Blueberry Gin Smash

• 1.5 oz Queensborough Gin
• 0.5 oz dry vermouth
• 0.5 oz maple syrup
• 2 dashes aromatic bitters
• 5 fresh blueberries
• 3 lime wedges
• 1 mint sprig
• Tonic water

Add bitters, blueberries and limes into the glass and muddle them. Add Queensborough gin and dry vermouth and stir. Add ice cubes and top up with tonic. Add some crushed ice to the top of the glass and garnish with some blueberries and mint.

—by Christos Kalaitzis, Central City Brewers and Distillers

Ninja’s Dream

Bobby Kordonis’ Ninja’s Dream. Thomas Bullock/Ayur Media photo

• 2 oz lemongrass-infused sake (see note)
• 0.75 oz Edmond Briottet Pamplemousse Rose liqueur
• 0.5 oz Aperol
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• Fee Brothers 3 dashes rhubarb bitters

Measure all the ingredients and place them into a mixer, pack with ice and shake for 10-15 seconds. Fine strain the cocktail into a small coupe glass and garnish with a locally foraged nasturtium leaf.

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Nacho Medicine

Nacho Medicine, created by Philipp Karatsyupa, bar manager, Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio. Dan Toulgoet photo

A down south cure to whatever ails you

• 1.5oz Viejo Indecente Espadin mezcal
• 0.75oz amontillado sherry
• 0.5oz ginger shrub (1:1 on sherry vinegar)
• dash Ms. Betters Smoke and Oak bitters
• spray of smoky mezcal of choice

Stir all ingredients and strain into a double Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube or sphere. Garnish with candied ginger.

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The Last Word: Clover Club

The Clover Club, as created by Justin Taylor at The Cascade Room. Jennifer Gauthier photo

Millennial pink. Tumblr pink. Scandi pink. Candy pink. Pale dogwood. Blush. Rose gold. Rose quartz. Rosé. Frosé. Call it what you will, the soft, sweet, nearly-neutral hue of a generation is all around and here to stay. We prefer it in a cocktail. How about you?

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There are 74 places to celebrate Negroni Week in Vancouver

Negroni. Istock photo

Every year during the first full week of June, bars and restaurants around the world pay tribute to the classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni, during a popular annual event known, fittingly, as Negroni Week.

The elegant aperitif is traditionally made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, and is garnished with orange peel.

However, for Negroni Week, participating venues offer up their own renditions, available to customers with proceeds going to a charity of choice.

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SEA TO SKY RAD-LER BEER COCKTAIL

Shaun Layton’s Sea To Sky RAD-ler. Dan Toulgoet photo

Made with Vancouver Craft Beer Week’s 2018 Collaboration Beer, Sea To Sky Double Dry-Hopped Pilsner, by bartender Shaun Layton of Backcountry Brewing.

If you’ve been following the burgeoning cocktail scene in Vancouver over the past decade, there’s a good chance you’ve come across bartender Shaun Layton and his spirited creations. Having managed the bar programs at hotspots like George, L’Abattoir and Juniper, Layton has a well-earned reputation as one of the West Coast’s top cocktailiers. He’s been named Vancouver’s Bartender of the Year by Vancouver MagazineWestenderWestern Living and Georgia Straight, and coming this fall, he’ll be opening his own Spanish-themed bar in Mount Pleasant, Como Taperia.

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El Boujee

El Boujee, created by Bodega on Main’s Junior Alexander. Dan Toulgoet photo

• 1.5 oz Toasted Coconut Fat Washed Flor de Caña 4
• 1 oz Bumbu Caribbean Rum
• 1 oz Lime Juice
• 0.5oz Simple Syrup

Shake, serve neat in a coupe.

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It’s G&T time

The Alchemist’s tasting panel searches for the best B.C. gin to enjoy with your tonic

The G&T is a warm-weather classic. But which B.C. gin is the best choice?

Now that spring has finally sprung, we’re craving lighter sprits and fresher flavours. In other words, we’re craving gin, especially when it’s mixed with tonic water.

Our tasting panel comprising some of Vancouver’s top bartenders—Max Borrowman of Juniper Kitchen & Bar; Amber Bruce of The Keefer Bar; J-S Dupuis of Wentworth Hospitality (Tableau Bar Bistro, Homer St. Café); and Josh Pape of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bells and Whistles, Bufala, Lucky Taco)—sampled nine B.C. artisanal gins, suggested the best cocktails to make with them, and then mixed them with tonic water to determine which worked best.

Here’s what they had to say.

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Farm to Flask

Artisan distilling started a conversation about the terroir of spirits. But can you taste those uber-local ingredients in the bottle?

On the drive up to Saanichton from Victoria, hand-lettered signs for honey and free-range eggs compete with honour-system farm stands exchanging wildflowers, produce or jam for money stuffed in a can. When I arrive on an oceanside hilltop, Ken Winchester points out 25 acres of certified organic vineyards, maple and fruit trees and, farther in the distance, barley being farmed to his specs before it’s malted at Phillips Brewery in Victoria. “I’m also a beekeeper, among other things,” says the deVine winemaker and Bruichladdich-trained distiller, gesturing to the hives. He’s more than that: he’s a farm-to-flask disciple.

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Vancouver’s Chris Enns named Diageo World Class Canada Bartender of 2018

Botanist bartender Chris Enns, Diageo World Class Canada Bartender of the Year. Photo courtesy of Diageo World Class Canada

The Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Christopher Enns has become the fourth Vancouver bartender to win the prestigious Diageo World Class Canada competition since this country joined the global fray in 2013.

He now heads to Berlin, Germany, to represent Canada at the World Class Global Final Oct. 4 to 8, 2018.

Expectations will be even higher than usual. Not only is this the 10th anniversary of the biggest and most important cocktail competition on the planet, but another Vancouverite, Kaitlyn Stewart of Royal Dinette, won the global title last year, vanquishing 10,000 bartenders from 57 countries to do so.

So, you know, no pressure.

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