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SPRING 2017

VOTING RIGHTS

ON THE ISL AND

SWEET AND SOUR

DRINK LOCAL

The politics of cocktails

Victoria’s best cocktail bars

Perk up your pisco

B.C. listings and tasting notes

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NEW MENU NEW LOOK opening March

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957 Granville St | donnellygroup.ca


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1340 E. Hastings St. www.gourmetwarehouse.ca @GourmetWHouse @GourmetWarehouse


Contents 08 – PISCO FEVER Spring is no time to be stuck on sours by Fiona Morrow 16 – BALLOT BOX BOOZE The storied affair of alcohol and politics by Joanne Sasvari

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Lou Lou Childs photo

22 – THE COSMOPOLITAN Our man at the bar explores the power of magical drinking by John Burns

Lou Lou Childs photo

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25 – FIELD WORK Langley distillery Roots and Wings is a labour of love by Sheila Hansen 31 – I SHOULD COCOA How to make chocolate cocktails at home by Justin Taylor

35 – THE ALCHEMIST GUIDE TO VICTORIA COCKTAILS The best bars in B.C.’s capital by Nikki Bayley

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Cover image: Lou Lou Childs

40 – FORTIFY YOURSELF Discover the possibilities of sherry, port and Madeira by Treve Ring 47 – SHAKE SHACK Competition is fierce in the cocktail world by Fiona Morrow 52-64 – DISTILLERY LISTINGS With tasting notes from our panel of experts.

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Talia Kleinplatz photo


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Contributors

Sheila Hansen is a Vancouverbased writer and editor with many years’ experience in travel and lifestyle publications. She’s just as happy exploring far-flung corners of our province as she is researching local craft spirits and cocktails.

Nikki Bayley writes about spirits, cocktails, food and travel for a range of publications around the world, including the Diffordsguide. com, the Globe and Mail, The Australian, National Geographic Traveller and BC Living.

Treve Ring is a wine writer and editor for regional, national and international print and digital publications, as well as an international wine judge and speaker. She is based on Vancouver Island, though is most often found on a plane or in a vineyard.

Roxanna Bikadoroff is an award-winning Vancouverbased artist whose illustrations have been published internationally for more than 25 years.

Joanne Sasvari is a Vancouverbased writer who covers food, drink and travel for a variety of publications, including a weekly drinks column for the Vancouver Sun.

John Burns has been writing about politics, culture and food for more than 25 years. In that time, he’s found most dishes and drinks a) too sweet, b) too salty, or c) both. Those rare times when things are just right please him, therefore, all the more.

Justin Taylor has been mixing it up behind the bars of Toronto and Vancouver for almost two decades. He is currently general manager of The Cascade Room in Vancouver.


Talia Kleinplatz photo

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ere at The Alchemist we continue to be amazed at the creativity displayed by B.C. distillers and bartenders: likeminded people mentoring and helping each other, pushing to be better together.

EDITOR: Fiona Morrow fmorrow@thealchemist.ca

Nowhere is that sense of support clearer than in the competitive cocktail world, where bartenders encourage and cheer on their own. In this issue I report back from the frontline of award-winning cocktail-crafting rivalry, where the spirits really fly.

PUBLISHER: Gail Nugent gnugent@glaciermedia.ca

We also celebrate the coming of spring with a look at the south American grape spirit pisco, take a swing at the history of politics and cocktails, and visit one of our newest distilleries — Langley’s Roots and Wings.

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Lucy-kate Armstrong, Lou Lou Childs, Talia Kleinplatz, Danika Sea, Dan Toulgoet, Rebecca Wellman.

Our distillers are a community growing in confidence. If you are excited to sample the breadth of local spirits then April’s BC Distilled festival (bcdistilled.ca) is just the place to survey our spirited landscape and savour its terroir. Cheers! Fiona Morrow, Editor

DESIGN & PRODUCTION MANAGER: Tara Rafiq LISTINGS CO-ORDINATOR: Lucy-kate Armstrong

@TheAlchemistBC @TheAlchemistMag Published by: Glacier Community Media 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1J6 604-742-8678 © The Alchemist 2017 This issue is complimentary.

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Pisco fever

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THE SOUTH AMERICAN GRAPE BRANDY OFFERS BARTENDERS SO MUCH MORE THAN A SIMPLE SOUR

by Fiona Morrow

Lou Lou Childs photo


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atie Ingram is a sucker for history. The head bartender of Gastown’s L’Abbatoir is talking pisco, the South American spirit that shows up in sours the world over, and in no time at all, she’s taken us right back to the Ice Age. “This incredible soil was created back in pre-historic times,” she explains. “As the Ice Age melted away, all the soil shifted, creating these amazing valleys and, once the water settled, this rich, alluvial soil made from clay and gravel was left.”

Lou Lou Childs photo

Ingram’s spring cocktail pairs pisco with elderflower and amaro.

To that soil, throw in hot, dry conditions, just a little rain, and the result is eight varieties of grapes so bursting with natural sugar, that one distillation is enough to produce pisco, a unique, completely terroir-driven grape brandy.

“It’s floral and spicy and green,” Ingram notes. “It has this beautiful green grape, green plum, earthy nose to it. You get all that up front on the palate, but then it finishes spicy and hot.”

Produced only in Peru and Chile, pisco is subject to different guidelines in each country. In Peru, distillers can choose from eight grape varietals, but may only distill once and not barrel-age. Bottling must be at proof, allowing no dilution with water or the addition of any sugar or other additives. Over the border in Chile, multiple distillations are allowed, as is barrel aging and dilution, but there, pisco may only be produced from three varieties of grapes.

IF YOUR ONLY EXPERIENCE OF PISCO IS THROUGH THE EGG WHITE FROTH AND FRESH LIME OF THE FAMOUS SOUR, YOU ARE MISSING OUT.

AUTHOR’S NOTES

In 1889, Rudyard Kipling, described pisco as, “Compounded of the shavings of cherub’s wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset and the fragments of lost epics by dead masters.”

That heat was upfront in pisco’s original moniker, aguardiente — fiery water — and offers bartenders options when using it as a cocktail base. If your only experience of pisco is through the egg white froth and fresh lime of the famous sour, you are, Ingram suggests, missing out on some serious cocktail possibilities. At L’Abbatoir, the spirit has shown up in many guises. There was the Mr. Pisco, a dry and bitter twist on the Negroni that involved a splash of rosé, Campari and Yellow Chartreuse. Then there’s the

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nod to Brit band the Kaiser Chiefs — I Predict a Riot — that calls on a veritable cacophony of herbs and spice infusions in the form of Sacred Spiced English Vermouth, ginger, Yellow Chartreuse and both Kensington and Condesa bitters from Bittered Sling.

Now, to mark the coming of spring, she is taking pisco back to its source: the rich, fertile earth. In Inca tradition, the goddess of the earth — Pachamama — was second only importance to the supreme deity, the sun. She remains the highest divinity in Andean culture today.

“It’s spicy and gets right up in your face,” Ingram laughs. “It’s like, ‘Wow! What just happened?’”

“She is in charge of planting and harvesting, and if she feels like it, she’s going to cause earthquakes,” Ingram notes. “The artwork that depicts Pachamama shows this beautiful woman holding the earth, surrounded by flowers.” El Gobernador pisco forms the base of Ingram’s Pachamama cocktail. “It’s half Rose Muscatel grapes, which are more floral and aromatic, and half Muscatel of Alexandria, which are still floral, but dry.” Elderflower liqueur is employed to bring out both the floral notes and the candied fruit present in the pisco. “You see pisco being able to hit all these different flavour points.”

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TIPSY TOAST

At Andean social gatherings, revelers pour a few drops of beer onto the floor before they take a drink, feeding and thanking Pachamama for her bounty.

The Pachamama also uses leading products made by women — Amaro Nonino (produced by Italy’s Nonino sisters), and Western Haskap bitters from local cocktail maven, Lauren Mote — to fully honour its inspiration. It is complex, nuanced and oh so pretty. As Ingram says: “Girl power in a glass.”


THE PACHAMAMA An ode to Mother Nature

1.5 oz El Gobernador Pisco 0.25 oz Amaro Nonino 0.25 oz Giffard Elderflower Liqueur 0.75 oz lemon juice 2 dashes of Bittered Sling Western Haskap bitters

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake. Double strain into a chilled, small coupe. Garnish with a dehydrated rose. —by Katie Ingram

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Lou Lou Childs photo


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Into the fray AT THE CASCADE ROOM, JEAN-MARC DYKES PUTS HIS SIGNATURE TWIST ON THE COCKTAIL MENU For some, inspiration comes by way of music, meditation or motivational speeches. Jean-Marc Dykes’ unexpected light-bulb moment came in 2015, in the bowels of a tall ship while mixing drinks for friends. That’s where the Manila Fray was born and it will be Dykes’ signature contribution to The Cascade Room’s revamped cocktail menu launching in April. Inspiration for the name comes from the abaca plant, a species of banana grown in the Phillipines, the fibres of which were once harvested to make the ropes used on tall ships. In the glass, the Manila Fray includes Aperol, Green Chartreuse, freshly squeezed lemon juice and Maraschino liqueur. 12

“It’s a nice refreshing drink,” Dykes says. “I was going for something that would appeal to the nerdy side of bartending, but also be approachable for customers.”

