Better with bitters

Add your own unique flavour to cocktails with homemade bitters. Here’s how

A variety of spices, herbs and other botanicals give bitters their intense flavour. Dan Toulgoet photo

Making your own bitters at home is a lot easier than you may think. However, we need to understand a few things first. Cocktails, by definition, are made up of four essential ingredients: spirits, sugar, water and bitters. Spirits are self-explanatory. The sugar and water elements can be exactly that or they can take on other forms, such as syrups and juices. Bitters are much more complex, though. Bartenders use bitters to bridge the flavours of spirits, sugar and water so they come together. The key to selecting the right bitter is to use one that complements the other three components in the cocktail.

Continue Reading

2010

Looking back at the year that changed Vancouver’s cocktail culture

The Olympic flame isn’t the only legacy of 2010—so is Vancouver’s vibrant cocktail scene. Istockphoto.com photo

When Vancouverites look back at 2010, we think of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, a rain-soaked Wayne Gretzky and all those red mittens. But the really big news that year could be found at the bottom of a cocktail glass.

Proper cocktail bars were finally opening all over town. Global spirits brand reps started showing up to dole out samples. The organizers of Tales of the Cocktail reached out to see if Vancouver would be a good site for Tales on Tour. (Spoiler alert: Yes, in 2011 and 2012.) And Imbibe  magazine discovered “a Galapagos of mixology, a place where cocktails have evolved independently from the rest of the drinking world.”

Ten years later, we revisit the year that changed the city’s cocktail culture.

Continue Reading

Zero-sum game

Don’t call them mocktails: #spiritfree and #placebo drinks are a growing wellness trend

Lumette! alt-gin from Sheringham Distilleries.

It gathered speed last year with Sober October before the holiday rush. After ringing in 2020, the trend was undeniable: #Dryuary was in full swing on social media and in the bars and living rooms of the nation, as the so-called sober curious or mindful drinking movement reached a new level of maturity.

Continue Reading

Picnic Smash

The Picnic Smash, made with Seedlip Spice 94, is ideal for your next outdoor adventure. Photo courtesy of SeedlipThis recipe from Seedlip is ideal for tucking in a picnic basket or insulated backpack for your next outdoor adventure.

• 2 oz Seedlip Spice 94
• 0.75 oz pink grapefruit juice
• 3 tsp strawberry jam
• 2 basil leaves, plus additional for garnish

Place all ingredients in a jam jar filled with ice. Tighten lid and shake well. Garnish with an additional basil leaf. Serves 1.

Zero Proof Clover Club

Mike Norbury’s Zero-proof Clover Club uses Lumette! Photo courtesy of Lumette!

Recipe created by Mike Norbury of Veneto Kitchen + Bar in Victoria.

• 2 oz Lumette!
• 0.75 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• 1 Tbsp raspberry jam
• 1 oz egg white

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice and vigorously dry shake. Add ice and shake again until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe. Serves 1.

The Hound

The Hound, created by Jess Morton at Reid’s Distillery. Photo courtesy of Sobrii

Recipe created by Jess Morton at Reid’s Distillery in Toronto. She suggests using a vegetable peeler to create ribbons from the fresh ginger root.

• 1 or 2 ribbons of fresh ginger root
• 1.75 oz Sobrii
• 4 oz grapefruit-flavoured seltzer
• Garnish: 2 to 3 large mint leaves or a slice of grapefruit

Continue Reading

Mixing it up

Fever-Tree lifts mixers to premium levels, adds a new Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic Water to its artisanal collection

Photo courtesy of Fever-Tree

Whether you like to sip on a classic cocktail like a Manhattan or prefer to experiment with new, unconventional concoctions, the spirits world has never been more sophisticated or exciting. Yet for the longest time, mixers were overlooked, an afterthought rather than being considered a crucial ingredient in an extraordinary drink.

Continue Reading
1 2 3 60

Stay home and have The Alchemist delivered to you! Use code COCKTAILHOUR to get 20% off any in-stock single issue and code MAKEITAROUND to get 10% off a subscription. Dismiss