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SUMMER 2016

GO WEST

BAR HOP

BITTER MEMORY

HIGHBALL HERO

Crafting a B.C. cocktail culture

The art of solo drinking

The Negroni and its friends

Taking the G&T to the next level

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150+ BOTTLES OF WHISKEY 9 0 5 D u n s mu i r St | d o n n e l l yg ro u p . ca


Contents 06 – FUNKY TOWN How Vancouver’s intrepid barkeeps are mixing up B.C.’s more unusual spirits by Alexandra Gill 13 – THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Pioneer distiller Ken Winchester continues his craft at deVine Spirits by Treve Ring

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Fred Fung photo

20 – THE COSMOPOLITAN Why solo drinking is not to be snubbed by John Burns, illustration by Roxana Bikadoroff

Alexa Mazzarello photo

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23 – BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY There’s nothing simple about the history of the Negroni by Joanne Sasvari 30 – LOVE ON THE ROCKS Can cocktails be properly dressed for dinner? by Fiona Morrow

37 – GIN FIZZ Gin and tonics are back in vogue across bars from Barcelona to B.C. by Fiona Morrow

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42 – ENTER THE DRAGON China’s most popular spirit gets a Canadian makeover by Alexangra Gill 52 – SUMMER LOVIN’ Berries bring a burst of flavour to the home bar by Justin Taylor

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61-79 – DISTILLERY LISTINGS With tasting notes from our panel of experts. Alexa Mazzarello photo


Contributors

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Roxanna Bikadoroff is an award-winning Vancouverbased artist whose illustrations have been published internationally for more than 25 years, most recently in collaboration with author and former CBC personality, Bill Richardson.

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.

John Burns has been writing about politics, culture and food for over 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.

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.

Alexandra Gill is the Globe and Mail’s western restaurant critic and a freelance food and drinks writer for numerous publications. She moved to Vancouver at the start of the city’s cocktail renaissance. No wonder she never left.

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.


Issha Marie and Alison Page photo

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t’s been a busy few months for B.C.’s fastgrowing spirits industry, with just over 30 micro distilleries now in operation. In this issue of The Alchemist, we aim to help you navigate the amazing range of local products available by increasing the scope of our distillery listings. We are excited to introduce our panel of experts who, between them, have compiled tasting notes for one product from each distillery (that we are aware of). Our goal is, issue by issue, to build a comprehensive resource for bartenders, distillers and consumers alike. And let’s not forget the cocktail culture with which this industry is indelibly linked. Our top team of writers highlight trends and classics, profile distillers and bartenders, and give you tips on how to create great summery drinks at home. And, in the first edition of his regular column, our man at the bar, John Burns, explains why drinking alone can be good for the soul. Cheers to that!

EDITOR: Fiona Morrow fmorrow@thealchemist.ca PUBLISHER: Dee Dhaliwal @deedhaliwal ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Gail Nugent gnugent@glaciermedia.ca DESIGN: Tara Rafiq, Anja Werner CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Issha Marie and Alison Page (cover), Laura McGuire, Alexa Mazzarello @TheAlchemistBC @TheAlchemistMag Published by: Glacier Community Media 303 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1J6 604-742-8678 © The Alchemist 2016 $5.99 – This issue complimentary

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Fred Fung photo

Funky town

COULD B.C.’S NEW SPIRITS INSPIRE A TRULY WEST COAST COCKTAIL CULTURE? by Alexandra Gill

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K

“Double strained after sitting on the shelf for 10 days.”

“Milk liqueur,” she says, beaming proudly.

Ooh, funky — and obviously crying out to be mixed with a commensurately funky local spirit.

aitlyn Stewart slides a mason jar filled with a disturbingly yellow liquid across her bar at Royal Dinette in downtown Vancouver. I hope it’s not what it looks like.


LEFT: At Royal Dinette, Kaitlyn Stewart embraces the challenge craft spirits bring.

The new world of British Columbia craft distilling has led us into uncharted taste territory. Partly because of provincial regulations that require small distillers to make their own neutral grain spirit, and partly due to inexperience, the local artisan hooch often exudes unusual creamy weightiness, odd grain aromas and distinctive banana, lavender and soapy flavours. That doesn’t necessarily make these unique spirits bad—in fact, some are great. They’re just different. But they don’t always play well with classic cocktail profiles, and can be challenging to work with when designing new drinks; the bartenders who use them must be creative. The few that are taking that challenge head on are mapping a new field of West Coast-style libations. For her milk liqueur, Stewart gravitates to Odd Society Spirits’ East Van Vodka. “It’s a little earthy and harsh on the rye side, which can throw people off,” she says. “When I first tasted it, blind, I didn’t even think it was vodka. I thought it might be a gin infusion or a small-batch white whiskey.” The milk liqueur (pleasantly creamsicle-like on its own) takes

advantage of the vodka’s nonneutrality, lending it extra sweetness and viscosity. Stewart adds a touch of arancino and a splash of gingerhoney mead to tease out the vodka’s rye sweetness, and serves her newly invented Milky-Whey on the rocks to bind the flavours. Soft, citrusy and slightly bitter on the finish, the drink is totally delicious and utterly unique. “I love working with all these new spirits,” says Stewart, who often collaborates with Royal Dinette’s chef, Jack Chen, on ugly duckling oddities such as pea-shell-juice Martinis. “It gives me something different to play with every day.”

KAITLYN STEWART’S MILK LIQUEUR RECIPE

2 cups of whole milk 2 cups of vodka or grappa 2 cups of sugar 2 oranges (cut into pieces) 1 lemon (cut into pieces) Pour all ingredients into a large jar and cover. Leave for 10 days at room temperature. Stir or shake daily. After 10 days, strain contents. Strain again through a coffee filter. Repeat until the liquid is clear.

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THE NEW WORLD OF BRITISH COLUMBIA CRAFT DISTILLING HAS LED US INTO UNCHARTED TASTE TERRITORY.

Katie Cross photo

It seems strange that there aren’t more Vancouver bartenders getting behind B.C. craft spirits. This is a city, after all, where eating locally is practically a religion, craft beer is the fastestgrowing segment of the homegrown beverage industry, and B.C. wines have dominated liquor store sales for more than a decade.

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“You want to support local,” says Jay Jones, beverage director of Vij’s Restaurant Group, which boasts its own grape gin— Bolly Water—made at Okanagan Crush Pad. “These are friends and colleagues. But when it comes to choosing what bottles you’re placing on your back bar, the cost has to be right, and it has to stand up to international competition. You’re not going to shoehorn in something that is awkward just to support it. It has to fight for its place on the shelf.” I get it. B.C. spirits are expensive, distribution is unpredictable and the quality can be inconsistent. The bartenders who do put the time and

The Mackenzie Room’s Arthur Wynne plays up the unique qualities of local spirits.

effort into making local spirits work might not be reaping the sponsorships and discounts that large international conglomerates can provide, but they are the intrepid explorers making new discoveries. “It’s almost like Jekyll and Hyde,” says Arthur Wynne, head bartender at The Mackenzie Room, as we marvel over the unexpected versatility of Fermentorium Distilling Co.’s Stump Coastal Forest Gin. “Being a unique spirit, you can give it different personalities.” For his West Coast Fizz, Wynne has been playing with a variety of craft beers. When mixed with Four Winds IPA, the gin’s Cascade hops come to the forefront, pulling out a roasted walnut flavour. With Twin Sails Pilsner, the gin’s lighter fir, citrus and bay laurel notes are accentuated. “It’s different, but it’s supposed to be,” Wynne says. “This isn’t Beefeater or Tanqueray. This is New World gin.”


Fred Fung photo

THE MILKY-WHEY

Unique, delicious and ver y West Coast. 1 oz milk liqueur (see page 7) 0.5 oz East Van vodka 0.25 oz arancino 0.5 oz B.C. mead 0.5 oz fresh-pressed orange juice 0.5 oz whey

Combine all ingredients into shaker tin. Vigorously shake for 15 seconds. Fine strain over ice into rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist. —by Kaitlyn Stewart

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Back to the future GL AMOUR IS BACK ON THE MENU AT NOTCH8 RESTAURANT & BAR Glamour is in the Hotel Vancouver’s bones. From its early years as the jewel of Canadian Pacific’s hotel empire, to its current position as one of the Fairmont’s luxury destinations, the iconic Vancouver hotel understands what it is that makes customers feel special. And that commitment to customer service has recently been boosted once again, with the arrival of Philippe Grandbois as General Manager of the hotel’s swish Notch8 Restaurant & Bar. “Our whole approach here is the ‘new age of glamour,’” Grandbois says, explaining how he’s been digging through the hotel’s archives, poring over the carefully preserved menus and cocktail lists of yesteryear. “Much dust has been disturbed,” he laughs.

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His mission is to live up to the restaurant’s name: Notch8 refers to the eighth notch of throttle power in an original steam locomotive, the point at which the train was running at its most efficient.

“That’s what we are aiming to do here,” Grandbois notes. “We are taking our bar and food program up to Notch8.” To do that, Grandbois is focusing on the period between the 1890s and 1930s. The new bar menu invokes that era with Crab Louie salad, and a modern play on the restaurant’s original prime rib—all using the best quality ingredients available now. Quality is the watchword behind the bar, too. Notch8’s Old Fashioned uses 12-year-old Glenlivet and bespoke Hotel Vancouver Old Fashioned bitters. Those looking for a Manhattan may customize their drink from a choice of 55 whiskies and four vermouths, and have the cocktail finished sweet or dry to taste. “We’re making the best possible versions of those classics,” Grandbois insists. “It’s about top quality spirits, house made syrups and shrubs. And every single cocktail listed, from the Saratoga to the Grasshopper—will have been on one of those original Hotel Vancouver menus.”

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Supplied photo

Room with a view: deVine’s distillery looks out at Mount Baker.

Through the grapevine HOW A VINTNER BECAME ONE OF B.C.’S LEADING DISTILLERS by Treve Ring

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hough his reputation preceded him, I first met Ken Winchester, fittingly, in a winery. Back in 2005 he was growing grapes and making wine at Vancouver Island’s only certified organic

vineyard, at Saanich Peninsula’s Barking Dog Winery. Welcoming, travelled, and unpretentiously smart, he became a quick and easy friend, and was an early advocate for drinking and supporting local.

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VINEYARD, ORCHARD, FIELD AND HIVE: THAT IS OUR PHILOSOPHY FOR PRODUCING THE FINEST OF CRAFT SPIRITS.