His education in the cocktail world began in 2010, when he was in his early 20s and wanted a career that was universally in demand and would allow him to travel. “I’ve made drinks for people in India where we couldn’t understand each other at all, but they were laughing and smiling, so I knew I was doing something right.” His tenure at the Main Street institution began in the fall of 2016, and he’s also been busy working on a coffee table book to coincide with Cascade Room’s tenth anniversary later this year. The book will profile the bartenders who have worked the wood, the drinks they’ve invented, and the bar’s place in the greater Main Street community. “It’s your ideal neighbourhood pub that can still nail a really great cocktail, and be comfortable for groups of friends and date nights alike.”

The Cascade Room, 2616 Main Street, 604-709-8650 @TheCascadeRoom


For over a decade, Chambar has been known as not only a destination restaurant famous for its Belgian and Moroccan-influenced cuisine, but also as a cocktail mecca that has attracted and nurtured some of the city’s top talent. 14

With a fantastic kitchen which produces strong Belgian and North African influence, the bar program works collaboratively to uphold the food flavours, while being rooted in storytelling. The classic cocktail world is extremely dynamic; there are beverages that have outlasted multiple wars, multiple countries. The stories of the cocktails add interesting complexity to Chamber’s we considered list. Every cocktail is perishable art.


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568 Beatty St., 604-879-7119, ChambarRestaurant @Chambar_Restaurant

@Chambar


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Lou Lou Childs photo

Ballot box booze

THE HISTORY OF THE COCKTAIL IS INDELIBLY ENTWINED WITH MODERN POLITICS By Joanne Sasvari


WHEN YOU’RE DEALING WITH POLITICS, YOU NEED AS MUCH ALCOHOL AS YOU CAN GET.

Tricky Dicky (Richard Nixon, seen here with Russian leader Leonid Brezhnev) was an enthusiastic drinker, who, it is said, was often completely sozzled.

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t may not be immediately obvious, but politics and cocktails have an affinity to rival gin and vermouth. J-S Dupuis, bar manager at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar agrees. “The history of spirits and politics — they’ve always gone hand in hand.” He should know. His dad was mayor of the Quebec town where Dupuis grew up, and even ran for parliament back in the day. That’s left him with a pretty good idea of why politics drives people to drink. “Politics is a very passionate subject. People are passionate about what they believe, and they take it seriously,” he says, adding, “When you’re dealing with politics, you need as much alcohol as you can get.” If nothing else, spirits can dull the pain of what seems like one endlessly bitter election campaign after another, from

Canada’s 2015 federal election to last year’s acrimonious U.S. presidential vote. Next up: British Columbia’s turn at the polls this spring. Politics have inspired many a classic cocktail aside from the original “bittered sling,” which we know by its more modern name, the Old Fashioned (whisky, sugar, bitters).

ELECTION ELIXIR

The first definition of a cocktail as an alcoholic drink first appeared in 1806 in the New York publication The Balance and Columbian Repository, where a “cock-tail” was described as, “vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, in as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.”

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CUBA LIBRE

“The Manhattan was a political cocktail,” notes Dupuis. “It was invented for someone who was running for mayor of New York. He didn’t win, but everyone remembers the drink.” In fact, each of New York’s five boroughs had a similar cocktail, including the Bronx (gin, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, orange juice) and the Queens (the same ingredients, but with pineapple juice instead of orange). Then there’s the Ward 8 (rye whisky, lemon, orange, grenadine, soda), created in 1898 to celebrate an election victory in Boston. Forgotten now, but potent in the 1920s and ’30s, were the Communist (gin, orange juice, cherry brandy, lemon) and the Liberal (high-proof bourbon, Italian vermouth, amaro, orange bitters). And in the 1940s, there was the non-partisan Black Russian (vodka, coffee liqueur), created for a U.S. ambassador famous for throwing soirées that attracted representatives of all political stripes.

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There is a U.S. Senator cocktail, a concoction of many liqueurs that dates back to 1889, as well as El Presidente, named for 1920s Cuban president Gerardo Machado (rum, curaçao, dry vermouth, grenadine). Many world leaders, however, preferred the classic Martini, including Franklin Roosevelt, who not only repealed Prohibition, he hosted a daily White House “Martini Hour.” And, of course, alcohol itself has frequently been at the heart of political

The former Canadian ambassador to Cuba was accustomed to the country’s leader knocking on the doors of the residence. Lengthy conversations about Canadian politics would take place, eased along by the hearty consumption of Fidel Castro’s favourite cocktail: the Gin & Tonic. battles, most notably with Prohibition, but most often when taxes were involved (hence the Income Tax Cocktail — basically a Bronx with bitters). In the 17th century, for instance, the Scottish parliament’s decision to tax whisky played into the English strategy to destroy the power of the clans. A century later, the fledging U.S. government issued its first tax on a domestic product — namely spirits — and inspired its first revolt: the Whiskey Rebellion of 1791 to 1794. “It’s crazy. You don’t learn that in school,” Dupuis says. Whether in a cocktail or straight up, alcohol has accompanied many of history’s most important political moments — battles won, accords signed, losses reluctantly accepted. Dupuis says he’s with Napoleon on this one: “Champagne! In victory, one deserves it, in defeat, one needs it.” Go ahead: top up your glass and fortify yourself for the ballot box.


THE B.C. FILIBUSTER

Just in time for the provincial election, a politically inspired cocktail with ing redients that celebrate British Columbia. 3 oz Lohin McKinnon Single Malt Whisky 3/4 oz apple butter diluted with just enough water to make a thick syrup 2 dashes of Bittered Sling Suius Cherry Bitters 1 dash Bittered Sling Kensington Bitters

Place all the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and add fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated apple chip. —by J-S Dupuis

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Lou Lou Childs photo


Savour our spring cocktail line up.

EL PACO buffalo trace, calvados brandy, simple syrup, cherry cedar bitters, basque brandy.

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LA RAMBLA espresso, almond milk, marcona almond infused absolut elyx, amaro punico, vanilla, shaved nutmeg.

MADRID MULE cream sherry, diplomatico rum, falernum, vanille, lime juice, ginger beer, cinnamon dust.

COSTA DEL SOL brandy, oloroso sherry, cointreau, pineapple juice, lime juice, orgeat, tiki bitters, soda splash, grenadine, roasted marshmallow.


Come in and stay a while.

Indulge in authentic Spanish tapas dishes from our menu comprised of locally sourced and specialty imported ingredients as well as OceanWise certiďŹ ed seafood where available. Enjoy our ďŹ ne selection of Spanish wines, craft beer and expertly blended seasonal cocktails.

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Bodega on Main, 1014 Main Street, Vancouver, 604-565-8815 bodegaonmain.ca bodegaonmainvan @bodegaonmain


THE COSMOPOLITAN OUR MAN AT THE BAR, JOHN BURNS, EXPLORES THE MYSTICAL PROPERTIES OF MAGICAL DRINKING

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he rest of the world has moved on, but I’m still hung up on Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Top of the eighth, the Chicago Cubs were ahead 6–3, then gave away three runs for the Cleveland Indians to tie it up heading into the ninth. When play resumed in extra innings after a rain delay, Cubs second baseman (and series MVP) Ben Zobrist hit an RBI double for the go-ahead run that brought a 108-year drought to its end.

Coincidence? I think not.

Relief Cubs pitcher Jon Lester let in those three runs, but that’s OK. The guy’s a hero (a story for another time), and more germane to a cocktail magazine, he secured this historic victory through magic. When the Cubs started their preseason in April, the Commons Club in the Virgin Hotels Chicago offered the Never Quit: a fundraiser cocktail for Lester’s favourite charity, with vodka, peanut syrup and leaf alcohol, topped with Old Style lager. The twist: the vodka was macerated with Lester’s pitcher’s mitt. Yes, it was a drink of fake grass, peanuts and leather, which sounds terrible — like a Moscow Mule minus all the good bits — except, to repeat, it appeared in the same season that Lester helped shutter a century-long curse.

This isn’t about wacky ingredients. Many strange objects can go into standard cocktails. Cooked foods, candy, weird herbs and mosses, dumb bacon straws — yawn — even fancy ice. When I was a kid, it was my job on our summer camping trips to hike up into the Columbia Icefield and chip off a Ziploc worth of glacier for the grownups’ afternoon G&Ts. They said it tasted like nothing else throughout the year…

Believing you can alter the world just by wishing it is called Magical Thinking. It’s the go-to for preschoolers, rom-com screenwriters, and President Donald Trump. I’ve become interested in a related phenomenon — Magical Drinking — that suggests you can change your world through beverages. (Bonus: the more you drink, the surer you are they’re working.)

What I’m talking about is totemic objects that increase a drink’s aura as much as its flavour. I suppose bitters and such can count. I’ve been obsessed with a YouTube video of Tokyo bartender Hiroyasu Kayama using home-grown wormwood


WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT IS TOTEMIC OBJECTS THAT INCREASE A DRINK’S AURA AS MUCH AS ITS FL AVOUR. and other botanicals in his Forest Cocktail, a demented savoury Gin Rickey that transports drinkers (by all accounts) out of a ninth-floor Shinjuku cocktail bar and into the wilderness. How lovely. Down the other end of the scale are ingredients there for the vibe more than their effect on flavour. Spray gold and activated charcoal, say. Or the Garden Martini offered a few years back at Manhattan’s Il Buco. Gin-based, it boasted celery bitters and ginger shrub, with a sliced-vegetable float and a spritz of dirt. Actual Brooklyn topsoil, reduced by sousvide, then strained. “This cocktail gives the drinker the experience of going through the earth to get to the root vegetables,” bar manager Jon Howard told Bon Appétit. Sure, vegetables come out of the ground, but does that make this tasty? Or just, you know, intentional and artisanal?

