a brilliant idea on how to help reward some of the essential workers out there. You can see that tweet HERE


  • Financial Highlights for March:

  • Increased bi weekly contributions into TFSA & Spousal RRSP (though I have a feeling we will have to drop this again to save up some more cash in case of layoffs/pay cuts due to Covid).
  • Got our tax returns back, and transferred $3000 of it into TFSA.  Haven’t made a purchase yet.
  • It looks like our mortgage rate has dropped from 2.8% to 1.7%.  I am not 100% sure, but based on their online portal it looks like payments will be the same, but amortization will drop by 3+ years.  I’ll find out on Friday when the next payment comes out.
  • Due to massive drops in stock prices, the amount of shares I was able to reinvest in went up on most companies.  I was even able to drip a share of CAE for the first time.
  • Received a dividend increase from Power Corp.  Received dividend cuts from: NewFlyer & Diversified Royalty
  • I was paid dividends from 10 companies, and 1 funds in March.  I dripped a total of 84.74 new shares/units.
  • Received dividend increases from Transcontinental, Diversified Royalty Income and the Canadian Equity Income Fund.
  • Portfolio dropped in value by $70,000 and is now at its lowest point since September 2017.

Passive Income Update For March 2020.


Diversified Royalty: $17.69(dripped 5 shares)

Artis Reit: $27.99 (dripped 2 shares)

Western Forest: $45.02 (dripped 48 shares)

Interrent Reit: $4.29

Canadian Western Bank: $0.29

Plaza Reit: $29.28 (dripped 7 shares)

Power Corp: $88.29 (dripped 3 shares)

Chorus Aviation: $19.48 (dripped 4 share)

Intertape Polymer Group: $58.27

TFSA’s Total: $90.77


Canadian Equity Income Distribution: $349.09 (dripped 14.74 new units)

CAE: $26.84 (dripped 1 share)

Total Passive Income March 2020:  $666.53

Portfolio Update:

My portfolio currently sits at: $286,610.61.  This represents a drop of 19% from last month.  I’m not going to harp too much on this massive loss. These are crazy times. Everyone is down.  My long term plan hasn’t changed. Everything sucks right now, but we will find a way to get through this.

Passive income in March was $666.53.  Of course with the way things are right now my passive income for March was 666….hail satan?

With a couple dividend cuts my forward income dropped below my $12,000 goal. Currently my forward dividend income is sitting at: $11936.99

I hope everyone is staying safe, and sane out there.