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Supplied photo


WE WANT A TRUE FARM DISTILLERY, SOURCING AS MUCH FROM OUR FARM AND THE SAANICH PENINSUL A AS WE CAN. It was on that site at Barking Dog that Winchester crafted Victoria Gin, by all accounts a game-changing spirit for not only B.C., but Canada. Eleven organic and wild botanicals went into the flagship spirit, highlighting not only the diversity of our region, but the high quality of what was possible. John and Catherine Windsor purchased the adjoining rundown farm that was to become deVine Vineyards in 2007, and turned to Winchester to help plant their first vines, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, and shortly thereafter, Grüner Veltliner (I remember well, as my family was involved in the backbreaking sloped planting). By the time the winery opened in 2010, Winchester was on board as consulting winemaker, and a couple of years later the discovery of a vintage German pot still lit the fire to begin a new distillery. In 2015, Winchester joined deVine full time, overseeing the estate’s organic vineyards and winemaking, as well as the operation of their gleaming workhorse still, restored and refitted by Winchester, and affectionately named Brunhilde.

LEFT: Ken Winchester is one of B.C.’s spirit pioneers.

Brunhilde has been busy keeping pace with Winchester’s active mind and creativity. “We want a true farm distillery, sourcing as much from our farm and the Saanich Peninsula as we can,” he explains. “We’ve started tapping our maple trees for sap for our whisky, and we’re installing hives on the property for our [rum-style] Honey Shine.

Supplied photo

deVine’s Vin Gin is distilled from grapes.

“Vineyard, orchard, field and hive: that is our philosophy for producing the finest of craft spirits.” Their Vin Gin was double distilled from estate and Saanich Pinot Gris and Grüner Veltliner grapes before undergoing a third distillation along with a dozen local and wild foraged botanicals. New Tom Barrel Aged Gin is barrel-rested in smaller bourbon barrels, amping the sweetness without dampening the herbal essence of the gin. Their newest release, Genever Original Dutch Style Gin looks back a few hundred years to early gin production, is distilled from malted grain and flavoured with more than 20 botanicals, some of them obscure, such as Mugwort and Blessed Thistle.

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deVine is proud to use local and wild foraged botanicals.

As far as Winchester knows, they are the only distillery in North America producing all three styles. Honey Shine is deVine’s take on rum, utilizing local honey as a base for this rich, smooth spirit. The limited release Black Bear infuses potent dark spices into one barrel of Honey Shine. In November they will release their first single malt, Glen Saanich, made from local Saanich barley, floor-malted on the Peninsula, mashed, fermented and distilled twice, then aged in bourbon barrels. Winchester, who apprenticed at Islay’s Bruichladdich Distillery, was hesitant at first. “I wanted to be sure we could be a true farm distillery, using local grain, to make a pure Vancouver Island whisky.” In addition to what the farm itself can grow, deVine works with numerous local harvesters, foragers, farmers and producers for their diverse range of spirits, a trend Winchester predicts to skyrocket. “There are approximately 65 licensed operating micro distilleries in Canada, almost half of those in B.C., and there are 10 pending licenses due to open this year. Out of those

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Supplied photo

30-odd in B.C., 10 are on the Island,” Winchester notes. “B.C. is the epicentre of the Canadian artisan spirits movement.” And the humble Winchester is the kindred spirit leading the way.

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deVine’s small batch and seasonal products such as Black Ram (a lush wild blackberry brandy), Kiss (a local strawberry base vodka) and Pomme (an organic apple and pear brandy aged in whisky casks), use no back blending or sweetening, just pure, local fruit.


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When Okanagan Crush Pad opened in 2011, it was the first custom-crush facility of its kind in Canada. With a focus on showcasing the fresh minerality of local grapes, OCP allowed small growers to make and market their own wines. Since then, the facility has grown by leaps and bounds. “We’ve graduated about 12 different wineries and have our own two labels, Haywire and Narrative,” says Matt Dumayne, OCP’s chief winemaker. The famed concrete eggs that replaced the traditional oak barrels for aging have been so successful that the facility has now phased

out oak and invested in even more of the space-shaped vats over more concrete tankings totaling 60,000 litres. Now, Dumayne gets to add another title: that of chief distiller. “I’d done some distilling previously in New Zealand, which is the only country in the world where it’s legal to distill in your own home,” he laughs. “I’d played around with brandies and grappas, and other spirits.” The turning point was when OCP started looking into making a fortified, port-style


wine. “We wanted to use our own wine, instead of a grain-based spirit from elsewhere,” explains Dumayne. “We received our license last October, and started by bottling a brandy-style grape spirit, made from seven different varietals. Each varietal makes for a different flavour profile, so there was a lot of experimentation at first.” The result is the first release under the winery’s Narrative label, Spirit of the Vineyard, a triple-distilled spirit with a clean, fresh profile. And, while Dumayne states that vodka is not in the plans, he’s quick to point out that Spirit of the Vineyard can be used as a substitute for vodka. “It’s clear and very pure,” he explains. Nor is that the only spirit that OCP is launching. In November, barely a month after the license was granted, Dumayne was contacted by Vij’s Restaurant Group about creating a handcrafted gin to celebrate the launch of the new location on Cambie Street in Vancouver. “We worked very closely with Vikram, Jay Jones and Mike Bernardo to create something very distinctive. It was a rush, but we had it bottled and ready for the opening,” noted Dumayne. The result was Vij’s Bolly Water, a London Dry-style gin, savoury and a little spicy, with hints of fennel and anise— both ingredients that are heavily used in Vij’s kitchens. And with Vij’s Bolly Water under its belt, OCP is now working on its own Narrative gin, called 12 Botanicals, which leans more toward the fresh, citrus-driven style.

As for the future, Dumayne is working on some longer-term projects. “I’m aging some grape spirit in old wine barrels. It’s all experimental at this point. It will be at least three to five years before we have anything, but we’re aiming for something lively and fresh, with subtle French oak notes.” Brandy, anyone? Okanagan Crush Pad, based in Summerland BC is open for tours, tastings and has a retail center that offers their full line of spirits and wine. The winery is located on Switchback Organic Vineyard, home to roaming sheep, chickens and ducks.

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THE COSMOPOLITAN JOHN BURNS, OUR MAN AT THE BAR, REVEALS THE NOT-SO-GUILT Y PLEASURES OF DRINKING ALONE

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man walks into a bar. He’s alone; it’s the same old story. Maybe he’s looking for company, or to get out of that hotel and watch the game, or just to unwind. So he orders a drink and it’s the right drink and it’s made well. He takes a breath, a sip. A breath, a sip. Even in the age of 24/7 social check-ins and check-outs, it’s still possible to head to a bar and just…be. It’s one of my signal pleasures when I travel, which I do often for work. (I’m writing this on a plane now as it happens, en route to a bar.) After a wall of meetings, I want some alone time, but not alone alone. Follow? I want bustle around me but stillness within—perhaps that’s one definition of the right cocktail at the right spot.

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Exactly a year ago, I was sitting in Munich’s Haus der Kunst, the gallery Hitler built to glorify Nazi art. On the main floor of that austere relic is one of the city’s best watering holes. There’s something both seedy and worldly about

the Goldene Bar. Rattan chairs cluster conspiratorially around tables onto which fat candles slowly melt. Servers are friendly, children come and go, everyone’s wearing scarves and exactly nobody glances at the walls and their patently racist gilt paintings (original, from the ’30s) depicting the countries of the spirits served. It’s voyeur heaven, made perfect by a Cosmopolitan jolted by local bitters and (a quirky touch) a shot of Munich’s famed helles beer. A year earlier, I found myself in Austin, Texas, with a nice group of folks I needed a break from. It wasn’t them; it was me, so I split off for “errands” at the W Hotel’s Secret Bar, a clandestine nook reached by entering first the hotel, then the main Living Room Bar, then the Records Room (itself a wistful destination), then finally our destination, a well-provisioned, scarlet-walled bolt hole that, like all W bars, attracts the bespoke set. Being south of the Mason-Dixon, I went for a Metropolitan, an improbably delicious


THESE ARE PROUSTIAN SCENES FOR ME, PERFECTLY FORMED MOMENTS I CAN STILL RECALL WITH FULL CL ARIT Y.

Manhattan with Bulleit rye, basil and raspberry and it was heaven. These are Proustian scenes for me, perfectly formed moments I can still recall with full clarity: what I was wearing, the music, the heat of the alcohol and the chock of the ice, the snacks, badinage with the bartender, the calm that comes from watching the drink go out like the tide. My happiest cocktail again found me in the springtime. I was sitting on the dock of Nimmo Bay last May, a luxury fly-in fishing resort midway up the coast to Alaska. For various reasons, I was the only guest, so I had the place to myself (well, me and 20 or so employees there to meet my every whim). Afternoons feature cocktails on the floating dock, beside the fire pit, so there I was watching the Great Bear Rainforest do what it’s been doing since Raven first brought the light when the clock struck G&T and one of the unfailingly friendly staff brought over an ample rocks glass of Victoria Spirits gin, fancy hipster tonic, wedges of lime and a pile of ice. It was shockingly cold, astringent, citric, floral. Clarifying. There was no music, there were no crowds, there wasn’t a dance floor or a menu even. Just me, my drink, and the most beautiful ambiance you could ever imagine. I was alone, perfectly content.

ILLUSTRATION HERE

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Alexa Mazzarello photo

Classic, White or Boulevardier—a Negroni is a sexy, sophisticated drink.

Bittersweet symphony THE L ATEST TWIST IN THE TALE OF THE NEGRONI by Joanne Sasvari

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Rosewood Hotel Georgia photo

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or a drink so simple, the Negroni is one impressively complicated cocktail. It contains only three ingredients— equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari—but those three ingredients comprise a world of flavours and aromas: bitter, sweet, citrus, floral, herbal, spicy, medicinal. It has a sexy backstory, except that it isn’t true.

A BIT OF BOURDAIN

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Anthony Bourdain made a pitcher of Negronis for his TV crew while in Italy a few years back. One bottle Campari. One bottle sweet vermouth. One bottle gin. “Those things hit you like a freight train after four or five,” he told Maxim magazine, recalling finding his cameraman passed out with his head in a freezer. “I reached over him to get some cheese.”

Or maybe it is. No one is quite sure. It is one of the most classic of cocktails, but it has also inspired countless variations, one of which, the Americano, was actually the original drink upon which the Negroni was based and which in itself was based on a drink called the Milano-Torino, or perhaps it was the Torino-Milano. Confused yet? Just wait until you meet the Inception. “The idea of the Inception is a cocktail within a cocktail, a dream within a dream, a Negroni within a Negroni,” says the drink’s creator, Robyn Gray, head bartender at Prohibition at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Inspired both by his love of Negronis and by a cocktail he’d once seen another bartender make inside an


PEOPLE IN LONDON HAVE LITERALLY COME AND STAYED AT THE HOTEL GEORGIA SO THEY COULD HAVE MY COCKTAIL. eggshell, Gray crafted a revolutionary new cocktail: an ice sphere filled with a traditional Negroni and placed into a glass filled with a White Negroni (the softer, rounder, more floral iteration). As the ice melts and cracks, the two drinks mingle together in an everchanging symphony of flavours. “You get two Negronis in one,” Gray says. “It’s really quite interesting.” LEFT: Robyn Gray’s Inception cocktail is drawing international attention.