ILLUSTRATION HERE

Then there’s this. Oregon’s iconic Rogue Ales released an ale (still available) made from the usual malts and hops, plus one outlier: it’s fermented with wild yeast harvested from brewmaster John Maier’s beard. No need to freak out, they say. “John has had the same old growth beard since 1978 and for over 18,000 brews, so it is no great surprise that a natural yeast ideal for brewing was discovered in his beard.” Rogue Beard Beer has a real aura: it won Gold at the 2015 World Beer Championships. Drinking it will make you a winner and a sasquatch — guaranteed.

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Illustration by Roxanna Bikadoroff


THE HOME OF LOCAL, AWESOME, BOOZE. WINNER — Best Aperitif/Digestif BC Distilled 2016 8-38918 Progress Way, Squamish 604 390 1122 • gillespiesfinespirits.com WINTER HOURS Tasting Room & Bottle Shop: Thurs-Sat 1-11pm, Sun 1-6pm Cocktail Lounge: Thur-Sat from 6pm

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Katie McTiernan photo

Distilling is a labour of love for Rebekah Crowley.

Field work

POTATOES FUEL THE SPIRIT AT L ANGLEY’S ROOTS AND WINGS DISTILLERY by Sheila Hansen

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f you want something done right, do it yourself.

Distillery in Langley, and the reason their handcrafted vodka exists.

It may be a truism, but for Rebekah Crowley and Rob Rindt it’s also the organizing principle that inspired their newly opened Roots and Wings

“We were always looking for good potato vodka, and we couldn’t find anything local, so we thought, why couldn’t we make it?” Crowley tells me on a

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YOU CAN’T BEAT AN ORIGINAL PRODUCT. A LOT OF THE VODKA AVAIL ABLE NOW IS CHEAP AND MASS PRODUCED — IT’S PRET T Y MUCH MOONSHINE.

visit to their 30-acre Fraser Valley farm. We’re standing on the front porch of the distillery’s Wild West-styled tasting room and gift shop, watching her sons, eight-yearold Oliver, and six-year-old Tate, squeal in delight as they launch mobile airplanes in the yard beyond. This family affair is completed by Zeke, a four-year-old black Lab cross, and the recently arrived Archer, a purebred German shepherd puppy.

Potatoes are boiled in this Hillbilly Still.

“I’m a vodka drinker,” Rindt declares. “Out of all the vodkas I’ve tasted over the years, potato vodka is a traditional vodka that stands out,” he says. “You can’t beat

an original product. A lot of the vodka available now is cheap and mass produced — it’s pretty much moonshine.”

Katie McTiernan photo

So, in September 2015, Crowley completed the five-day Master Distiller Workshop through Kelowna’s Canadian Craft Distilling Institute. From there, the Victoria expat and full-time tech saleswoman selftaught her way to developing Roots and Wings’ distillation process.

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GL ASS WARES

Roots and Wings produce Vital Vodka in 375- and 750-millitre bottles. White Knight Whiskey will be available later this year.

Opening the door to their roomy still house, she warns me: “We do have a batch going so it gets a little stinky in here.” But I can’t help secretly savouring the rich pungent aroma that engulfs us. She walks me past a grinder — “it’s amazing, one of my favourite tools in here because basically I drop the potatoes in the top and they come out like potato soup at the bottom” — and an 80-gallon mash fermentation


tank. Checking the alcohol content in the 30-gallon copper kettle still from Hillbilly Stills, Kentucky, she nods approvingly and we head back outside. While Crowley might be a relatively new chief organizer and still master, Rindt has been working towards his role of president and farmer extraordinaire all his life. He grew up on this farm and, along with his five brothers, runs B.C.’s largest sod company. He also now plants and harvests the six acres of Kennebec potatoes and four acres of corn that, along with the property’s natural spring water, go into Roots and Wings’ Vital Vodka.

Katie McTiernan photo

I follow him past the trim three-bedroom farmhouse to the storage shed, where he pulls up the retractable siding to reveal two huge heaps of spuds that rise above him. Starting with potato-only batches, the couple’s more recent corn blend brings out the sugar content and improves flavour. “So it’s a little bit sweeter, it doesn’t have that burn to it,” explains Crowley. Back at the roadside tasting room, Rindt puts the finishing touches on the bar top and lower wall panelling — the wood courtesy of a wind storm that blew down two large cedars at the back of the property last year. There are plans to add a wrap-around deck that would look out to Golden Ears in the distance. There they go again: doing it right by doing it themselves.

DOWN TO BUSINESS

Housemade infusion packages and a cocktail menu with ties to nearby businesses are planned in the coming months.

Katie McTiernan photo

It’s a family affair: Rebekah Crowley and Rob Rindt work 30 acres of corn and potatoes.

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Style council YALETOWN’S REVOLUCIÓN CIGAR & FINE GIFTS CELEBRATES THE FINER THINGS IN LIFE At Yaletown’s Revolución Cigar & Fine Gifts, Paul Agelidis welcomes clients from all over the world, curious to see his unique lifestyle products. Revolución is also a favourite for celebrities , including Halle Berry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Harrison Ford. The store’s success is testament to a lifestyle both of quality and expression. Agelidis took over the space 12 years ago, and the experience has been greater than he ever imagined. He has been welcomed warmly and received support from the local community. “It is a pleasure to be a part of Yaletown,” he notes. His core belief — that the finer things in life never go out of style — has been his inspiration. Now a thriving business, Revolución offers a wide range of cigars for any palate and occasion. “When I opened this store, I worked long hours, keeping the doors open for anyone to walk in,” he recalls. “The previous owner had told me there would be some very difficult days but we persevered, and with support from family and friends, we have established a very popular store.” 28

Revolución’s product line extends far beyond cigars, to personal grooming, home fragrance, skincare and

shaving tools. As part of the finer lifestyle collection, there is also an expanding selection of barware for the cocktail aficionado. For spring, Agelidis is bringing in more quality barware including whiskey and cocktail glassware, decanters, luxury bar sets and other drinks accessories. “Serve your friends a fine Scotch or a well-made cocktail and enjoy,” he smiles. “Part of the pleasure comes from having the tools, glassware and proper equipment to hand. “As Mark Twain said, ‘Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.’”

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Danika Sea photo

I should cocoa DRINKING CHOCOL ATE COMES OF AGE IN SPIRIT-FORWARD COCKTAILS by Justin Taylor

C

hocolate is used by chefs in both savoury and sweet dishes in almost every cuisine of the world. But when it comes to spirited drinks, it’s surprisingly underused. A Chocolate Martini or spiked hot chocolate can be delicious, but they are hardly innovative. Why not jazz up a Daquiri or an Old Fashioned with a bit of cocoa? The possibilities are endless. Spirits infused with cocoa nibs, dark and white chocolate syrups, bitters, and even

spiced cocoa are just some of the ways craft bartenders are getting the most out of their chocolate. My own experiments began a few years ago, when the frustration of only finding crème de cacao on the liquor store shelves finally did me in. Here are some of my simple secrets to making delicious chocolate cocktails at home using a few pro techniques. You will never need that dusty bottle of crème de cacao again.

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Danika Sea photo

DAD’S HOT CHOCOL ATE

4 oz 70 per cent dark baking chocolate 3 tbsp cocoa powder 0.5 tsp salt 1 cup sugar 8 cups whole milk 1 cup Fernet Branca 32

0.5 cup peppermint liqueur 12 dashes Angostura Bitters marshmallows or whipped cream for garnish (optional) shaved tonka bean for garnish (optional)

Add chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, sugar and salt to a medium saucepan and heat gently, stirring constantly. As the mixture reaches a slow boil, remove from heat and add liquor. Pour into mugs and garnish with whipped cream or marshmallows, and shaved tonka bean. Makes 8 cups.

CHOCOL ATE BASIL DAQUIRI

2 oz light rum 1 oz fresh lime juice 3 fresh basil leaves, plus one for garnish

1 oz cocoa nib syrup* 1 egg white cocoa powder for garnish

Pre-chill a cocktail glass. Add rum, lime, basil (torn in half), cocoa nib syrup and egg white to a cocktail shaker and dry shake without ice for about 10 seconds. Add ice and shake for an additional 10-15 seconds. Double strain into the glass using a fine mesh. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf and a small pinch of cocoa powder. —all recipes by JustinTaylor


SPICY OAXACA OLD FASHIONED

2 oz mezcal 0.5 oz cocoa nib syrup* 2 dashes Scrappy’s Fire Water

1 dash Angostura bitters orange zest for garnish

Pre-chill an Old Fashioned glass. Add all liquid ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir for 20 seconds. Strain cocktail into the glass, over fresh ice. Garnish with orange zest. *Cocoa nib syrup: Add 1 cup cocoa nibs, 1 cup raw sugar and 1.5 cups water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow syrup to cool and strain into a sealable bottle or mason jar and refrigerate (it will keep for about four weeks). Dry the nibs on parchment paper to use as garnish.

TURN OF THE CENTURY

1.5 oz single malt Scotch whisky 0.5 oz dry vermouth 1 oz white chocolate syrup*

0.5 oz fresh lemon juice 3 dashes Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters candied cocoa nibs

Pre-chill an Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain over crushed ice into your glass. Garnish with candied cocoa nibs. *White chocolate syrup: Boil 2 cups heavy cream and pour over 6 oz white chocolate chips, stirring to dissolve. Reserve in a sealable jar or bottle and refrigerate until needed.

