The patio scene isn’t for everyone, including our man about town
In many ways, I’ve always been hilariously unsuited to Vancouver, despite having lived here for the best part of 20 years. While I enjoy observing nature from the distant vantage point of a high-rise apartment, actually venturing into it makes me anxious and irritated. I look upon the lifestyle cults surrounding yoga, spinning and clamshell salads—ostensibly expressions of joyful living, yet deadly serious—as if they were the Republic of Gilead.
But what situates me permanently at the fringe of the party that is this city (this beautiful, very expensive party) is my habitual response to the arrival of summer. When everyone else rushes hysterically into the streets, as if drawn by the promise of eternal youth and free poké bowls, I draw the blinds and cower until nightfall.
I don’t want to be this person, but I have no choice: I’m a ginger.
When you’re surrounded by wild bounty the way Tofino is, it only makes sense to use it however you can. And so Wolf in the Fog’s bar manager Hailey Pasemko transforms huckleberries into bitters, infuses gin with salal or spruce tips, and fat-washes vodka with salmon.
Now she’s looking beyond Tofino, to the great spirits being produced across B.C., for her new “Local Legends” cocktail program.
With Christopher Enns’ recent win in Montreal, that’s four times Vancouver bartenders have taken home the prestigious title of Diageo Reserve World Class Canada champion since the competition started in 2013.
Enns, who mans the shakers at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge, also recently won the Woodford Reserve Manhattan challenge in New York. “It’s been very busy, that’s for sure,” he says.
Now we’re all wondering: Will lightning strike again?
After all, last year’s World Class Canada winner, Kaitlyn Stewart of Vancouver’s Royal Dinette, went on to win the global competition, beating out 10,000 talented bartenders from more than 50 countries to do so.
Enns is already preparing for the world finals in Berlin this October. “We won’t get the lineup for a few months, but I’ll start researching Berlin and working within the seasonal produce,” he says.
It helps that he’s got a strong team of previous hometown winners helping him prepare, including his colleague, Grant Sceney, the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s creative beverage director and World Class Canada 2014 winner.
“I’m going to see a lot more of him than I do already,” Enns says with a laugh.
Chris Enns prepared this cocktail for the World Class Canada 2018 national finals. “This drink came from the Wanderlust challenge where we came up with a cocktail inspired by both home and an away location,” he recalls. A twist on the Sazerac cocktail, the Home Team is inspired by the feeling of “home” he found at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, as well the home-team support among the World Class bartenders. Here it is served in a Scottish quaich cup; however, a chilled Old Fashioned or Sazerac-style glass would be fine.
For its ninth Private Edition series, the venerable Highland whisky house Glenmorangie has released its first single malt aged in American ex-rye whisky casks. In the late 1990s, Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky, travelled to the United States, where he was inspired by the elegant cinnamon and clove notes of rye whisky. “I have always loved American rye whisky’s spicy character, and I believed our Distillery’s smooth house style would perfectly complement the nuances of ex-rye casks,” he says.
This refreshing cocktail recipe from Odd Society Spirits makes an ideal patio sipper.
• 1.5 oz Odd Society Elderflower Liqueur
• 1 oz Odd Society East Vancouver vodka
• 1 oz fresh lemon juice
• 0.3 oz simple syrup
• 1 egg white or 1 dash of Ms. Betters Bitters Miraculous Foamer
Globally inspired cocktail program soars at the Westin Bayshore
Bright, airy and colourful, with a contemporary design that embraces both mid-century and Art Deco motifs, H Tasting Lounge at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, is certainly one of the city’s most elegant cocktail spaces.
But its beauty goes far beyond plush pastel furnishings and dramatic crystal chandeliers.