Already, the Inception is garnering attention from around the world. After it was written up on the British cocktail website Difford’s Guide, calls started coming in from as far away as Buenos Aires. “People in London have literally come and stayed at the Georgia so they could have my cocktail,” Gray says. “Are you kidding me?” The Inception is just the latest twist in a story that may or may not have started in 1919 in the Bar Casoni in Florence, Italy. The way the story goes, a local man-about-town called Comte Camillo Negroni would swing by for a drink of Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water. The drink was named for Milan and Turin, the hometowns of its two main ingredients, but was better known as an Americano, because of its popularity among visiting tourists. Negroni asked the bartender, Fosco Scarselli, if he couldn’t make it just a tad stronger. Scarselli replaced the soda with gin and the rest is history. Except, of course, it’s not. According to Difford’s Guide, Florence’s Negroni

HAVE IT YOUR WAY

For a White Negroni, replace the vermouth with Lillet Blanc and the Campari with French Suze bitters; for a Boulevardier, switch out the gin for bourbon; and for an Americano, lose the gin and spritz things up with soda water.

family insists there has never been a Camillo Negroni in its thousand-year history. Instead, it was a Frenchman, also named Negroni, who invented the drink in the 1870s, in Africa. Still another story has it being invented in the United States, in 1895, when it was called, somewhat disappointingly, the Dundarado. And then, of course, there are the myriad variations such as the Boulevardier, where bourbon replaces the gin. Regardless of its murky beginnings, the Negroni has become part of the pantheon of the world’s great cocktail classics, which includes the Manhattan, the Martini and the Margarita. It is decidedly a grownup drink, the drink you order when you want to show off how smart, how savvy, how sophisticated you are. And sexy, too. “You have the botanical flavour of the gin, you have the sweet and aromatized wine, and then you have the bitter and orange of Campari,” Gray says. “It’s the perfect threesome.”

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Alexa Mazzarello photo

A CL ASSIC NEGRONI W hen only the original will do.

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1 oz gin 1 oz sweet vermouth 1 oz Campari

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


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Dream team SABRINE DHALIWAL TAKES OVER THE GUEST EXPERIENCE AT UVA Sabrine Dhaliwal didn’t have to join UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar—with her bartending pedigree she would have had her choice of bar manager positions in this town. So why sign on to run the room that had, to date, been defined by Vancouver’s cocktail queen Lauren Mote? “Why not?” Dhaliwal counters, with a playful smile. “I’ve known Lauren for about five years, so I’ve been fortunate enough to see how she built her cocktails and what avenues she goes in. I’m fortunate in that way to have an insight into that realm.” Since December, Dhaliwal has been focused on not only maintaining Mote’s fine legacy, but expanding on it. “I’ll put my own personality, my own touch on the cocktail list, which is what I’ve been working on for the last few weeks,” she explains.

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To that end, she’s tight lipped at this point about what her menu-in-progress has in store, but she does let one hint slip.

“We’ll have a seasonal page of about four drinks,” she reveals. “It will be really bright and refreshing, with some floral, some maple. I grew up in back east so cabane à sucre (sugar shack) has always been a thing for me. That’s the name of one of the cocktails,” she admits, with a grin. “I’ll give you that.” Prior to joining UVA and its highly decorated hospitality team (which includes sommelier Jayton Paul and assistant bar manager Lily Duong), Dhaliwal had been winning international awards from behind the wood at West. Since making the move, however, she says she has truly been able to let her mixologist talents shine, especially given the volume of drinks flying over the bar. “This room can change in an instant. It can go from calm and quiet to full in a matter of five minutes and you just have to crank it out—you just have to put it into high gear and just go with it,” she laughs. “This room is so much fun when that happens. Everyone’s here to have a good time, and I really love that energy.”

UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, 900 Seymour St., 604-632-9560 CiboTrattoriaUvaWineCocktailBar @UVAVancouver


RECIPE: SPRING STROLL

Shake / Strain / Collins Glass / Rocks / Grapefruit Peel Garnish 1.5 oz Havana 3 yr Anejo Rum 0.75 oz Chamomile Syrup 0.75 oz Lime Juice 0.5 oz Amontillado Sherry 2 dashes Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech Bitters Top with Tonic Water


Alexa Mazzarello photo

Love on the rocks CAN CREATIVE COCKTAILS COMPETE WITH WINE FOR A PL ACE AT THE DINNER TABLE? 30

by Fiona Morrow

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he relationship between cocktails and food lacks commitment in many people’s minds. Sure, a good

Martini with a plate of freshly shucked oysters is a sexy start to any date, but is it the basis for a long-term love affair?


IS OUR TENDENCY TO SEE COCKTAILS AS A PRE-DINNER FLING—OR A NO-HOLDS-BARRED ONE-NIGHT STAND—FAIR?

LEFT: Maenam’s play on a sidecar, the Rusty Bumper, infuses salted plum and cumin and pairs well with several dishes, including an eight-spice ling cod and Yum Plah salmon salad.

Spirit-based drinks have more success at the brunch or lunch table, either adding a bit of fizz to eggs Benedict, or providing a restorative hair-of-the-dog to the morning after the night before. The Mad Men-style three-Martini “business meeting” of old fashioned expense accounts has largely become a thing of nostalgia, and few ladies who lunch appear to have the same determination to drink as heartily as did their predecessors. But is our tendency to see cocktails as a pre-dinner fling—or a no-holds-barred one-night stand—fair? Like most pairings in life, it depends; both sides of the match need to bring something to the table, and together they must balance. Balance is everything in Thai food, so it should come as no surprise that the bespoke cocktail list at Vancouver’s Maenam restaurant digs deeply into Thai traditions to create inventive, complex partners for chef/owner Angus An’s carefully crafted dishes. LOST LUNCH

The lost art of day drinking is exemplified in Todd Haynes’ recent 1950s period movie Carol, when Cate Blanchett takes Rooney Mara out for lunch and orders poached eggs over creamed spinach—with a dry Martini.

“It was a little bit challenging, at first,” admits Maenam’s bar manager James Welk. “You’re drawing on all these strong Thai elements—sour, salty, sweet, bitter—in a way that works for a cocktail.” The Thai pantry offers no end of bold aromatics, and Maenam’s cocktail list embraces many of them—lemongrass, tamarind, makrut lime leaf, Thai basil, galangal—in infused base spirits and house made syrups and bitters. For his Ma Kwam Whan, Welk infuses bourbon with ground espresso and chopped and bruised makrut lime leaves, adds fresh ginger and his own tamarind water and house made pomelo bitters, creating a rich, slightly sweet mix with a hint of lingering bitterness at the end from the coffee notes. Paired with Kra Toung Tong— an appetizer of Dungeness crab “cupcakes” that includes peanuts, toasted coconut and a dressing with a base of caramelized palm sugar— the cocktail pushes back the layers of sweetness without masking the delicate crab. It also, Welk says, works well with red curries and the classic Pad Thai, if customers are prepared to try something different.

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Shira Blustein photo

“It is a bit of a leap,” he admits. “Most people jump to beer first with Thai, and then maybe a Riesling. But if they step out of the box, they’re usually pleasantly surprised.” Vegetables may not be the first food group that comes to mind when hard liquor is involved, but The Acorn is hardly a typical vegetarian restaurant. Alongside the modern, innovative and stylish cuisine of chef Robert Clarke, the bar program at the Main Street eatery is always pushing the boundaries of what constitutes a cocktail ingredient. A dinner presented with Vancouver craft distillery Odd Society earlier this year embodied The Acorn’s approach, with local, organic and foraged produce elevated into something totally unexpected and at times, quite brilliant.

SWEET AND SOUR

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According to Vancouver cocktail maven Lauren Mote, “Any time you put vinegar in a cocktail, it becomes food-friendly.” Mote has designed the new Oceans cocktail list at Yew Restaurant & Bar to complement chef Ned Bell’s seafood-forward menu.

The Acorn’s vegetarian take on a traditional choucroute garni inspired a cocktail with a dehydrated lemon wheel garnish.

A dish based around carrots, chestnut mousse and coconut was paired with Howl At The Moon, a cocktail with Odd Society’s Mongrel Moonshine as the base, which instantly enlivened the palate and balanced out the natural sweetness of the dish with a ballsy fermented blood orange shrub. Later, a cocktail paired with two dishes—one a take on choucroute garni, the other a rich sunchoke chickpea dish—was served with separate garnishes. First, a dehydrated lemon peel dusted with mustard powder, then a honeysuckle smoked beech mushroom. It was a simple, but very smart solution that demonstrated an acute understanding of balance. Bar manager Aimee Corno comes to cocktails with a strong background in wine, and says the same principles apply when it comes to food and spirits pairings. “If you have a rich, full and fatty dish, you need to counteract that with tannins and acid. A great cocktail has all the same components of a beautifully structured wine, and there’s every reason it can be as successful a pairing with a meal.”


MA KHAM WAHN A tasty T hai experience.

2 oz bourbon, infused with coffee and makrut lime leaf* 0.75 oz makrut lime leaf simple syrup a dash of fresh ginger juice 1.5 oz of tamarind water A dash each of pomelo bitters and old fashioned bitters

Build cocktail over ice, serve with a lemon rind garnish and a bruised fresh makrut lime leaf. *Add 2 tablespoons of ground espresso beans and 12 macerated lime leaves to 1 litre of bourbon and infuse overnight. —by James Welk

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Alexa Mazzarello photo


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Locovore libations ISL AND-TO-GL ASS COCKTAILS RULE THE BAR AT OLO

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The concept of “farm-to-table” isn’t new for B.C. restaurants. What’s served from behind the wood is now also joining the sustainable locavore movement for a more complete offering. Brad Holmes, owner and executive chef at OLO in Victoria, has long been a vocal proponent of this movement, and his cocktail program

reflects that. “Our whole restaurant is seasonal; the menu changes with what’s available on any given day and season. I always wanted to bring that to the bar. And now, with all of the great gins and vermouths and other local products, we can offer something that was grown in B.C., produced in B.C. and served in B.C.”