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The AlchemiST guide To

Victoria cocktails by Nikki Bayley

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P

acked to the rafters with creative talent and boasting more than its fair share of terrific bars and cocktailheavy restaurants, Victoria’s bar scene is the boozy gift that keeps on giving. The perfect spot for day drinking? At Bodega Bar, not only is there a raft of sherries to try, there are also plenty of excellent cocktails featuring house-made syrups and thoughtful combinations of ingredients. Like your drinks to be boozeforward as hell? Try a Winter Fury, all heady with Calvados, B&B, bourbon, and set off with an Islay rinse.

Clive’s Hand Ritten Letter, May I Have a Word, Funk & Seoul.

King of the cocktail scene in the city is Clive’s Classic Lounge, with a list featuring some 35 different cocktails and a menu that puts its spirit-savvy credentials on show with its pleasingly nerdy bartender rules. Try the Funk & Seoul with kimcheeinfused syrup and tequila for a complex and spicy drink with a lingering heat.

Q Bar’s Martinis.

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Bodega Bar’s Winter Fury, Slow Walking Walter, Daydreaming.

The newly-renovated Q Bar at the Fairmont Empress is a thing of beauty, its cherry wood antique ceiling graciously looking down on punk-inspired prints of Queen Victoria. The dedication paid here to the Martini is no less impressive: offered in six different iterations from stirred to burnt, with 12 gins and 12 vodkas — both from B.C. and around the world — to choose as your base.


sherry for gin, and adds Cava for a sweeter note. A possible game changer for those who find the classic version too bitter.

Veneto’s Santa Muerte, the Kindness of Strangers, London Nog.

Veneto Tapa Lounge is rightly known for its “spin the wheel” customized cocktail service: tell them which flavours you enjoy and let the team whip up something special. Its list also rocks: try the Kindness of Strangers, with Sazerac Rye, vermouth, Amontillado sherry and a float of Malbec — a luscious drink that should hit like a sledgehammer, but comes on like a velvet cosh.

Clarke & Co’s Lazy Lover, Old Is New And In Fashion, Canadian is Buzzed in Bermuda.

New kid on the block and knocking it out of the park, Clarke & Co has created a warm happy space in which to explore the cocktail scene. You’ll find plenty of local distillers and fun techniques (duck butter infusions? yes please!) here. The smoked Old Fashioned (Old Is New And In Fashion), theatrically created à la minute is likely to spark a life-long love affair for anyone who tastes it.

Perro Negro’s Anticuado, Spanish Negroni, La Negrita.

Slip upstairs from Ferris’ Oyster Bar to Perro Negro, for excellent cocktails at affordable prices. There’s plenty of sherry and Spanish influences such as almondinfused bourbon in their Anticuado Spanish Old Fashioned, but my favourite is the Spanish Negroni, which switches up

37 Agrius’ Caramel Apple & Ginger House-made Soda, Birch Please, Ampersand is Coming to Town.

Heading up the restaurants-with-a-bar category is the critically acclaimed Agrius.


Everything — even citrus — is organic here. The Ampersand is Coming to Town blends two cocktails in one, infusing local gin with Chinese five flavour berry and a house-made Grand Fir syrup, topped with a heavenly foam of dry vermouth-soaked citrus cordial and a splash of Joie Gamay.

Using whatever has been delivered to the creative kitchen, at this almost 100 per cent B.C. bar menu, house-made vinegars, sauces and sorbets are the order of the day. It makes each time at Olo unique and guarantees you’ll discover something new and delicious. On my visit, a spiked cherry juice, earthy with pressed carrots and a pleasingly boozy hit of absinthe, delivered a positively health-giving cocktail.

Cafe Mexico’s La Paloma Slushie, Oaxacan Flyer, Arroz Con Leche.

Forget everything you knew about the former nacho-fest of Cafe Mexico. This is version 2.0 with Shawn Soole, one of the country’s most creative bartenders at the helm. Soole’s plan is to create Canada’s agave epicentre for guests keen to learn more about tequila and mezcal. Try the frozen slushie-style La Paloma, all zesty lime and grapefruit with a punch of blended Hornitos Reposada.

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Olo’s Fetching Squash, Bohemian Roots, Ragley Farm Flip.

Little Jumbo’s Spurs and Saddles, Kalimotxo 2.0, The Whole Spectrum.

Little Jumbo packs plenty of high energy into a small space. Creative cocktails with engaging names are on the frequentlychanging menu. Bar nerds will freak at the Whole Spectrum: a transformative wow of a cocktail, which starts salty with a kiss of peat and then swings into a sweet note before turning bitter and salty again. Booze joy in a glass.


We think our community is awesome, and that’s why we use only the freshest local ingredients in our food and cocktails. Come feast and drink with us.

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK 509 Fisgard Street, Victoria, BC (250) 590-8795 www.olorestuarant.com

asbach-wards clarified milk punch asbach uralt brandy buffalo trace bourbon appleton v/x rum whole milk | citrus zest tea and spices rose water ice only available at

39 www.clivesclassiclounge.com 250.361.5684 | 740 burdett ave. @clivesclassiclounge


Fortify yourself THE TERROIR-DRIVEN STRENGTH OF SHERRY, PORT AND MADEIRA TANSL ATES INTO GREAT COCKTAILS by Treve Ring

I

t’s impossible to pass a day in Portugal, Spain or Madeira without being offered a glass of one of their famous fortified wines. Often presented in cocktails and mixed drinks, these local terroir-driven sherries, ports and Madeiras are as natural to drink as (and in some cases more than) water. Because of their blend of wine and spirit, fortifieds are highly useful and versatile in mixed drinks and cocktails, providing just enough of that spirited touch without all the booze of a straight spirit. With production dating back hundreds of years, these strong wines have been entrenched into their respective cultures. Historically, the added — fortifying — spirit would help preserve the wines from spoilage on long voyages, making them drinkable for longer. Most hover between 15 to 19 per cent alcohol.

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They’re a taste of place and people, an inseparable merge of the social aspect of terroir as much as the geographical definition. Even though port, sherry and Madeira are transformed entirely by process (lengthy aging, fortification, blending, and in the case of Madeira, heating) these legendary wines are as much a part of a place as the dirt in which the grapes grow. I spent the better part of last year on the road, visiting vineyards and vignerons across Europe, enjoying these ancient wines presented in modern ways.

In Portugal, light and refreshing Porto Tonicos kick off most evenings, with dry white port topped with tonic and tipped with fresh mint and slices of lime or lemon. The dusty, tropical mountainous roads of Madeira were dotted with tiny cafés serving up chilled tumblers of Poncha, the island’s traditional drink made with local sugarcane aguardente, honey, sugar, lemon rind and ample fresh lemon juice. But there was also Sangaree, the colonialera precursor of Sangria that has regained popularity recently, made with a sweeter Madeira and built into a single-serve, slightly brooding cocktail with lemon juice, sugar and nutmeg. It’s traditional to sip chilled Fino or Manzanilla with pintxos and tapas all across Spain, but young hipsters in Madrid and Barcelona are slinging the Adonis, a throwback cocktail from the late 1800s that mixes dry sherry with sweet vermouth, orange bitters and ice into a briskly bitter refresher to kick off the evening. With centuries of entrenched tradition, how do we incorporate these classic wines into today’s modern life and bar? I tasked three next generation bartenders at Victoria’s Café Mexico with doing just that: take one fortified wine each and create a new cocktail inspired by its history, provenance and profile.


ISL AS MORADAS (PURPLE ISL AND) “I was inspired by the idea of the island of Madeira floating in the sea. I wanted the richness of the Madeira to float on a refreshing, citr us-forward, more tropical cocktail.” 1 oz Blandy’s 5-year-old Alvada Madeira 1 oz Altos Olmeca Blanco 0.5 oz lime juice 0.5 oz orange juice 0.3 oz turbinado syrup Pipette Bittered Sling French Quarter Aromatic bitters Lime zest for garnish Shake ingredients on ice. Strain over fresh ice into a highball glass. Top with Madeira foam*. Garnish with lime zest. *MADEIRA FOAM 4 oz egg whites 2 oz Blandy’s 5-year-old Alvada Madeira 0.5 oz turbinado syrup Blitz all ingredients in a blender for 10 seconds. Pour into ISI whipper, add NO2 cartridge and charge. Rebecca Wellman photo Lou Lou Childs photo

—by Keegan Coates

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NOT YO’ GRANNY’S COBBLER “A riff on Portugal’s national drink of choice — W hite Port and Tonic— that combines the flavours with those of Mexico in a housemade cordial.” 1.3 oz Fonseca Siroco White Port 0.7 oz mezcal 0.7 oz lemon juice 3 oz Condesa cordial* Gooseberry for garnish Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Garnish with a gooseberry.

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*CONDESA CORDIAL To a saucepan, add 10 oz flat tonic water, 2 cans tinned peaches and nectar, 3 oz fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp orange blossom water, 150g gooseberries, 50g white sugar, 10g citric acid,1 dried Mortia chilli and 4 cinnamon sticks. Heat while stirring. Allow to cool and strain. Makes approx. 500-750 ml. ­—by­Keith­Hoffman

Rebecca Wellman photo


I SAT BY THE OCEAN “I decided to embrace the salty, briny taste of this Manzanilla sher r y and create a pickle juice Martini on steroids. T he salt and pepper rim complements the sher r y’s ter roir near the ocea, and the pepper y punch of the tequila, while the celer y bitters and oils from the lemon peel keep it light and crisp.” 1.5 oz Siembra Valles Blanco tequila 1.5 oz La Gitana Manzanilla sherry 1 oz pickle brine 5 drops Bittered Sling Cascade Celery Bitters Lemon zest, olive, dill for garnish Rim a chilled coupe glass with salt and pepper. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir. Strain into the coupe. Wrap a lemon peel around an olive, spearing with dill to secure, and use as garnish. —by Jhol Spindler, lead bartender, Café Mexico

Rebecca Wellman photo

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B.C.’s original harvest-to-flask distillery

kanagan Spirits Craft Distillery is proud to be Western Canada’s original craft distillery, and O BC’s only distillery with two fully functioning dis-

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tillery locations (Vernon & Kelowna). The family owned and operated distillery sprung from the idea of using 100% locally grown fruits and grains to make premium, world-class spirits just a tractor ride away from the orchards and fields where the base ingredients are grown. B.C.’s original harvest-to-flask distillery now offers a selection of more than 30 internationally awarded spirits ranging from BC’s first Single Malt and Bourbon-Style Whiskies, to Gins, Vodkas, Liqueurs, Fruit Brandies, and even Aquavit and Canada’s Original Genuine Absinthe.

