The cocktail kit is the best way to bring your favourite bar home
It’s been a long day and all you want to do is get into your pyjamas (if you ever got out of them, let’s be real) and settle in with a good cocktail. But it’s just too much effort to make one yourself. Never fear, thirsty reader. The cocktail kit is here to help.
During the pandemic, many Vancouver restaurants have turned to takeout and some have added cocktails to their to-go menus. What you get varies depending on the establishment. Most offer some sort of mixer, bottle of spirits and garnish; some also offer top-quality ice as well as tools and glassware. Not only do these kits quench your thirst, they also make great gifts and, best of all, support your favourite establishments when they need it most.
Here are just some to try. Note that in restaurants sales of alcohol must be accompanied by sales of food; check the websites for details regarding price and availability.
Have you been spending a lot more time at home lately? Funny, us, too! That’s why, in this issue of The Alchemist, we look at ways to shake things up in our home bars.
Charlene Rooke rounds up the tools you need—which also happen to make great holiday gifts—and talks to cocktail legend Camper English, founder of cocktailsafe.org, about the dangerous things you really shouldn’t be doing at home or anywhere. We offer the five essential classic cocktail recipes everyone should know, and our Tasting Panel shares the bottles they stock at home. And we introduce our new Home Bar columnist, Matthew Benevoli, who shows us how to make homemade vermouth.
A true collector’s items, this limited-edition is Canada’s oldest aged whisky and the third edition of the Chronicles Series. Canadian Club 43 Year Old is sure to impress someone special on your list. Paying tribute to its legendary role during Prohibition, Canadian Club has dubbed this expression ‘The Speakeasy.’ The Canadian Club 43 Year Old boasts notes of oak and leather on the nose, while delivering nutmeg and dried fruit with its lingering mouth feel. Available in 750ml bottle with a suggested retail price of $319.95. Price may vary by market.
Helen Mulholland, Master Blender for Bushmills Irish Whiskey, has a nose in a million—a nose that truly understands all the intricate notes, aromas and flavours of whiskey. It is a rare gift and one that plays such an important part in crafting the Bushmills® Irish whiskey premium blends and aged single malts.
Plenty a tall tale has crossed the polished oak; after all, bartenders like to dish out lively anecdotes along with the gin and spiced nuts. But when it comes to boozy myths, legends, outright lies and wholesale whoppers, “more cling to the Martini than any other cocktail.”
So writes Robert Simonson in his IACP-nominated book The Martini Cocktail (Ten Speed Press). He is fascinated by the outsize role the Martini has played in popular culture ever since its invention in 1849, or maybe it was the 1880s, or possibly 1906, who knows?
In our new column, Kelowna bartender Harry Dosanj reveals how his unlikely career was born
Harry Dosanj is a multiple-award-winning bartender who has twice ranked among Canada’s best bartenders in the Diageo World Class competition. His accomplishments are especially impressive given that before moving to Canada from Southampton, England, with his family in 2009, his interest in alcohol didn’t extend beyond an occasional beer. Here, Dosanj—who recently celebrated his second anniversary at Kelowna’s Hotel Eldorado—shares the story of his unlikely entry into the bartending profession.
• 1.5 oz amber rum
• 0.5 oz Fernet Branca
• 0.25 oz JT’s Hula Bitters
• 0.5 oz cherry grenadine
• 1 oz pineapple juice
• 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
• 2 oz soda water
• Garnish: maraschino or brandied cherry and mint leaves