That concept, Holmes states, minimizes by-product and waste, helps to match the flavour profile of the food, and encourages ingredient-sharing between the “liquid” and “solid” kitchens. “The local gin we serve is made with herbs that I use in the kitchen,” he enthuses. “When we make a rhubarb shrub for use in cocktails, I can also use it in a vinaigrette.” As the seasons change, so, too, will the menu. “In winter, you don’t have a lot of fresh produce, so you’re relying on your preserves; like the fruit you canned during the peak of the season. Then the forests start waking up, and then finally the farms are ready. “We make everything we’re allowed to make ourselves,” laughs Holmes. “So, no cultured cheese, but pretty much everything else.” The restaurant is also big on offering options for those with sensitivities. “We use the grape-based gin from deVine Spirits, for those who can’t do grains. We want to make sure there’s balance in our offerings and also in the flavour profile, so that we have something for every taste.”

With the restaurant opening for brunch and lunch starting in May, the cocktail program will also expand. “We’re making a Caesar from our own canned tomatoes, with herbs from Sooke, sea salt from Cow Bay, and vodka from a local Island distillery such as Ampersand or Arbutus,” explains Holmes. “Our house Martini is made from all-B.C. ingredients. We use maraschino from Okanagan Spirits, Odd Society’s Bittersweet Vermouth, Phillips Fermentorium’s Hop Drop Tincture and Stump Coastal Forest gin, which is made 100 metres from the restaurant, plus our own housemade pickled fir tip.” Island to table never tasted this good.

OLO Restaurant, 509 Fisgard St., Victoria, 250-590-8795, @OLORestaurant, @OLO_Restaurant

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Classic (a.) “judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.�

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Pat Allan photo

Whistler’s Bar Oso is just one of many drink-forward destinations elevating the traditional gin and tonic.

Gin fizz

THE GIN AND TONIC IS SOPHISTICATED AGAIN by Fiona Morrow

J

ason Redmond expected to be impressed by many things about Spain, but he couldn’t have guessed the biggest takeaway from his trip last summer would be a new take on a humble highball. “I was really surprised at the big signs outside all the little cafes and bars claiming they were selling the best ‘Gin

Tonic,’” the bar manager of Whistler’s Spanish-influenced Bar Oso recalls. “It was a really big deal, and one I had no idea about beforehand.” The fervour with which the Spanish have reinvigorated the ubiquitous G&T over the past two or three years is evident on menus across the globe. In

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THE THING THAT REALLY GRABBED ME, IS THE WAY THEY POURED THE TONIC SLOWLY DOWN A LONG TWIRLED BAR SPOON.

Las Vegas recently, the waiter at Jose André’s slick eatery, Jaleo, was clear to direct us to the restaurant’s signature iterations, which pair a variety of top quality gins with artisanal tonics and carefully curated garnishes.

and Cucumber/Rose (Hendrick’s and Fever Tree). While, based in the home of Mother’s Ruin itself, the London Gin Club stocks more than 200 gins, offering five different tasting menus of four gins each, all paired with Fever Tree Tonics, and enhanced by individually paired garnishes.

Ice and a slice just doesn’t cut it anymore: the Hierba at Jaleo pairs Portland’s HAVE IT YOUR WAY Aviation Gin with Jack Rudy Tonic, and Originally called ‘Indian comes with slices of tonic water,’ gin’s happiest orange and lime, a pairing originated as a sprig of fresh rosemary way to stave off malaria and a scattering of among Brits upholding pink peppercorns. It’s the Empire. Today, the floral and spicy and quinine content of tonic modern—about as is considerably lower, but far from the juniperbeware the sugar content quinine punch of many of mass-produced a painful hangover varieties. as you could possibly imagine.

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The gin and tonic menu at New York tapas restaurant Cata is a dizzying list, featuring more than 20 options, listed by flavour profiles that include Smoked Coconut (Spring 44 Old Tom Gin and Boylan Tonic), Liquorice (Martin Miller’s and Q)

Back in Barcelona, and researching for Bar Oso’s fall 2015 opening, Redmond was learning fast just how the gin and tonic had become Spain’s new national drink.

The first obvious improvement was the glass: gone was the tall tumbler, replaced by a Burgundy bowl that offers a greater surface area. He watched as the bartender filled the bowl with ice, stirred with a spoon to chill the glass, then poured out the excess water. They pour in a good double shot of gin, and add tonic, keeping the ratio of tonic to gin at two to one, three to one at most.


New York’s Cata restaurant features more than 20 different G&T’s

Cata Restaurant photo

“But the thing that really grabbed me,” Redmond says, “is the way they poured the tonic slowly down a long twirled bar spoon.” Mystified, Redmond learned that the technique is designed to hold the tonic’s carbonation. “Instead of smashing all the tonic in, letting all the bubbles fizz up and then go slack, you can see it stay lively and effervescent in the glass,” he explains. “And that in turn works to help release the botanicals in the gin and get all those aromas in your face as you lift it up.” At Bar Oso, Redmond devised a list of his own, drawing on gins from B.C. and beyond. His best-seller is a crisp, delicious mix of Vancouver distillery Long Table’s Cucumber Gin. DRINK LOCAL

In Vancouver, Juniper restaurant opened last December with an impressive gin and tonic slate using local products, including gins from Ampersand, Defender Island and Long Table distilleries.

“It’s made with cucumbers from the Sunshine Coast. We use Phillips’ Fermentorium Cucumber Mint Tonic, add a slice of fresh cucumber and a little bit of fresh mint smacked between the palms to release the oils. Refreshing and delicious.” But it’s another local offering— using Fermentorium’s Stump Gin— that Redmond considers his West Coast classic. “When I smell that gin, I think I’m walking in a West Coast rainforest,” he sighs. “It is a big hit of pine, but we’re making it work with a thin slice of lime and a nice piece of rosemary just smacked between the palms. “I’ve had people trying to source the gin to take it back home with them from all over the world,” he notes. “It’s a little bit bold, but people really like it.”

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Bar Oso photo

THE STUMP GIN & TONIC A West Coast take on a global classic

2 oz Fermentorium Stump Coastal Forest Gin

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4-6 oz Fermentorium Artisanal Dry Tonic, depending on taste

Garnish with a sprig of rosemary smacked between your palms, a thin slice of lime, and juniper berries. Serve in a large (approx 20 oz) Burgundy bowl. —by Jason Redmond


100% Organic Cold-Pressed Juice

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Laura McGuire photo

Enter the dragon IS BAIJIU THE NEW TEQUIL A? by Alexandra Gill 42

A

s unlikely as it sounds, the infamous Chinese firewater baijiu—a pungent brew capable of bringing tears to eyes and setting throats ablaze—could be the hot new ingredient for bartenders.

Clear, potent (50 per cent-plus alcohol by volume) and often compost-pile fetid, the centuries-old spirit distilled from sorghum and other grains is also the world’s most consumed liquor.


PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND. ‘VODKA?’ THEY ASK. NO. BAIJIU. IT HAS ITS OWN CATEGORY.

CULTURAL CROSSROADS

Never heard of it? You’re not alone. “When I bring my baijiu to the farmers’ markets, people don’t understand,” says Sherry Jiang, a Surrey, B.C.-based craft distiller, who sells the only Canadian-made baijiu under her Dragon Mist label.

LEFT: Baijiu is beginning to make its mark on western cocktail menus.

“‘Vodka?’ they ask. No. Baijiu. Like whisky and rum, it has its own category.” Unbeknownst to Jiang when she opened her distillery three years ago, Dragon Mist Baijiu is part of a new western invasion. Cuttingedge cocktail bars from Los Angeles (Peking Tavern) to New York (Lumos) are serving baijiu in tasting flights and shaking it into black-sesame Pina Coladas. In London last year, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust held its first baijiu master class, and February saw nine bars participating in the city’s third annual Baijiu Cocktail Week. World

BAIJIU BASICS

Baijiu is generally classified by four different aroma categories: soy sauce (Moutai is the most famous brand); rice (Vinn Baijiu, a micro-distiller in Portland, makes this style); light (Dragon Mist); and strong (the cheap and nasty Erguotou).

In 1972, Dan Rather, covering Richard Nixon’s historic state visit to China, famously termed baijiu “liquid razor blades.” Henry Kissinger later said to Deng Xiaoping, “If we drink enough Moutai, we can solve anything.”

Baijiu Day (Aug. 8) was launched last year by Beijing-based Canadian wine expert and blogger James Boyce, and was celebrated locally at Vancouver’s Keefer Bar. The spirit has been featured in American Vogue, it has a new Englishlanguage paperback (Baijiu: The Essential Guide to Chinese Spirits, by U.S. writer Derek Sandhaus), and now there are a handful of lighter, lower-alcohol baijius being introduced to western markets, including the Americanbottled, passion fruit-infused Byejoe. Baijiu appears ready for its close-up. So what exactly is it? The white spirit is grain alcohol, usually made from sorghum, but also rice, millet, corn or wheat (Dragon Mist uses the latter, grown in Dawson Creek). But it differs from western spirits in that it uses semi-solid fermentation and a onestep starter culture, jiuqu—a dry brick of mashed grains inoculated with microbial fungi (Jiang gets hers from China).

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Master distiller Sherry Jiang produces the only Baijiu made in Canada.

Traditionally, the slightly moistened grains sprinkled with jiuqu are shoveled into mud ditches or buried underground in clay jars and left to ferment for days—or weeks. “Ew!” Jiang scowls. A medical doctor by training, she says some traditions need to be modernized. Her baijiu is fermented in stainless-steel-lined cement tanks for six weeks. The fermented mash is distilled (using steam to extract the alcohol because it doesn’t contain enough liquid to boil) and aged for at least six months— premium baijiu can take 15 years.

sour baijiu of choice among Chinese government officials and business leaders. What’s more, it was likely slammed in a rapid succession of celebratory gangbei (bottoms up) shots.

Dragon Mist baijiu, surprisingly clean tasting and smooth, is distilled and filtered four times, and aged for three years.

“It’s very earthy and rough,” says Keefer Bar general manager Gez McAlpine, who has experimented with the infused Byejoe brands and some of the more traditional labels. “But it has a unique edge when balanced properly in cocktails.”

There are endless varieties of baijiu— more than any other hard liquor, some experts say. Most westerners, however, have only ever tried Moutai, the barnyard-smelling, eye-squintingly

He says the spirit is best used with other intense flavours such as saltedplum syrup, bitter liqueurs or tea, and shaken with egg white to soften the harsher notes.

DID YOU KNOW?

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Laura McGuire photo

According to the International Wine & Spirits Group, the Chinese drank more than 11 billion litres of baijiu in 2012, with production accounting for an astounding one-third of all alcohol produced globally.