The Dyck Family, proprietors of Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, firmly believe that terroir specificity is the cornerstone of true craft distillation. They strive to capture the Okanagan Valley’s fields and orchards, and the many micro-regions and seasons in every single vintage. Their story starts with harvesting only local Okanagan fruits and grains to ensure that the spirits they present are as authentically local as their very own Okanagan Family heritage. In early 2015, Okanagan Spirits relocated and redesigned their flagship Vernon distillery, which is now home to North America’s tallest copper pot still, set in beautifully decorated prohibition


era surroundings. Both of their distillery locations have onsite Barrel-Room distillery lounges and patios to offer their guests a true 100% BC craft cocktail experience. What’s next for Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery? In a word…Whisky! The crew at Okanagan Spirits continues to expand their whisky repertoire, to include their lottery release “Laird of Fintry” Single Malt Whisky (Gold medal 2015 and 2017 World Spirits Awards), their BC Coldstream Valley Rye Whisky, their “Final Proof” Master Distiller Series Whisky (Silver Medal 2015 World Spirits Awards), and their hugely successful BRBN Bourbon-Style BC Corn Whisky. Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has named 2017 “The Year of BRBN” with releases of BC’s first and only 100% Local Craft Bourbon-Style Whisky scheduled quarterly throughout the year!

DOWNTOWN KELOWNA DISTILLERY

FLAGSHIP VERNON DISTILLERY

267 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna • 778-484-5174

5204 24th Street, Vernon • 250-549-3120

www.okanaganspirits.com

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Your Natural Choice.

Casual dining and daily drink specials overlooking the Fraser River.

Happy Hour Weekdays 3-5pm 604-276-1954 | pier73.com

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Talia Kleinplatz photo

Steady hands are needed when creating drinks for competitions.

Shake shack

BEHIND THE SCENES OF COMPETITIVE COCKTAILS by Fiona Morrow

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othing says Monday morning quite like arriving at a bar at 10.30 a.m. ready to drink all day. The scene at Main Street’s Cascade Room is organized chaos. Bartenders, usually never seen out before noon, are slugging coffee offered both straight up or spiked. There are crates and boxes all over the place. Recognizable labels of Scotch, rye, mescal, Cognac and more jostle beside

unlabelled bottles of homemade fatwashed and syrupy concoctions. This is clearly a serious affair. I’m here to judge the Giffard Canada Iron Mixologist 2017 competition alongside local bartending luminaries Shaun Layton and Jay Jones. The stakes are high: the winner will be taken to France to compete in the Giffard West Cup in Angers. The rules demand an original cocktail created

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FOR THE BEST PART OF FIVE HOURS WE WATCH, SIP AND (PROFESSIONALS THAT WE ARE) SPIT AS COMPETITORS MIX UP FLIPS, FIZZES AND FROTHY CONCOCTIONS.

TOP: Amber Bruce creates the winning drink.

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LEFT: Kaitlyn Stewart takes second place with her Mas Que Nada. Talia Kleinplatz photos

ABOVE: The jungle inspired Julian Dobko’s third place cocktail.


with Giffard Banane du Brésil liqueur as inspiration, and there are, we are told, 19 entrants. Gulp. The choice of the Banane was strategic. Giffard wasn’t sure, but award-winning drinks master David Wolowidnyk (formerly of West and CinCin and soon to head up the new Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim) consulted on the event, and he was adamant. “They were worried we’d be drinking Daquiris all day,” he explains. “But I told them that here in Vancouver and Victoria, bartenders would go out of their way to avoid the obvious. That this community is creative to its core.” He wasn’t wrong: for the best part of five hours we watch, sip and (professionals that we are) spit as competitors mix up flips, fizzes and frothy concoctions that take inspiration from everything from Elvis to Donkey Kong, and the Loire Valley (home of Giffard) to the tropics. And as impressive as the effort put into coming up with an original drink that displays imagination, skill and flair, is the collective vibe in the room. Yes, this is a competition. Yes, there’s a really impressive prize up for grabs. But there is also genuine care and respect in this room — and a rousing cheer with every vigorous agitation (often double fisted) of a cocktail shaker. Mentorship is also key: Wolowidnyk, Layton and today’s host at Cascade, Justin

Taylor, are all past Giffard winners, and are generous with their insights and advice. There’s a palpable buzz among them when someone new steps up and displays real potential. Still, nerves are on display: hands tremble precariously, key ingredients are forgotten, a full shaker slips loose mid-air (thankfully holding its seam). Contestants have six minutes to mix and serve their drink, with points deducted for going over time. They are judged on technique, presentation, inspiration, service and, of course, taste. In the end, the drink is what counts — whether it is balanced, not too sweet and feels right in the mouth. We must also be able to taste the banana. The top three emerge easily as we tally the points, scoring highly for flavour and presentation. In third place is the Vancouver Club’s Julian Dobko for his rum and Key lime Forgotten Jungle, looking very classy in a Nick and Nora glass. Next is Kaitlyn Stewart (Royal Dinette) with a cachaça-based riff on a banana cream pie, including a blowtorched meringue topping. First place goes to Amber Bruce from the Keefer Bar with a flip inspired by both her mom’s banana bread and the classic Robin Williams’ show Mork and Mindy. Her Mork from Ork is rich and creamy, boozy with genever and local amaro from Odd Society, and spiked with cardamom syrup (a nod to her Scandinavian heritage). As Mork would say: “Nanu, nanu.”

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MORK FROM ORK

Winner of the Giffard Iron Mixologist 2017 0.5 oz Giffard Banane du BrĂŠsil 1 oz genever 0.3 oz Odd Society Mia Amata Amaro 0.5 oz port 0.5 oz Spiced Mork Syrup (simple syrup spiced with cardomom) 1 whole egg Nutmeg for garnish

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Talia Kleinplatz photo

Add all ingredients to a shaker and dry shake to emulsify egg. Add ice and shake again. Fine strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with grated nutmeg. —by Amber Bruce


A small-batch craft distillery in the heart of East Van. Visit us in our cocktail lounge.

The City’s Best Happy Hour

@tldistillery

the liberty distillery

1725 Powell Street • 604-559-6745 oddsocietyspirits.com •

tldistillery

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APR . Absinthe T A S VERMOUTH

BRANDY

BC DISTILLED SUPPORTS PACIFIC ASSISTANCE DOGS SOCIETY

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B.C. DISTILLERY LISTINGS MEET THE EXPERTS As part of our mission to provide the essential resource on B.C. spirits, our panel of top mixologists provides tasting notes on one spirit from each listed distillery.

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Born and raised in Vancouver, Shaun Layton is a leading figure on the international cocktail scene. He led the bar program at L’Abattoir for more than four years, before opening Vancouver’s Juniper Kitchen & Bar. He is currently focused on his consulting business.

Josh Pape is an award-winning bartender who has established himself as one of Vancouver’s most influential young restaurateurs. He co-owns and operates a number of the city’s new and notable restaurants and bars, including The Diamond, Pizzeria Bufala, Wildebeest, and Lucky Taco.

Award-winning Wendy McGuinness has worked the wood of fine establishments from Toronto’s Sassafraz to the Go Go bar at Melbourne’s Chin Chin. She most recently headed the bar program at Kissa Tanto, creating a rocking retro cocktail list.

At Prohibition speakeasy bar at Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Robyn Gray loves creating a bespoke experience for guests. Gray learned his craft at Gastown’s Revel Room, and has been at the Hotel Georgia since 2011, opening and operating all the hotel’s lounges.

Trevor Kallies is bar and beverage director for the Donnelly Group, where he has created several award-winning cocktail lists. A founding member of the Canadian Professional Bartender’s Association (CPBA), he also manages the Cocktail Apprentice Program at the world-renowned annual Tales of the Cocktail.

Bar manager at Whistler’s Bearfoot Bistro, Scott Barber is also responsible for the restaurant’s sub-zero vodka room, and has created tasting notes for each of the dozens of vodkas poured, becoming expert on the distillation techniques and different flavour profiles in the process.


AMPERSAND DISTILLING CO. 4077 Lanchaster Rd., Duncan 250-737-1880 AmpersandDistilling.com @AmpDistillingCo

Lou Lou Childs photo

W

e have 34 B.C. distilleries in this issue, producing local spirits from Vancouver Island, through Metro Vancouver, the Interior and east to the Kootenays. Over the following pages you will find full listings information on each business, including contact and social media details, and whether there is a tasting room onsite. To help guide you through this growing range of spirits, our expert panel is back providing tasting notes. Our experts are all experienced, award-winning bartenders who write their notes independently. They break down the note in terms standard to spirits tasting — fragrance, flavour, feel and finish — and add their TASTING NOTES suggestions for how the product might LEGEND be best enjoyed, plus a quick bottom line summation. FR: Fragrance We hope you will find this helpful in navigating your way through the options available, whether at home, or at your favourite cocktail bar. Happy tasting!

