La Colmena

La Colmena. Origami Social photo

Recipe courtesy of Bodega on Main

• 0.75 oz Tanqueray No. Ten Gin
• 0.75 oz Appleton Estate Reserve Blend
• 0.5 oz Aperol
• 0.5 oz Lime
• 0.5 oz Honey Ginger Syrup
• 2 dashes of Lavender Bitters
• 2 oz Cava
• Grapefruit Peel

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DIY vermouth

Add a personalized twist to your favourite cocktails with this aromatized, fortified wine

For this white vermouth, you’ll need botanicals such as grapefruit peel, bay leaves, dried apples, chamomile and mint tea, which mimic the earthy flavours of the wormwood that gave vermouth its name. Matthew Benevoli photo

Let’s talk about the often-misunderstood aperitif vermouth. What is it? Where does it come from?

Vermouth is fortified wine with herbs, roots, spices and sometimes sugar added. There are a handful of different styles to choose from: the most common offerings are sweet red, traditionally from Italy; and dry white wormwood-infused from France. The word vermouth is the French pronunciation for “wermut,” which is German for wormwood, the mystical herb that gives absinthe its reputation and provides the distinctive dry, bitter note found in vermouth.

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A taste of Japan

Photo courtesy of The Japanese Bitters

Just when you thought bitters companies had created every flavour imaginable for your cocktail-drinking enjoyment, The Japanese Bitters comes along to wake up your palate with something completely new.

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Umami Martini

Photo courtesy of The Japanese Bitters

Replace murky olive brine with clear bitters in this evolution of the classic Dirty Martini.

• 1.5 oz gin

• 0.5 oz dry vermouth

• 2 dashes The Japanese Bitters Umami Bitters (or to taste)

• Garnish: cocktail olives or pickled mushroom (optional)

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Dangerous drinks

10 things not to do at home—or anywhere, according to CocktailSafe’s Camper English

Writer Camper English, the San-Francisco-based founder of Alcademics, created cocktailsafe.org when he saw the risky techniques being used by some bartenders. Bastian Bochinski photo

The Roof is on Fire! That was the name of a dangerous-drinks seminar that San Francisco writer Camper English (of alcademics.com fame) and Bittermens co-founder Avery Glasser gave in 2016 at Tales of the Cocktail. Their warnings on potentially dangerous bartending ingredients, equipment and techniques were so eye-opening, English later nabbed a grant to develop cocktailsafe.org, a geekily helpful website packed with deeply researched information and resources.

“Bartenders on Facebook were chatting a lot about potentially dangerous drinks … and I thought it would be useful to put all this information, and a lot more, in one place as a reference to bartenders everywhere,” he says.

Here are his top 10 red flags for home mixologists—and pros, too.

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Spice up winter with Fever-Tree ginger

Ale or beer, spiced or smoky, it’s what we’re thirsty for right now

Fever-Tree photo

Warm, bright and pleasantly spicy—when the weather turns cool, we crave the flavour of ginger. Luckily, Fever-Tree has our holiday-spice cravings covered with a range of ginger mixers.

“People love it,” says Alexis Green, the national brand engagement manager for Fever-Tree. “People are slowly starting to discover the ginger ale range and they really love it. People are going crazy for the smoky and the spicy.”

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Unleaded: the Best Alcohol-free Drinks of 2021

Let’s retire the mocktails and let these placebo drinks, “nocktails” and free-spirited bottles happily get you through Dry-uary

A huge range of non-alcoholic spirits and other drinks are increasingly easy to find in Canada, since non-boozy drinks can ship almost anywhere. Sobrii photo

This year could be peak Sober Curious: just check out the new booze-free vending machine at Larry’s Market in the Shipyards, featuring mickeys of Solbru booze-free spirit and cans of Sober Carpenter and Partake near-beer in slots that recently held healthy salads and takeout—proof that Dry-uary is a full-blown lifestyle trend.

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Seedlip Grove 42 Margarita

Seedlip Grove 42 Margarita. Seedlip photo

Recipe courtesy of Seedlip

• 10 oz Seedlip Grove 42
• 6 Tbsp agave syrup
• 4 oz fresh lime juice
• Ice
• Salt
• Lime wheel (for garnish)

Salt glasses in advance by running lime around the rim, followed by rolling in salt. Garnish each glass with a lime wheel. Pour all ingredients in a jug, stir, add ice and stir again before serving. Makes 4 drinks.

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