But could it ever earn a place beside tequila? “Negative,” McAlpine laughs. “Nothing’s impossible, but that’s a stretch.” Mind you, he hasn’t tried Dragon Mist.


1300 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC | 604.661.2166 | timbervancouver.com

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Tropical thunder KRISTI-LEIGH AKISTER EXPANDS THE UNION’S BOLD, EXOTIC REPERTOIRE

In Vancouver, you’re more likely to inherit an incredible cocktail program and back bar these days than have to build one from scratch. That said, there’s always room to improve. Take Union bar manager Kristi-Leigh Akister. The vibrant young bartender stepped into the role established by Cascade bar manager Nick Devine and 17-year industry veteran Arthur Wynne just over a year ago, and has since established an innovative new cocktail menu and rotating draft list to pair with the restaurant’s Pan-Asian bibimbaps and bahn mis.

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From only the freshest fruits and herbs, such as Thai basil, coconut, coriander, pineapple, galangal, Kaffir lime and more, Akister and her team create an everchanging assortment of drinking vinegars, tinctures, teas, infusions, purées, juices and syrups to elevate the menu’s exotic theme. Managing those complex flavours, though, came with a bit of a learning curve. “I had to sort of learn everything as

I went,” the blue-eyed, Alberta-born bartender admits, with a laugh. “There was no bar manager at the time when I came on, so it was a huge trial and error as I painstakingly learned the flavour profiles, how they worked together and the different spirits that they complemented as well.” But all that research paid off. Lately, Akister, the Cascade Company’s first and only female bar manager, has been experimenting with a dynamic lapsang souchong syrup, as well as working on a wolfberry and hibiscus shrub to add depth to certain cocktails for spring. She hails the return of the shim—a low-alcohol cocktail—for the warmer months, but also hints of the possibility of beer cocktails joining the restaurant’s menu in the coming weeks. “Craft brewing is the darling of the liquor industry right now, and I think we might see beer showing up a little bit more in cocktails,” she reveals. “Beer brings depth to a drink that isn’t normally achieved in other ways.”

The Union, 219 Union St., 604-568-3230, TheUnionBarRestaurant @TheUnionVan


Supplied photo

The heat is on COOL TREATS FOR THE SUMMER SEASON

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The sun’s out, you’re feeling mellow. What better way to cool down without taking the chill off, than by enjoying a sweet, boozy treat? Don’t be put off by the Margarita premixed sugar-bombs of old, the new vanguard of frozen cocktails prove to

be an altogether more sophisticated affair. The key to making a top quality frozen cocktail is using top quality ingredients. At Gastown’s Wildebeest and Supermarine in Kitsilano, a rotating menu of drinks are mixed in what’s considered the Cadillac of frozen machines, a Frosty Factory.


LEFT: Put a scoop in it: Bella Gelateria mixes their award-winning gelato with classic and new cocktails. RIGHT: At Wildebeest and Supermarine, the slushy is given a very adult twist. BELOW: Earnest Ice Cream uses spirits to flavour a variety of their artisanal ices.

Supplied photo

The challenge for bartenders is that the correct consistency can only be achieved by hitting a certain level of sugar. To counteract the sweetness, Wildebeest and Supermarine bring bitters and over-steeped teas into the mix. This summer, look for their new Sangria slushy.

A fun twist on that British summer classic, the Pimm’s Cup, can be found on award-winning gelato master, James Coleridge’s “gelatini” menu at Bella Gelateria. A zesty scoop of the house made lemon sorbetto is added to a glass containing Pimm’s stirred with ginger syrup, mint and cucumber and a dash of Fentiman’s ginger beer. A float never felt so sexy. Don’t want to drink your frozen boozy treat? Then how about a scoop of artisanal ice cream flavoured with a shot of alcohol? Sound good? Then head to Earnest Ice Cream for a scoop (or two) of seasonally-driven fare with rotating flavours that could include whiskey, bourbon, rum or cognac. Later in the year, look out for their S.O.V. Amaretto that utilizes the soaked apricots that are a byproduct of the delicious liqueur produced by North Van distillery Sons of Vancouver.

Nelson Mouellic photo

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Fruitful endeavour FAMILY-OWNED DISTILLERY CRAFTS WORLD-CL ASS SPIRITS FROM HOMEGROWN HARVESTS

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With its extended growing seasons and miles of fruitful orchards and rolling vineyards, B.C.’s Okanagan Valley is known best as Canada’s wine country. The site of many a weekend winery tour and the occasional fruit stand pit stop, one can hardly say “Okanagan” without also uttering “wine.” A lesser thought of connection? Distilled spirits.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, a familyowned operation, started out as a small venture in 2004—boasting one 150 litre copper still that concocted the province’s first homegrown single malt whisky. Twelve years later, the business is Western Canada’s largest craft distillery, with 27 spirits in its portfolio.


“We’re at the heart of the fruit industry in B.C. and there’s tons of fruit around us and some great grain,” says CEO Tyler Dyck. “No one was really utilizing the excess of that. Every year, the production in Okanagan for fruit usually outstrips the demand for it, and so a lot of it was just going to waste.” Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery’s awardwinning portfolio includes Aquavitus—a vodka-style spirit infused with aromatic herbs—gins, whiskys, liquers, absinthe, and their signature eaux de vie. Like farm-to-table kitchens, the distillers wanted to promote a little-to-no-waste ethos, using local ingredients and local production; they call it harvest-to-flask. “I think in the beginning, it started out as a unique idea to recycle the power of the environment, and the fruit and the grains of this area, and started out as this small idea of that and has really blossomed,” Dyck says. “[It’s a] really European-style model of doing everything from scratch. From meeting with our orchardists and growers, to choosing and crushing the fruit, fermenting it, processing it, distilling it, and bottling it—everything is done on site. Ninety-five per cent of the work is done at the place.” To be clear, there are actually two places: one in Vernon, and the smaller distillery

located in Kelowna. Both locations boast a barrel room and a summer patio. “When we built both facilities, we wanted to be as carbon neutral as we could, so we spent a lot of time sourcing recycled lumber and recycled metal products, and glass countertops from recycled bottles,” Dyck explains. “We do make stuff that doesn’t ever hit bottles because it doesn’t meet our quality specs and it gets repurposed for other things.” With 27 spirits made in house, it’s hard to believe there’d be room for even more. Among them, the best-selling Blackcurrant Liqueur, which won the 2013 and 2015 Spirit of the Year at the World Spirits Awards, receiving 97.9 points. “We have a lot of pride in what we do, and we want to make sure everything that gets released from here is world class.”

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery, 5204 24st St., Vernon, 250-549-3120, 267 Bernard Ave., Kelowna, 778-484-5174, OkanaganSpirits.com @okanaganspirits

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Alexa Mazzarello photo

Summer lovin’ BERRIES ARE A GREAT ADDITION TO THE HOME BAR. by Justin Taylor

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ummer in British Columbia brings with it berries bursting with flavour. They also contain citric acid and sugar, two key elements needed in crafting a cocktail. So why not add freshness and to your home bar by blending berries into your summer drinks?

The easiest way is to simply muddle them, extracting their natural juices and dyes. A simple sour recipe offers a base from which you can build countless variations.


CREATING A BALANCE Bartenders adhere to the Golden Ratio, a simple format that appears over and over again in cocktail recipes. Two parts spirit, one part sour, and one part sweetener. Adding berries to a recipe automatically adds sugar, so that must be factored in to keep the ratio in balance. Remember: you can’t take away sugar, so add it in gradually to achieve the desired balance.

LEFT: Master the art of making a shrub and your home bar cocktails will be transformed.

MAKE A MUDDLE Try out your muddling by adding fresh raspberries to a Clover Club, a classic cocktail developed around 1915 in Philadelphia. Take local gin (2 oz), pasteurized egg whites (1 oz), simple syrup (0.5 oz), citrus (1 oz), and about six fresh B.C. raspberries. Add the raspberries to your cocktail shaker and crush them with your muddler. Add ice, and the remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds to froth the egg whites. At this point taste the cocktail to ensure you have the desired balance between sweet and sour, add a bit more simple syrup if needed. Double strain the cocktail using a Hawthorne and a fine mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with more fresh berries. SUBLIME SIMPLE SYRUP Take your cocktails up a notch by creating your own berry-based simple syrup. Simple syrup contains one part sugar, to one part water. Berries add flavour and colour. This basic recipe is a good place to start. Add a cup of blueberries to a saucepan and crush with a spoon. Add two cups of water and two cups of white sugar and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer for five minutes,

then remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain through a sieve to remove pulp, and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Use it in a Tom Collins for a simple, bright, refreshing and now intensely colourful summer cocktail. Combine gin (2 oz), fresh lemon and lime juices (0.5 oz of each) and blueberry syrup (1 oz) in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain cocktail over fresh ice in a Collins glass and top with soda water (3 oz). Garnish with a few extra berries and a fresh sprig of mint. START A SHRUB Long before refrigeration, there was a technique used to preserve berries and other fruits. In a shrub, berries are cooked with vinegar and sugar in order to preserve the fruit. This technique needs a little care, but is well worth mastering—your drink creations will explode with variety. Experiment with different vinegar and fruit combinations to create the perfect flavour. Adding a little spice to your liquid can elevate your shrubs to a whole new level. For a strawberry shrub, combine two cups of fruit, two cups of white sugar and two tablespoons of black pepper in a sealed container and refrigerate. After 12 hours, pour contents into a saucepan and heat gently until simmering. Add two cups of balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Put into a sterilized jar while still hot and seal— it can be used for up to six months. The syrup from the shrub is your cocktail base and the preserved fruit becomes your garnish.

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Alexa Mazzarello photo

STRAWBERRY AND BL ACK PEPPER CAIPIRINHA Summer in a glass

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2 oz. cachaça 2 oz strawberry and black pepper shrub 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

In a cocktail shaker add cachaça, shrub and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain over crushed ice into an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with preserved strawberries. —by Justin Taylor


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Bartender song {a cocktail glossary} THE CULTURE OF COCKTAILS IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS— LEARN THE LINGO AND JOIN THE CLUB AMARO A generic term for Italian herbal liqueurs, favoured by bartenders for complex cocktails. Famous examples include Averna, Cynar, and Fernet-Branca. APERTIF/APERTIVO The European term for a drink or cocktail traditionally taken before a meal to stimulate one’s appetite. The opposite of a digestif/digestivo. Classic examples include Campari, Aperol, Pastis and Vermouth. BITTERS An alcoholic preparation made with aromatic herbs, roots and/or fruits. Originally created as medicines, they were adapted for use in cocktails and continue to be a key ingredient today. Common brands include Angostura and Peychaud’s. 56

BOSTON SHAKER A shaker that consists of two glass or steel cups that are placed one inside the other and requires a Hawthorne Strainer to be utilized before pouring the cocktail into the glass. The most

common shaker with North American bartenders. BROWN LIQUOR A generic term for whisky, Cognac or other spirits that have a dark hue, often as result of the aging process. In contrast to clear liquor such as vodka or gin. BUY BACK A complimentary drink given by a bartender to a customer usually as a reward for loyalty, good tipping or just general good behaviour. Asking for one, however, automatically disentitles you. CALL DRINK When a customer specifies the brand of spirit to be used in their drink. Usually more expensive than one made from the house well. CHASER Generally a weaker drink taken immediately after downing a shot of hard liquor. Try a Boilermaker (whiskey with a beer chaser), or substitute rum for a Caribbean Boilermaker, vodka for a Russian, and tequila for a Mexican.