FL: Flavour FE: Feel FI: Finish BE: Best enjoyed

Father and son, Stephen and Jeremy Schacht, hand craft their spirits on five acres of organic farmland in the Cowichan Valley, distilling their gin and vodka from B.C. wheat.

PER SE VODKA FR Clean, slight marzipan and spice notes. FL Marshmallow, hint spicy wheat, vanilla. FE Great, creamy and pleasant on the palate. FI Clean, sweet, easy finish. BE Classic Martini or Vesper. BL Clean, user-friendly vodka. Great gift for those who spend too much on tall frosted imported products. –Shaun Layton Other products include: Ampersand Gin.

BL: The bottom line Tasting Room by appointment

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ARBUTUS DISTILLERY

BOHEMIAN SPIRITS

CENTRAL CITY BREWERS & DISTILLERS

1890 Boxwood Rd., Nanaimo 250-714-0027 Arbutus-Distillery.com @arbutusdistillery @ArbutusDistill

Kimberley, B.C. BohemianSprits.com @GoodCheerHere

11411 Bridgeview Dr., Surrey 604-588-2337 CentralCityBrewing.com CentralCityBrewing @CentralCityBrew

Head distiller Michael Pizzitelli brings both a background in science and his experience in brewing to Arbutus Distillery’s ever-growing range of botanicalforward spirits.

Using botanicals foraged in the mountains around Kimberley, Bohemian produce small batch hand crafted vodka and gin.

The successful B.C. brewers of the popular Red Racer beers, Central City reworked its spirits program in 2016 and recently released its first whisky.

ESPRESSO INFUSED VODKA

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FR Coffee! Roasted beans. FL Not overly sweet. Tastes like cold brew. FE Better than other products — less thick/ rich/cloying. FI Pleasant. Some sugar but not out of control. BE Really cold. Maybe over ice, but dilution isn’t necessary. BL Excellent product. If you want an espresso-flavoured spirit, this is worth a shot. –Josh Pape

VAGABOND VODKA FR Subtle spice. FL Sweet and spicy. FE Lightly tickling. FI White peppercorn. BE In a Caesar. BL Spicy vodka perfect for a Bloody Mary or a Caesar. –Robyn Gray

LOHIN MCKINNON WHISKY FR Stonefruit, honey, heather, slight oak. FL Christmas cake, toffee, candied citrus. FE Lovely silky feel on the palate. FI Subtle spice, stewed fruit, charred oak. BE As is, no water, no ice. BL If this is three years old, we are in for a treat in the next ten years on the West Coast for whisky. –Shaun Layton

Other products include: Coven Vodka, Empiric Gin, Juniperus Lupulus, Baba Yaga Absinthe, Grand Visco Brandy.

Other products include: Limited Gin.

Other products include: Seraph Vodka, Queensborough Gin, Spirit of Merlot Liqueur.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no

Tasting Room yes


DE VINE SPIRITS

DEEP COVE BREWERS & DISTILLERS

DRAGON MIST DISTILLERY

6181B Old West Saanich Rd., Saanichton 250-665-6983 DevineVineyards.ca @deVineVineyards

2270 Dollarton Hwy., North Vancouver, 604-770-1136 DeepCoveCraft.com DeepCoveBrewers @DeepCoveCraft

213-19138 26th Ave., Surrey 604-803-2226 DragonMistDistillery.com @DragonMistDistillery @DragonMistVodka

This Saanich-based distillery is proud to use local fruits, honey and grains in their spirits. Also a winery, they use their own grapes as the base for their Vin Gin.

This North Shore distillery augments its rosemary and oliveinfused gin and award-winning vodka with a variety of smallbatch seasonal releases.

Using wheat from Dawson Creek, Surrey-based Sherry Jiang is producing Canada’s only expressions of traditional Chinese spirit, baijiu.

MODERNA VERMOUTH

DEEP COVE VODKA

BAIJIU GOLD

FR Dark stone fruit, baked plums, vanilla. FL Fruit forward up front, leading to bitter clove and citrus peels. FE A little thin for a vermouth of this complexity. FI Bitterness and clove stays around forever. BE Makes a great Americano. BL Not bad for a B.C. vermouth; the Italians have been doing it for hundreds of years. –Shaun Layton

FR Banana bread, chocolate. FL Warm caramel, black pepper spice, hints of coconut. FE Thick/fullbodied, silky texture. FI Long, sweet. BE Dry Martini with olives, on the rocks, or in a cocktail with emphasis of lime. BL Great product with body and characteristics that may surprise at first taste. –Scott Barber

FR Sweet wheat, bread. FL Intense with heat, anise, lingering sweetness. FE Light on the palate, extremely vibrant on the tip of the tongue, dissipates quickly. FI Very long finish of sweet wheat. BE An intense high-proof spirit. Think a Chinese version of the everpopular White Dog. BL Packs a punch for those looking for a neutral spirit with some balls. –Wendy McGuinness

Other products include: Honey Shine Beekeeper’s Reserve, New Tom Barrel Aged Gin, Vin Gin, Genever Gin, Glen Saanich Single Malt.

Other products include: Rosemary & Olive Gin, Barrel Aged Akvavit.

Other products include: Baijiu Silver, Dragon Mist Vodka, Dragon Mist Gin, Blueberry Liqueur, Coffee Liqueur, Cranberry Liqueur.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no

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DUBH GLAS DISTILLERY

FERMENTORIUM G&W DISTILLING CO. DISTILLING

8486 Gallagher Lake Frontage Rd., Oliver 778-439-3580 TheDubhGlasDistillery.com @TheDubhGlasD

2010 Government St., Victoria 250-380-1912 Fermentorium.ca PhillipsBreweryCo @PhillipsBeer

7167 Vantage Way #8, Delta 604-376-0630 SidsVodka.com, SilverDawn.ca

Though whisky is owner Grant Stevely’s true passion, the first signature release from this Oliverbased operation was the small batch Noteworthy Gin, distilled from B.C. barley.

Victoria’s Fermentorium’s Stump Coastal Forest Gin is fastbecoming a signature B.C. spirit. Their collection of artisanal tonic waters elevate even the most basic of highballs.

Stephen Goodridge has garnered awards and fans with his range that includes three expressions of vodka, an approachable gin, and a whiskey-style rested spirit.

VIRGIN SPIRITS BARLEY

HOP DROP ELIXIR

BITTERHOUSE DAMAN

FR Aromatic nose of vanilla, butterscotch and caramel. FL Light flavors of ripe bananas, honey dew and vanilla. FE Full and lingers on the tongue. FI Long, with a bit of heat from the 50 per cent ABV. BE Replace aged whisky to lighten up your favorite classics, or neat. BL A true expression of unaged malted barley whiskey. –Wendy McGuinness

FR Dried hops. FL Lightly bitter, like concentrated IPA. FE Very even. Starts soft and expands. FI Dry and clean. BE Added to your favourite lager. BL Really cool product. Fun to play with in beer cocktails. –Josh Pape

FR Grapefruit and more grapefruit. FL Not as tart as expected, very well balanced aperitif. Perfect acidity. FE Definitely a little viscosity, but not heavy or thick. FI Light, memorable. Could convert even grapefruit haters. BE Neat, chilled over ice, or in cocktails. We feature it in a Gin Sour. BL Buy a bottle and have some fun. Mix it up! Very cool product. –Scott Barber

Other products include: Noteworthy Gin, Age-Your-Own Spirits Kits.

Other products include: Stump Coastal Forest Gin, Fermentorium Handcrafted Tonics.

Other products include: Sid’s Vodka, Silver Dawn Vodka, Nütrl Vodka, Tempo Renovo Vancouver Dry Gin, Mapleshade Repose.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no

Tasting Room yes


GILLESPIE’S FINE SPIRITS

KOOTENAY COUNTRY CRAFT LEGEND DISTILLING DISTILLERY

8-38918 Progress Way, Squamish 604-390-1122 GillespiesFineSpirits.com @gillespiesfinespirits @gillespies1

7263 Gustafson Rd., Slocan 250-355-2702 kootenaycountry.ca Kootenay-Country-Craft-DistilleryLtd

3005 Naramata Rd., Naramata 778-514-1010 LegendDistilling.com @legendnaramata

Friendship, a fun attitude, and a shared love of booze inspired Kelly Woods and John McLellan to start their Squamish-based still. Their spirits are designed to be cocktail-friendly.

Lora and Kevin Goodwin strive to keep to the100-mile philosophy in their spirit production, using organic heirloom wheat, seasonal flowers and fruits, and spring water from the Selkirk Mountains.

In a former doctor’s office on the Naramata Bench, Dawn and Doug Lennie created Legend together, drawing on the local bounty of the Okanagan for the base and flavours of their gin and vodkas.