COBBLER SHAKER A threepiece shaker that includes a built-in strainer. The most common shaker with home bartenders, but rarely seen in reputable bars. COUPE A classic stemmed cocktail glass typified by its sloping curves. Was popular pre-Prohibition, was thereafter supplanted by the more common martini glass, but is making a comeback. CRUSTA An 18th century cocktail preparation that uses a sugared rim, lemon juice, lemon peel and sugar—and precursor to both the Margarita and the Sidecar. DIGESTIF/DIGESTIVO The European term for a drink or a cocktail taken after a meal to aid in the digestion of a meal. Classic examples include brandy, port, most liquers and the cult classic Fernet-Branca. The opposite of an apertif/apertivo. FINE STRAIN A second strain of a cocktail through a fine sieve to


PICK ME UP Sometimes called an “eye-opener”, these are drinks that perk you up when you have over imbibed, allowing for recovery (or further consumption). Laura McGuire photo

Japanese bar spoons are beloved of bartenders.

remove all particles. Also known as the double strain. The mark of a meticulous bartender. FREE POUR When a bartender pours a drink straight from the bottle without the use of a jigger or other measuring device. Loved by customers, hated by good bartenders (and bar owners) for its lack of precision. FRENCH SHAKER A metal twopiece shaker where both parts fit tightly together, but still requires the use of a Hawthorthe Strainer before pouring. Also known as a Parisian shaker, it’s most popular in Europe. GLENCAIRN A tulip-shaped glass used specifically for tasting/drinking single malts. HARRY CRADDOCK Legendary barman who wrote the seminal Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. The major reference manual for pre-Prohibition cocktails. HAWTHORNE STRAINER A circular strainer used in

conjunction with both the Boston and the French shakers. JAPANESE BAR SPOON A long elegant spoon used for stirring drinks, fetishized by bartenders. An example of Japanese obsession with quality in cocktail making. JIGGER A measuring tool for drinks, typically 1.5 ounces. Also refers to the actual measurement of 1.5 ounces, as in, “I’ll have a jigger of rye.” MUDDLE To use a pestle-type object, often referred to as a muddler, to grind and mix ingredients in the bottom of a glass. Used in the creation of the Mojito and the Old Fashioned amongst others. NEAT A spirit poured straight into a glass with no ice, usually used in reference to whisky. When a spirit is shaken or stirred before being poured into a glass with no ice it’s referred to as straight up (often shortened to simply “up”).

“PROFESSOR” JERRY THOMAS Legendary 19th century bartender, revered by all drink makers. Author of A Bon Vivant’s Companion, the first serious cocktail book, published in 1862. SHRUB A sweetened vinegarbased syrup once popular in colonial America and resurrected by bartenders, who prize the acidity it brings to modern cocktails. STRAW TASTING The process of a bartender placing a clean straw in the drink, placing his/her finger over it and then removing the straw to hygienically taste to make sure the cocktail is perfect. A sign of exceptional quality control. TWIST A strip of citrus fruit skin. A proper bartender will create a twist to order and then remove any pith to avoid bitterness. A wedge is a larger piece of fruit with both skin and interior; a wheel is a thin, cross-section of fruit. WELL The basic brand of liquor served to a customer if they don’t request a specific spirit by name. “The bar was so good, they used Absolut in their well.”

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Spring sings SEASONALLY-INSPIRED COCKTAILS AT CHAMBAR Running the ever-busy bar at Chambar isn’t an easy job, but it’s one that bar manager Yacine Sylla and team embrace with enthusiasm. Constantly re-inventing the menu and updating old favourites, Sylla aligns himself with the restaurant’s focus on local, seasonal and high-quality ingredients. “We’re working a new housemade soda. Right now, we’re on the fifth batch of our fermented ginger beer, to use in our Dark ‘n’ Stormy, for instance. We do it old style; we grind the ginger and then cook it down with sugar and lemon juice. Then we let it sit for a while before adding in the yeast.” That isn’t the only soda in the works. “Within the next couple of weeks, we’ll likely move onto root beer or cream soda.”

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Sylla also enjoys experimenting with new products. “One of our current cocktails, Spring Sling, uses a product called Agavero,” a tequila liqueur that Sylla describes as having a slightly sweeter profile, thanks to the added orange peel. At Chambar, the Agavero is combined with muddled cucumber, spiced cranberry syrup, chartreuse, fresh-pressed grapefruit juice, rhubarb bitters and topped with

sparkling wine. “It’s almost like a spritz.” For summer, he is introducing a new vodka-based cocktail to the menu. The Bisou de Bison is a play on the name of a popular cocktail in the U.K., the Bison Kiss, and uses Z˙ubrówka bison grass vodka. Sylla’s version combines the vodka with plum bitters, Marsala wine, Aperol, fresh lime juice and elderflower syrup. Straightforward, shaken, served in a Martini glass, it’s citrus and fruit-forward. With patio seasoning getting into high gear, Sylla plans to add more brunchforward cocktails to the menu. “We already have our Chambar Radler on the menu; half Chambar lager and half grapefruit juice. Caesars, everyone loves, especially for brunch, but we also try to do something more in season, maybe a muddled strawberry cocktail.” Chambar’s Caesar is made from smoked tomatoes and house-blended hot sauce. With National Caesar Day in May, Sylla says to watch out for a new twist on the popular drink. “There’s always something in the works,” he laughs.

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


The Canadian Professional Bartenders Association is a member-run non for profit society committed to establishing and upholding the highest standards in the proud trade of the career bartender. We consider continuous education, pride in service and principled responsibility to be the cornerstones of our profession, ideals we foster by building and maintaining community. The CPBA regularly organizes and executes educational seminars, competitions, product salons and meet-ups, and acts as a liaison between corporate brands and member businesses.

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Hospitality is our business, and we love it.

canadianbartenders.com @BCBartender

BartenderBC@gmail.com

@BCBartender

/BCCPBA


B.C. DISTILLERY LISTINGS 61 AT SHELTER POINT, DISTILLER JAMES MARINUS PREPARES THE FIRST BATCH OF SINGLE MALT. Submitted photo


MEET THE EXPERTS THE ALCHEMIST TASTING PANEL 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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SHAUN LAYTON

JOSH PAPE

WENDY MCGUINNESS

Born and raised in Vancouver, Shaun Layton is a leading figure on the international bar scene. A multiple awardwinner, renowned independent consultant, and the former bar manager of noted Gastown room, L’Abattoir, he is currently heading the bar program at Vancouver’s Juniper Kitchen & Bar, where he makes it his mission to uncover the best the Cascadian region, and the world, has to offer.

Josh Pape is an awardwinning bartender who has established himself as one of Vancouver’s most influential young restaurateurs. He coowns and operates a number of the city’s new and notable restaurants and bars, including The Diamond, Pizzeria Bufala, Wildebeest, and Supermarine. He is expert at pairing highquality casual cuisine with precisely-crafted cocktails.

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. Her tenure in Vancouver’s bar scene began in 2006 at Yaletown’s renowned Blue Water Café, before she crossed town to Chambar. She is currently dispensing libations at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, and is heading the bar program at its new sister restaurant, Kissa Tanto, designing its enthusiastically retro cocktail list.


ROBYN GRAY

TREVOR KALLIES

SCOTT BARBER

At Prohibition bar at Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Robyn Gray loves creating a bespoke experience for guests. A son of North Vancouver, Gray learned his craft at Gastown’s Revel Room, under his mentor, Brit bartender Robert “H” HollAllen. He’s been at the Hotel Georgia since 2011, opening and operating all the hotel lounges including Reflections, 1927 Lobby Lounge, and his current home, the Prohibition speakeasy, where you’ll find him purveying his excellent housecrafted cocktails.

Trevor Kallies found his passion for spirits at Vancouver’s Granville Room, where he has managed the drink program since 2007. Now bar and beverage director for the Donnelly Group, he has pioneered one of the strongest craft beer programs in Canada and created several award-winning cocktail lists. A founding member of the Canadian Professional Bartender’s Association (CPBA), Kallies 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, stocked with examples of the spirit from around the globe, including several from B.C. He’s created tasting notes for each of the dozens of vodkas poured, becoming expert on the distillation techniques and different flavour profiles in the process. When he’s not managing one of the resort’s 63 busiest bars, he can usually be found on a snowboard.


AMPERSAND DISTILLING CO.

ARBUTUS DISTILLERY

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

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

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 their own wheat.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

AMPERSAND GIN Juniper and coriander Juniper forward, floral, spiced finish

FEEL FINISH

White pepper spice

BEST ENJOYED

In a Gibson Martini

BOTTOM LINE 64

Medium to high viscosity

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.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

EMPIRIC GIN Herbal with coriander note, juniper not the star but it’s there.

FLAVOUR

Citrus, verbena, with black peppery notes.

FEEL

Surprisingly smooth, thin.

FINISH

Pepper, juniper and floral; quite long.

BEST ENJOYED

In a big Martini with a healthy dose of vermouth. COLD!

BOTTOM LINE

drinks or a classic Martini.

A fun gin, not a typical London Dry style, but flowers and spices are great.

–Shaun Layton

–Trevor Kallies

Great value; mix in citrusy

Other products include: Per Se Vodka.

Other products include: Coven Vodka, Baba Yaga Absinthe, Espresso Infused Vodka, Juniperus Lupulus Harvest Hopped Gin.

Tasting Room by appointment

Tasting Room yes


BOHEMIAN SPIRITS

DE VINE SPIRITS 6181B Old West Saanich Rd., Saanichton 250-665-6983 DevineVineyards.ca

Kimberley, B.C. BohemianSprits.com @GoodCheerHere

@deVineVineyards

Using botanicals foraged in the mountains around Kimberley, Wade Jarvis and Ervyn Turcon are one of B.C.’s newest distillers, producing small batch hand crafted vodka and gin.

PRODUCT

LIMITED GIN

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.

PRODUCT

HONEY SHINE BEEKEEPER’S RESERVE

FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

Pine, woodsy, pepper. Sweet and herbaceous.

FRAGRANCE

Waxy, floral notes.

FLAVOUR

Vanilla, marzipan.

FEEL FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

Creamy, balanced. A touch hot, dry. Martini on the rocks.

pleasant. FINISH

Slightly bitter, spice, honey sweetness still comes through.

BEST ENJOYED BOTTOM LINE

BOTTOM LINE

Thinner than expected, still

Bees Knees Cocktail. Good buy for an interesting

A bold and full flavored gin .

B.C. spirit.

–Josh Pape

–Shaun Layton

Other products include: Vagabond Vodka

Other products include: Vin Gin, New Tom Barrel Aged Gin, Genever Gin, Black Ram Blackberry Brandy and Glen Saanich Single Malt.

Tasting Room no

Tasting Room yes

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DEEP COVE BREWERS & DISTILLERS

DRAGON MIST DISTILLERY

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

213-19138 26th Avenue, Surrey 604-803-2226 DragonMistDistillery.com @DragonMistVodka @DragonMistDistillery Using wheat from Dawson Creek, Surreybased Sherry Jiang is producing Canada’s only expressions of traditional Chinese spirit baijiu, a hard liquor recommended to be sipped straight up, as you would a high-quality tequila.

This North Shore distillery augments its rosemary and oliveinfused gin and awardwinning vodka with a variety of small-batch seasonal releases. Their tasting room regularly hosts live music, and has just opened a patio for summer. PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

BOTTOM LINE

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DEEP COVE VODKA Banana bread, chocolate. Warm caramel, black pepper spice, hints of coconut. Thick/full-bodied, silky texture.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH

Long, sweet. Dry Martini with olives, on the rocks, or in a cocktail with emphasis of lime. Great product with body and characteristics that may surprise at first taste.

BEST ENJOYED

BOTTOM LINE

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

–Scott Barber Other products include: Rosemary & Olive Gin, Deep Cove Vodka.

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

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no


DUBH GLAS DISTILLERY

FERMENTORIUM DISTILLING CO.

8486 Gallagher Lake Frontage Rd., Oliver 250-486-7529 TheDubhGlasDistillery.com @TheDubhGlasD

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

Though whisky is owner Grant Stevely’s true passion, the first signature release from this Oliver-based operation was the small batch Noteworthy Gin, distilled from B.C. barley. There will be Single-Malt Whisky; it just needs time to age.

PRODUCT NOTEWORTHY GIN

Owned by Phillips Brewing Company, Victoria’s Fermentorium’s Stump Gin is fast-becoming a signature B.C. spirit. Their collection of artisanal tonic waters elevate even the most basic of highballs.

PRODUCT  STUMP COASTAL FOREST GIN

FRAGRANCE Fruity, with a little funk.

FRAGRANCE Floral, herbacious, delicious.

FLAVOUR  Very floral, soapy lavender.

FEEL Thin, slight bitterness. FINISH Violets, coriander. BEST ENJOYED

FLAVOUR  Pine freshness with an earthy finish.

FEEL Velvety, smooth. FINISH Long and smooth. BEST ENJOYED

As an Aviation cocktail.

BOTTOM LINE Mix with tropical and floral accompaniments.

 s a G&T with one of A Fermentorium’s handcrafted tonics, and lemon peel.

BOTTOM LINE Phillips’ first play at spirits is a success: foraged ingredients, New World style. Fantastic product and packaging.

–Shaun Layton

–Trevor Kallies

Other products include: Virgin Spirits Barley, Age-YourOwn Spirits Kits

Other products include: Hop Drop Elixir, Fermentorium Handcrafted Tonics.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no

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G&W DISTILLING

GILLESPIE’S FINE SPIRITS

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

#8-38918 Progress Way, Squamish 604-390-1122 GillespiesFineSpirits.com @gillespiesfinespirits @gillespies1 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 cocktailfriendly; their website is full of recipe ideas.

Stephen Goodridge has garnered awards and fans with two expressions of vodka, an approachable gin, and a whiskey-style rested spirit. He recently launched rye-based vodka, NUTRL.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL

SILVER DAWN VODKA Banana, vanilla, chocolate. Sweet and savoury; banana on the palate. Medium-full body

FINISH

Delicate and memorable. A long, flavourful conclusion.

BEST ENJOYED

Sipping vodka, best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. With olives or a twist in a Martini, maybe even a fresh raspberry.

BOTTOM LINE

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Holds up on its own, with flavour characteristics that deserve not to be masked by juice.

PRODUCT

GASTOWN SHINE VODKA

FRAGRANCE

Clean aroma of sweet wheat, hints of vanilla.

FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH

Very smooth; light sweetness, slightly nutty. Light-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Lingering notes of vanilla bean and white blossom.

BEST ENJOYED

Ideal for a very smooth and clean Martini or Vesper.

BOTTOM LINE

Perfect choice if you like a clean and subtle vodka.

–Scott Barber

–Wendy McGuinness

Other products include: Sid’s Vodka, Silverdawn Vodka, Tempo Renovo Vancouver Dry Gin, Mapleshade Repose, NUTRL.

Other products include: Sin Gin, Lemoncello, Aphro Chili Chocolate Elixir

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


KEALY BEVERAGE CO.

KOOTENAY COUNTRY CRAFT DISTILLERY

2841 Pacific Place, Abbotsford 778-549-5181 kealysdiamondvodka.com KealysDiamondVodka

7263 Gustafson Rd, Slocan 250-355-2702 kootenaycountry.ca Kootenay-Country-Craft-Distillery-Ltd Lora and Kevin Goodwin strive to keep to the100-mile philosophy in their spirit production, using organic heirloom wheat, seasonal flowers and fruits, and the spring water that runs freely down the Selkirk Mountains.

Mason and Nicole Kealy incorporated their Abbotsford distillery in 2010 and launched their first product three years later. They have made their goal the creation of “the best mixing alcohol” in the world.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

BOTTOM LINE

KEALY’S MOONSHINE Extremely light aroma, hints of citrus. Pepper spice and grain.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

KOOTENAY COUNTRY GIN Fruity, citrus notes. Understated, subtle juniper.

Light-medium body. Short and dry, extremely clean. A great mixing vodka. Preferred lemon twist in a Martini. An excellent base spirit for simple classic vodka cocktails such as a Collins, Caipiroska, or any drink containing citrus.

FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

Soft and delicate. Clean, lush. Simply. Makes an excellent Negroni.

BOTTOM LINE

Very easy drinking. A bit dangerous... –Josh Pape

–Scott Barber Other products include: None, but a range of flavoured vodkas are planned.

Other products include: Coven Vodka, Baba Yaga Absinthe, Espresso Infused Vodka, Juniperus Lupulus Harvest Hopped Gin.

Tasting Room by appointment

Tasting Room yes

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LEGEND DISTILLING

THE LIBERTY DISTILLERY

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

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

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

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 whiskies—both white and barrel-rested.

PRODUCT

DOCTOR’S ORDERS GIN

PRODUCT

FRAGRANCE

Slightly funky, tropical fruit.

FRAGRANCE

Apples in the botanical mix

FLAVOUR

FLAVOUR

add a bright freshness, floral notes. FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

Nice mouthfeel.

FEEL FINISH

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Juniper, lemon, vanilla, spices. Vibrant, hits all senses on the palate, Christmas cake spice, orange blossom and mint. Great mouthfeel. Lingering spice, hit of oak

BEST ENJOYED

Excellent in spirit-forward cocktails; adds spice and length to a Negroni, and also works well for a rounded Gin Sour.

BOTTOM LINE

packaging.

Great, bold expression of a full-flavoured Old Tom style of gin.

–Shaun Layton

–Wendy McGuinness

Floral, with slight bitterness. In mixed cocktails, a Bramble perhaps.

BOTTOM LINE

ENDEAVOUR OLD TOM GIN

Nice mixing gin, great

Other products include: Shadow in the Lake Vodka, Defender Island Smoked Rosemary Gin, Blasted Brew Spiked Coffee Liqueur.

Other products include: Truth Vodka, Endeavour Gin, Endeavour Origins Gin, Endeavour Pink Gin, Railspur No. 1, 2 & 3, Trust Whiskey.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


LONG TABLE DISTILLERY

MAPLE LEAF SPIRITS

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

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

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

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

CUCUMBER GIN Neutral, slight cucumber notes.

FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED BOTTOM LINE

Cucumber, coriander, citrus. Nice mouthfeel, fruity. Dry and savoury.

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.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

In a G&T. BOTTOM LINE

CHERRY LIQUEUR Ripe cherries. Maple, cherries—as advertised. Coats the palate, silky. Warm and pleasant. Chilled, neat. Or as a substitute for Cherry Heering in a Blood and Sand.

Hendrick’s lovers.

Pretty pricey, but delicious and well made with good ingredients.

–Shaun Layton

–Josh Pape

Local gin for those

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

Other products include: Maple Liqueur, Pear Liqueur, Canadian Kirsch, Pear Williams, Italian Prune, Skinny Gewürztraminer, Aged Skinny Syrah.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

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MERRIDALE ESTATE CIDERY

ODD SOCIETY SPIRITS

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

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

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.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

COWICHAN COPPER GIN Little hot, pear and apple on the nose.

FLAVOUR

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

Honeyed licorice, orchard fruit, slight caramel.

FEEL FINISH

Silky mouthfeel. Coriander and peppered

BOTTOM LINE

In a Martinez.

Upfront viscous sweetness, making its way to the back of your palate with a lovely bitterness.

FEEL

Full and coating mouthfeel. Sweet orange and chocolate lift for an enjoyable bitter finish that goes on and on.

BEST ENJOYED

Very unique product, mix in stirred drinks.

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Gingerbread spice, bitter orange, vanilla.

FINISH

bitter finish. BEST ENJOYED

BITTERSWEET VERMOUTH

BOTTOM LINE

–Shaun Layton

Serve at room temperature as a digestif; could shine in many different cocktails. A must have! –Wendy McGuinness

Other products include: Cowichan Vodka, Cowichan Gin, Stair’s Pear Brandy, Cowichan Cider Brandy, Apple Oh de Vie, Pomme Oh Fortified Cider, Mure Oh Fortified Cider.

Other products include: East Van Vodka, Wallflower Gin, White Rye Mongrel, Oaken Wallfower Gin, Crème de Cassis, Canadian Single Malt Casks.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


OKANAGAN CRUSH PAD

OKANAGAN SPIRITS CRAFT DISTILLERY

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

204 24th St, Vernon | 267 Bernard Ave, Kelowna 250-549-3120 | 778-484-5174 OkanaganSpirits.com @OkanaganSpirits

The Summerland winery added a still to its operations last year, launching a grappastyle small batch spirit in October. Since then, they have created two expressions of gin, one of them for Vij’s restaurant. PRODUCT

NARRATIVE SPIRIT OF THE VINEYARD

FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

Fresh, white petals.