RASPBERRY GIN

VALHALLA VODKA

BLACK MOON GIN

FR Raspberry yoghurt, citrus zest. FL Gin first, with some fresh raspberry. FE Dry, clean. A bit boozier than most liqueurs. FI Mellow, a touch sweet but still balanced. BE In a Clover Club. Too easy? As a Martini with bianco vermouth and a lemon twist. BL A good one to try if you like fruitier cocktails and don’t have a huge selection of booze. Well made. –Josh Pape

FR Sweet, dried fruit. FL Cereal grain with high minerality. FE Lightly creamy mouthfeel. FI Black pepper spice. BE Neat on ice. BL Kootenay Country water source filtered by granite strata brings a beautiful minerality to this spicy and fruity vodka. –Robyn Gray

FR Familiar gin notes with a background of savoury aromatic rosemary. FL Soft and savoury with both the juniper and herbs shining. FE Oily in a good way with slight front-ofmouth tingle. FI Long and herbal. Juniper and pine stays around. BE Would make for a fun cocktail gin with riffs on Gimlets and Collins coming first to mind. BL A fun gin to play with. –Trevor Kallies

Other products include: Gastown Shine Vodka, Sin Gin, Aphro Chili Chocolate Elixir, Lemoncello.

Other products include: Kootenay Country Gin, Kootenay Country Honey Vodka, seasonal flavoured vodkas.

Other products include: Shadow in the Lake Vodka, Doctor’s Orders Gin, Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin, Slowpoke Flavoured Vodka.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

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THE LIBERTY DISTILLERY

LONG TABLE DISTILLERY

MAD LABORATORY DISTILLING

1494 Old Bridge St., Vancouver 604-558-1998 TheLibertyDistillery.com @TLDistillery

1451 Hornby St., Vancouver 604-266-0177 LongTableDistillery.com @LongTableDistillery @LT_Distillery

119-618 East Kent Ave., Vancouver MadLabDistilling

With prime real estate on Granville Island, Liberty is open for tours, tastings and daily cocktails showcasing their vodka, different expressions of gin, and various white whiskies.

Gin is at the heart of Long Table, with London dry-style, cucumber and barrel-aged varieties fueling its many awards. This downtown Vancouver distillery also produces vodka, as well as seasonal liqueurs.

Truly handmade using a small homebrew mill and a pump, Mad Laboratory’s vodka is tripledistilled and carbon filtered from Armstrong barley and Champagne yeast.

RAILSPUR NO. 3 AGED SPIKE

SMALL BATCH LIMONCELLO

MAD LAB GIN

FR Spicy and nutty. FL Vanilla and dried fruit. FE Smooth and mouth coating. FI Long-lasting. BE In a Whisky Sour. BL A young B.C. barley spirit with a rich spice complexity. –Robyn Gray

FR Sweet lemon citrus. FL Full and rounded lemon flavor. FE Viscous and coating. FI Warm lasting ripe lemon. BE In a Lemon Drop (vodka, limoncello, lemon juice). BL Very clean, not too sweet, genuine natural lemon flavors. –Robyn Gray

Other products include: Truth Vodka, Endeavour Gin, Endeavour Origins Gin, Railspur No. 1, & 2.

Other products include: London Dry Gin, Cucumber Gin, Barrel Aged Gin, Texada Vodka, Amaro No. 1 – Linnaeus, Långbord Akvavit.

Other products include: Mad Lab Vodka.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room opening soon

FR Sweet and fruity. FL Clean and citrusy. FE Tickling mouth-feel. FI Spicy, biting. BE In a White Lady (gin, Cointreau, lemon). BL A six-botanical cucumber gin that is delicate and nuanced. Very clean tasting. –Robyn Gray

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MAPLE LEAF SPIRITS

MERRIDALE ESTATE CIDERY

ODD SOCIETY SPIRITS

948 Naramata Rd., Penticton 250-493-0180 MapleLeafSpirits.ca MapleLeafSpirits @MapleLeafSpirit

PO Box 358, 1230 Merridale Rd., Cobble Hill 250-743-4293 MerridaleCider.ca @merridalecider

1725 Powell St., Vancouver 604-559-6745 OddSocietySpirits.com @oddsocietyspirits @OddSpirits

Originally from Germany, and now based in the Okanagan, Jorg Engel has created a range of fruit-based liqueurs, brandies and grappas, produced from distilling 100 per cent B.C. fruit.

This Vancouver Island cider business applied their traditional fruit focus to distilling, creating a range that includes gin, fruit brandies, a rested whiskey, and even a carbonated vodka.

This East Vancouver distillery’s three founding self-described “odd” owners are busy producing different expressions of gin, vodka and both white (unaged), and single malt whiskies.

LADY OF THE CASK BRANDY FR Cocoa nibs, vanilla. More Scotch than Cognac. FL Round and spicy. FE Hot, edgy, dry. FI Sweet first, then savoury. BE As a Sidecar. Or maybe a Sazerac. BL Fairly abrasive neat, but it makes a good cocktail. –Josh Pape

STAIR’S PEAR BRANDY

MIA AMATO AMARO

FR Brilliant fresh pear nose. FL Pear skin, almond and vanilla. FE Rich and deep. FI Long lasting fresh pear. BE Neat at room temp. BL A fine brandy with excellent fresh pear aroma and flavor. A great digestif. Aged six years. –Robyn Gray

FR Sweet, chocolate, with a musky background. FL Semi-sweet bitterness, herbal. FE Viscous. FI Long with a great balance of bitter and sweet. BE Cold neat, or try in a Paper Plane. BL Packaging knocks it out of the park. Fun and engaging, with a fantastic auburn colour. –Trevor Kallies 59

Other products include: Maple Liqueur, Cherry Liqueur, Canadian Kirsch, Pear Williams, Italian Prune.

Other products include: Cowichan Vodka, Cowichan Copper Gin, Cowichan Gin, Cowichan Cognac-Style Brandy, Cowichan Cider Brandy.

Other products include: Wallflower Gin, East Van Vodka, Bittersweet Vermouth, White Rye Mongrel, Oaken Wallfower Gin.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


OKANAGAN CRUSH PAD

OKANAGAN SPIRITS CRAFT DISTILLERY

OLD ORDER DISTILLING COMPANY

16576 Fosbery Rd., Summerland 250-494-4445 okanagancrushpad.com @OKCrushPad

5204 24th St., Vernon 267 Bernard Ave., Kelowna 250-549-3120 | 778-484-5174 OkanaganSpirits.com @OkanaganSpirits

270 Martin St., Penticton 778-476-2210 | OldOrderDistilling.ca OldOrderDistilling @Old_Order_Distilling @OldOrder_Spirit

The Summerland winery makes two expressions of gin (one of them for Vij’s restaurant), and a grappa-style spirit.

A family-owned award-winning distillery with a wide range of products to its name, including an absinthe, and both rye and single malt whiskies. Tours and tastings are available in both its locations.

At their Penticton distillery, Graham Martens and Naomi Gabriel take barley from Vanderhoof, malt it in Armstrong, then distill it with spring water from Anarchist Mountain.

NARRATIVE GIN TWELVE BOTANICALS

TABOO GENUINE ABSINTHE

FR Raisin and orange peel. FL Citrus and floral. FE Pronounced sweetness. FI White pepper spice. BE In a gin Martini BL Grape spirit gives a fruity backbone, chamomile and lemongrass really shine through. –Robyn Gray

FR Refreshing hints of citrus from the lemon balm, pleasant fennel presence. FL All the herbaceous notes you’d expect from absinthe. FE Great body, initial sensation of alcohol heat. FI Long, hot, delicious. BE Neat. BL Try it neat without the sugar cube or any water dilution. –Scott Barber

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HERITAGE VODKA FR Mild. FL Some heat with a decent amount of grain. FE Innate creaminess. FI Touch of grainy smoothness. BE Toss it in the freezer and drink it ice cold. BL Wax dipped with no tab, so required a knife to open. They leave a decent amount of grain flavour in the distillate so it is enjoyable to drink! –Trevor Kallies

Other products include: Narrative Spirit of the Vineyard, Vij’s Bolly Water Gin.

Other products include: Fruit Liqueurs, Gin, Vodka, Single Malt Whisky, BRBN (Corn) Whisky.

Other products include: Black Goat Vodka, Legacy Gin, Genesis Whisky, Wicked Brew, Blessed Bean.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


PEMBERTON DISTILLERY

ROOTS AND WINGS DISTILLERY

SHELTER POINT DISTILLERY

1954 Venture Pl., Pemberton 604-894-0222 PembertonDistillery.ca pemberton.distillery @pembydistillery

7897 240th St., Langley 778-246-5247 RootsAndWingsDistillery.ca @rawstillhouse

4650 Regent Rd, Campbell River 778-420-2200, ShelterPoint.ca ShelterPointDistillery @ShelterPoint_Distillery @ShelterPoint

Master distiller Tyler Schramm uses local organic Pemberton potatoes as the base for his extensive range of spirits and liqueurs.

Rebekah Crowley and Rob Rindt built a distillery and tasting room on their Fraser Valley farm where they crop 30 acres of potatoes and corn.

The first batch of single malt from this Campbell River distillery was released last summer, created with barley grown on site and distilled in copper pot stills shipped from Scotland via the Panama Canal.

SHELTER POINT SINGLE MALT WHISKY

KARTOFFELSCHNAPPS

VITAL VODKA

FR Earth and honey. FL Tastes like potato. Slightly sweet with gentle spicy notes. FE Good viscosity, full across the palate. FI Lingers at the back of your tongue, almost like candy. BE Neat, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail as a secondary liqueur. BL Unique and worth a try. I have not sampled anything like this before. –Scott Barber

FR Vanilla, cream corn, créme brulée. FL Custard, funky earth notes, white pepper, this IS a potato and corn vodka. FE Slightly viscous, but buttery in a very good way. FI A load of spice stays around for a minute. BE Will make a buttery Martini that packs a spicy finish, or a Moscow Mule. BL Surprisingly ballsy finish after a sweet nose, cool product. –Shaun Layton

Other products include: Schramm Organic Potato Vodka, Schramm Organic Gin, Organic Single Malt Whisky.

Other products include: White Night Whiskey (coming soon).

Other products include: Canada One Artisan Vodka, Sunshine Liqueur, Yo! Off the Wall Spiced Vodka.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room spring through fall

FR Mild grain, little citrus and oak. FL Slight hint of spice, fruit sweetness and a hint of chocolate. FE Smooth and silky. FI Medium long, grain lingers and is very pleasant. BE Neat or rocks; you’ll be fine either way. BL Balanced and delicious. Easily mistaken for a more established distillery. This is a good buy. –Trevor Kallies

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SHERINGHAM DISTILLERY

SONS OF VANCOUVER

2631 Seaside Dr., Shirley 778.528.1313 SheringhamDistillery.com @sheringhamdistillery @SheringhamBC

STEALTH DISTILLERIES CORPORATION

1431 Crown St., North Vancouver 778-340-5388 SonsOfVancouver.ca @SonsOfVancouver

#3-20 Orwell St. North Vancouver 604-916-4103

Jason MacIsaac was a successful chef before he turned distiller, and he brings his local, sustainable attitude towards food to his small batch spirits.

James Lester and Richard Klaus have added a tasting room to their North Vancouver distillery where you can try their Vodka, Chili Vodka, and signature No. 82 Amaretto.

Master distiller Randy Poulin and Stealth president John Pocekovic have set up shop in North Vancouver, making vodka from field dried Okanagan corn, milled on site.

DARK CHOCOLATE VODKA

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FR Cocoa nibs and raw bitter chocolate. FL Real, proper crushed cocoa. FE Lean. More booze than sugar. FI Long and even. BE An a well made chocolate Martini — spirit forward and not overly sweet. BL AA refreshing alternative to all of the sickly sweet chocolate products available in our market. –Josh Pape

NO. 82 AMARETTO FR Candied stone fruit, dried black olives (weird, but true). FL Vanilla, sarsaparilla. FE Elegant, light, expansive. FI Sweet, pleasant.. BE As a Sour, or an additive to a stirred dark rum drink. BL Great alternative to the Italian product; drier, adjust recipes accordingly. –Josh Pape

VODKA (CORN AND WHEAT) FR A hint of alcohol on the nose with a small touch of cream. FL Slight bit of grain with white pepper. FE The palate is smooth with a tiny element of alcohol warmth. FI Fairly abrupt. BE In your favorite mixed vodka drink. BL TAs craft vodkas go it is right up there. Packaging is bartender friendly, with a decent neck to grab onto. –Trevor Kallies

Other products include: Sheringham Vodka, Seaside Gin, William’s White, Akvavit.

Other products include: Vodka Vodka Vodka, Barrel Aged Amaretto, Chili Vodka.

No other products.

Tasting Room by appointment

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


URBAN DISTILLERIES

VICTORIA DISTILLERS

VON ALBRECHT & ASSOCIATES

325 Bay Ave., #6, Kelowna 778-478-0939 UrbanDistilleries.ca @UrbanDistilleries @SpiritBearVodka

9891 Seaport Pl., Sidney 250-544-8217 VictoriaDistillers.com @VicDistillers @DrinkVicGin

2220 Vauxhall Pl., Richmond 604-249-0003 VonAlbrecht.com xfourvodka @xfour_ @XFOUR_Vodka

A trip to France and an unplanned tour of a Cognac distillery put Mike Urban on the path to making his own liquor. He now owns the largest distillery in the province.

Launched in 2008, Victoria Gin graces bars across the country. Their first small batch, limited release whisky was launched in early 2015.

The XFour vodka range is distilled from rye and corn in Vernon; the lemonade base for their coolers is made from founder Marcus Von Albrecht’s great-grandfather’s recipe.

SPIRIT BEAR ESPRESSO VODKA FR Fresh brewed coffee. FL Bitter cacao and coffee. FE Astringent and dry. FI Lasting coffee flavor. BE As an Espresso Martini. BL Locally roasted beans in Kelowna bring a dry style espresso-flavored vodka great for drinking on the rocks or in an Espresso Martini. –Robyn Gray

OAKEN GIN FR Hint of toffee and wood, background of baking spice. FL Toffee, vanilla, and clove. FE Buttery, slightly viscous mouthfeel, creamy. FI Long, creamy finish with a hint of pine. BE In a gin Old Fashioned or neat, with a big ice cube. BL One of the first local gins to be aged in oak, making an elegant style of craft gin, although pricey. –Trevor Kallies

PERCY’S OLD FASHIONED LEMONADE FR Subtle sour lemon and sour candies. FL Starts quite tart, citric acid, lemonade with artificial flavours. FE Very bubbly, no vodka at all on the palate. FI Sweet, slightly cloying finish. BE On ice on the golf course! Perhaps with a dash of Aperol. BL Wouldn’t complain on a hot day at the lake. –Shaun Layton 63

Other products include: Urban Single Malt Whisky, Spirit Bear Gin, Spirit Bear Vodka, Spirit Bear Espresso Infused Vodka.

Other products include: Victoria Gin, Left Coast Hemp Vodka, Craigdarroch Whisky, Twisted Bitters, Pinot Noir Eau de Vie.

Other products include: XFour Handcrafted Vodka, Xoxolat Chocolate Cocktail, Percy’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Infused Vodka.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no


WAYWARD DISTILLATION HOUSE

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THE WOODS SPIRIT CO.

YALETOWN DISTILLING COMPANY

2931 Moray Ave, Courtenay 250-871-0424 WaywardDistillationHouse.com WaywardDistillation @WaywardDH

1450 Rupert Street, North Vancouver (opening soon) 778-996-7637 TheWoodsSpiritCo.com @WoodsSpiritCo

1132 Hamilton St., Vancouver 604-669-2266 YTDistilling.com Yaletown-Distilling-Company @YTDistilling

Harking bark to the earliest recorded alcohols, Comox-based Wayward starts all its products by first creating mead to form the base, and add a touch of sweetness on the nose.

Friends Joel Myers and Fabio Martini’s West Coast version of Amaro uses traditional botanicals such as rhubarb and bitter orange, as well as the more unconventional grand fir.

A successful brewery in the heart of the city, Yaletown moved into spirits in 2013, distilling gin and vodka from B.C. barley. Tours and tastings are available onsite.

KRUPNIK SPICED HONEY LIQUEUR

PACIFIC NORTHWEST AMARO

FR Cinnamon, honey, nutmeg, vanilla. FL A beautiful fall day in a glass. FE Thick like a liqueur. I’d definitely cut it with a base spirit such as rum or bourbon. FI Warm, sweet, spicy. Yum! BE Chill and sip on rocks or mix in a cocktail. Whiskey Sour using bourbon, Krupnik, lemon, chai and bitters. BL These guys are doing everything right. –Scott Barber

FR Woodsy with grand fir. FL Astringent, with an underlying spiciness. FE Clean and crisp, but with the sense of mouth-coating syrup. FI Spicy with a long lasting bitterness. BE I tried it in a Negroni and it works surprisingly well. Or serve chilled, neat. BL A great bitter liqueur made with the tradional amaro in mind. –Robyn Gray

YALETOWN GIN FR Lemon and juniper. FL Sweet and fruity. FE Viscuous, coats the mouth. FI Lightly bitter. BE Sweet and fruity, with a lemon backbone—a perfect match for a Corpse Reviver #2. BL Produced from locally grown barley this gin has a richness and mouth feel reminiscent of a Genever-style gin. –Robyn Gray

Other products include: Unruly Gin, Unruly Vodka, Bourbon Barreled Gin, Drunken Hive Rum.

No other products.

Other products include: Yaletown Vodka, Yaletown Mandarin Vodka.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no

Tasting Room yes


ON THE TOWN

LOCAL BARTENDERS MIXED IT UP FOR CHARIT Y AT THE ANNUAL SCIENCE OF COCKTAILS EVENT.

1

2 3

4

Lucy-kate Armstrong photos

1 Gez McAlpine’s Nitro Lady took inspiration from Scotland’s Botanist Gin. 2 Ardbeg provided the peat in the Union’s Kristi Leigh Akister’s Islay Milk Punch. 3 Jenner Cormier mixed up classic Martinis in the style of London’s Connaught Bar. 4 World Class Canada 2016 winner Shane Mulvany embraced chemistry to make his nitro-fuelled cocktail.

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THE LAST WORD “THE BIT TERS ARE EXCELLENT FOR YOUR LIVER, THE GIN IS BAD FOR YOU. THEY BAL ANCE EACH OTHER.” ORSON WELLES WRITING FROM ROME IN 1947 ON THE REL ATIVE MERITS OF THE NEGRONI IN A MISSIVE TO THE OHIO-BASED COSHOCTON TRIBUNE.

A CL ASSIC NEGRONI 1 oz gin 1 oz sweet vermouth 1 oz Campari

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Place all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with an orange twist. Serves 1.

Dan Toulgoet photo


D FTE CRAin D N HA

AS TEX

My Texas Handmade Vodka beats the giant “Imports” every day. That’s because it’s distilled six times, we use oldfashioned pot stills we built ourselves, and taste test every batch to make sure you get only the best. Try Texan! Tito’s is made from corn, so it’s naturally gluten-free.

DISTILLED & BOTTLED IN AUSTIN, TX DISTILLED & BOTTLED BY FIFTH GENERATION INC. 40% ALC./VOL. © 2017 TITO’S HANDMADE VODKA.


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The Alchemist – Spring 2017  

B.C.’s only magazine dedicated to local distilleries and cocktail culture is back with a winter issue filled with lively commentary and usef...