A family-owned awardwinning 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 Kelowna and Vernon locations. PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

Sweet, ripe Bartlett pears.

FLAVOUR

Fruity, with a great boozy

Pears, Gewurtztraminer.

backbone.

FEEL

Lush, creamy, round.

FEEL

FINISH

Dry with long pepper.

FINISH

BEST ENJOYED

Neat, or subbed in for the vodka in a Vesper.

BOTTOM LINE

POIRE WILLIAMS

BEST ENJOYED BOTTOM LINE

Clean, loads of mid-palate. Austere, dry, lean. Neat, after a big meal. A delicious introductory

Approachable—for a grappa.

digestif.

–Josh Pape

–Josh Pape

Other products include: Narrative Gin Twelve Botanicals, Vij’s Bolly Water Gin.

Other products include: Fruit Liqueurs, Gin, Vodka, Single Malt Whisky, BRBN (Corn) Whisky, Final Proof Whisky, Taboo Genuine Absinthe, Aquavitus.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes

73


OLD ORDER DISTILLING COMPANY

PEMBERTON DISTILLERY

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

1954 Venture Pl., Pemberton 604-894-0222 PembertonDistillery.ca pemberton.distillery @pembydistillery Master distiller Tyler Schramm uses local organic Pemberton potatoes as the base for his extensive range of spirits and liqueurs— including his homage to the humble spud that fuels his business, the Kartoffelschnaps.

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.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

PRODUCT

Mix with citrus and absinthe.

SCHRAMM ORGANIC POTATO VODKA Earthy; soil, wet wood, raw potato. Dark chocolate, agave, smoky caramel. Bold, full-bodied, silky texture. Long, memorable, almost tequila-like. Neat, or on the rocks for sipping; makes a great Martini with olives Not for everyone, but a fascinating finished product. Great example of traditional potato vodka using Scottish distillation techniques.

–Shaun Layton

–Scott Barber

LEGACY GIN Dill, licorice.

FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR

FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED BOTTOM LINE 74

Anise heavy, funky fruit. Thin. Citrus and aniseed. In a Corpse Reviver #2.

FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED BOTTOM LINE

Other products include: Heritage Vodka, Genesis Whisky.

Other products include: Schramm Organic Gin, Organic Single Malt Whisky, Aged Apple Brandy, Organic Wildcrafted Absinthe, Kartoffelschnaps.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


SHELTER POINT DISTILLERY

SHERINGHAM DISTILLERY

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

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

Jason MacIsaac was a successful chef before he turned distiller, and he brings his local, sustainable attitude towards food to his small batch spirits. Sheringham’s Seaside Gin includes handharvested local kelp among its botanicals.

The first batch of single malt from this Campbell River distillery will be released in May or June, along with a new liqueur. Meanwhile, customers may still enjoy their range of flavoured vodkas.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH

YO! OFF THE WALL SPICED VODKA Cinnamon. Barley sweetness and cinnamon spice. Clean and smooth. Residual sweetness and tickling spice.

BEST ENJOYED

In a highball with an artisanal cola.

BOTTOM LINE

Barley spirit makes this nicely balanced vodka easy-going. –Robyn Gray

@SheringhamBC

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

SEASIDE GIN Cubeb (Java) pepper, lavender.

FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

Citrus, floral, spice. Silky, charming, accessible. Long, elevated; dry. As a wet Martini with a smoked olive.

BOTTOM LINE

Go get a bottle! –Josh Pape

Other products include: Shelter Point Single Malt Whisky, Sunshine Liqueur, a range of flavoured vodkas.

Other products include: William’s White, Sheringham Distillery Vodka.

Tasting Room yes – spring through fall

Tasting Room by appt.

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SONS OF VANCOUVER

URBAN DISTILLERIES

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

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

James Lester and Richard Klaus say their North Vancouver distillery’s amaretto, sweetened with B.C. blackberry honey, was made as a tribute to their mothers. They also produce two expressions of vodka. PRODUCT FRAGRANCE

NO. 82 AMARETTO Candied stone fruit, dried black olives (weird, but true).

FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

Elegant, light, expansive. Sweet, pleasant.

FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH

As a Sour, or an additive to a BEST ENJOYED

Great alternative to the Italian product; drier, adjust recipes

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PRODUCT

Vanilla, sarsaparilla.

stirred dark rum drink. BOTTOM LINE

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.

BOTTOM LINE

SPIRIT BEAR GIN Lavender. Chamomile tea, more lavender. Very even; similar tone from start to finish. Long, really dry. Quite perfumed. In an Aviation—hold the Creme de Violette.

accordingly.

Worth a try if you enjoy floral flavours.

–Josh Pape

–Josh Pape

Other products include: Vodka Vodka Vodka, Chili Vodka.

Other products include: Spirit Bear Vodka, Spirit Bear Espresso Infused Vodka, Urban Single Malt Whisky, White Bear Whisky, Grappa Moscato, Calvados.

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room yes


VICTORIA DISTILLERS

VON ALBRECHT & ASSOCIATES

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

2220 Vauxhall Pl., Richmond 604-273-3445 VonAlbrecht.com xfourvodka @xfour_ @XFOUR_Vodka 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 greatgrandfather’s original recipe.

Launched in 2008, Victoria Gin’s label, sporting an image of a youthful Queen Victoria, graces bars across the country. Their first small batch, limited release whiskey was launched in early 2015.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL

OAKEN GIN Hint of toffee and wood, background of baking spice. Toffee, vanilla, and clove. Buttery, slightly viscous mouthfeel, creamy.

PRODUCT

LEMONADE VODKA FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL

FINISH

Long, creamy finish with a hint of pine.

FINISH

BEST ENJOYED

In a gin Old Fashioned or neat, with a big ice cube.

BEST ENJOYED

BOTTOM LINE

One of the first local gins to be aged in oak, making an elegant style of craft gin, although pricey.

PERCY’S OLD FASHIONED

Lemony citrus. Lemon, honey and clove. Clean and crisp. Lemon tartness that dissipates quickly. In a long drink, Collins-style; just add soda!

BOTTOM LINE

A nice flavored vodka that’s easily mixable.

–Trevor Kallies

–Robyn Gray

Other products include: Victoria Gin, Left Coast Hemp Vodka, Craigdarroch Whisky, Twisted Bitters.

Other products include: XFour Vodkas, Percy’s Coolers.

Tasting Room opening spring 2016

Tasting Room no

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WAYWARD DISTILLATION HOUSE

THE WOODS SPIRIT CO.

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

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

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 of these uniquely crafted spirits. PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

BOTTOM LINE

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UNRULY VODKA Floral and earthy. Honey, new garden notes. Sweetness from the honey with hints of vanilla. Full body, pleasant viscosity. Long, savoury. Mixes well with basil, pineapple and lemon. Also fantastic neat, or on the rocks. Preferred olives for a Martini. Unique vodka made from B.C. honey—a must try for those looking for something different.

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.

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH BEST ENJOYED

BOTTOM LINE

–Scott Barber

PACIFIC NORTHWEST AMARO Woodsy with grand fir. Astringent, with an underlying spiciness. Clean and crisp, but with the sense of mouth-coating syrup. Spicy with a long lasting bitterness. I tried in a Negroni and it works surprisingly well. Or serve chilled, neat. A great bitter liqueur made with the traditional Amaro in mind. –Robyn Gray

Other products include: Unruly Gin, Depth Charge Espresso and Cacao Bean Liqueur, Bourbon Barreled Gin.

Other products include: none

Tasting Room yes

Tasting Room no


YALETOWN DISTILLING COMPANY 1132 Hamilton St., Vancouver 604-669-2266 YTDistilling.com Yaletown-Distilling-Company

@YTDistilling

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

PRODUCT FRAGRANCE FLAVOUR FEEL FINISH

YALETOWN GIN Lemon and juniper. Sweet and fruity. Viscuous, coats the mouth. Lightly bitter.

BEST ENJOYED

Sweet and fruity, with a lemon backbone—a perfect match for a Corpse Reviver #2.

BOTTOM LINE

Produced from locally grown barley this gin has a richness and mouth feel reminiscent of a Genever-style gin. 79

–Robyn Gray Other products include: Yaletown Vodka.

Tasting Room yes

Stock photo


ON THE TOWN

THE SECOND ANNUAL BC DISTILLED EVENT SHOWCASED 27 CRAFT AND MICRO DISTILLERS FROM AROUND THE PROVINCE, WITH ALMOST 500 TICKET HOLDERS IN AT TENDANCE.

1

2 3

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1 Mixologist Kylie Bartlett and founder and distiller Gordon Glanz show off East Vancouver’s Odd Society Spirits. 2 BC Distilled founder Alex Hamer snuggles up with a representative from charity recipients, Pacific Assistance Dogs Society (PADS). 3 Richard Klaus and James Lester of North Van’s Sons of Vancouver took home audience awards for their Chili Vodka and No. 82 Amaretto. 4 Sheringham Distillery’s Alayne and Jason MacIsaac presented their signature Seaside Gin, William’s White whisky, and vodka.

4


SCIENCE OF COCKTAILS RAISED OVER $185,000 FOR SCIENCE WORLD’S CL ASS FIELD TRIP PROGRAM AND SAW B.C.’S BEST BARTENDERS MIX UP SPECIAL COCKTAILS FOR THE EVENT.

2 1

4

3

1 Mike Shum, bartender at Fairmont Pacific Rim, won the cocktail competition with his CO2 Cool For School. 2 The Mackenzie Room’s Arthur Wynne was one of several bartenders who played with dry ice. 3 Now back on the wood—at Boulevard Restaurant & Bar—bartender extraordinaire JS Dupuis atomizes Ardbeg. 4 On the main stage, Cam Brown, of Kelowna’s Bacaro, explains the chemistry of his cocktail.

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THE LAST WORD “FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELTS, IT’S GOING TO BE A BUMPY NIGHT.” BET TE DAVIS AS MARGO CHANNING—GIBSON IN HAND—IN THE CL ASSIC 1950 MOVIE, ALL ABOUT EVE.

THE CL ASSIC GIBSON Margo Channing’s Martini of choice 2.5 oz gin 0.5 oz dry vermouth 1 cocktail onion (for garnish) Add gin and vermouth to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir, and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a cocktail onion.

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AD TO COME: Ginapalooza


The Alchemist – Summer 2016  
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