Vancouver’s Brooklyn

Vancouver’s Brooklyn. Lucy-kate Armstrong photo

A take on the defunct classic cocktail, The Brooklyn, and an homage to the relationship between North Vancouver and the big city over the bridge.

• 1.5 oz. rye whisky
• 0.3 oz. amaretto
• 0.3 oz. Cocchi Americano
• 0.3 oz. maraschino liqueur
• 3 dashes of bitters
• 1 maraschino cherry

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Prodigal sons

How Sons of Vancouver is riding the big boom in small spirits

James Lester (L) and Richard Klaus bring a clear point-of-view to Sons of Vancouver. Lucy-kate Armstrong photo

It will be just two short years in February since Sons of Vancouver opened for business—with a 700-litre still repurposed from a dairy pasteurizer. And, like so many of the distilleries around B.C., owners James Lester and Richard Klaus have barely had time to pause for breath.

Take the past few months of 2016 as an example: Sons ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to upgrade to a proper—and much bigger—still, opened a tasting room, and will release a special barrel-aged edition of their signature No. 82 Amaretto in time for the holidays.

It wasn’t meant to happen this fast.

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Whistler warmers

Après ski is a cozy affair at Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s The Mallard Lounge

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Whistler is synonymous with winter. Temperatures fall and, in short order, so too does the snow and a barrage of tourists eager to take to the slopes.

And when those tourists have had their fill of the great outdoors, many of them descend upon Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s The Mallard Lounge.

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Spirited gifts

We asked some top B.C. bartenders which bottle of local spirits they would put on their Christmas list

L’Abattoir’s Katie Ingram longs to make a Rodney’s Roy, with Laird of Fintry Single Malt. Supplied photo

Katie Ingram

Lead Bartender, L’Abattoir Restaurant

I’d pick Okanagan Spirits Laird of Fintry Single Malt Whisky. It is a Scotch-style single malt made with 100 per cent B.C. malted barley using French and American oak, and finished in Okanagan wine barrels. The nose is unbelievable with plum, vanilla, raisins, berries, poached pears, nuts, and classic oak characteristics that continue on the palate. It has a dry finish with a hint of sweet vanilla and baking spices. I would make a twist on a Rob Roy — a Rodney’s Roy — with 2 oz. Laird of Fintry,
0.3 oz. Noilly Prat Rouge,
0.3 oz. Noilly Prat Ambre and two dashes Bittered Sling Cascade Celery Bitters.


Peter Van de Reep

Bar Manager, Upstairs at Campagnolo

Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth, please. This is a wonderful example of the new style of vermouth being produced in North America: bitter, herbaceous and very complex, with a dominant tree bark and citrus peel character. It’s very versatile in cocktails and delicious on its own. I’d whip up a Mile Zero, a dark and brooding cocktail, perfect for a cold, rainy Vancouver night: 1 oz. Bulleit Rye, 1 oz. Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth, 0.75 oz. Luxardo Amaro Abano. Stir all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.


J-S Dupuis

Bar Manager, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar

Queensborough Small Batch Dry Gin from Central City Brewers & Distillers. I love its crispness, balanced juniper, light citrus notes and spruce tip flavour. It’s a great Pacific Northwest gin. If it’s in my stocking, I will definitely be making a Gibson Wet Martini —  one of my all time favourite cocktails. I like a Wet Martini only if the gin is strong and flavourful enough to stand up to the vermouth and Queensborough fits the bill. Come Christmas, I will share a few of these with my wife, while wearing my favourite sweater, and with my big dogs by my side.


West Restaurant’s Stacey Ackerman created The Godfather of Vancouver
with Sons of Vancouver No. 82 Amaretto in mind. Supplied photo

Stacey Ackerman

Bar Manager, West Restaurant

Sons of Vancouver No. 82 Amaretto. I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth and it is by far the best amaretto I’ve ever tried. Excellently balanced with the flavors of vanilla bean, orange peel and blackberry honey.  I’m almost finished my test bottle so it would be great to find another in my Christmas stocking. I’ve found it pairs incredibly well with a smoky scotch. So, I created The Godfather of Vancouver, a take on the classic Godfather cocktail, using Sons of Vancouver Amaretto, 10-year-old Ardbeg, 10-year-old Glenmorangie, and a lemon twist to finish. It’s my new favorite thing!


Peter Sullivan

Bar Manager, Forage

I’ll take The Woods Spirit Co. Amaro, because they love local like we love local here at Forage, and it’s a spirit that is super user-friendly in cocktails. I’d make a Forage Negroni: 1.5 oz. Sheringham Seaside Gin, 1 oz. The Woods Spirit Co. Amaro, and 0.5 oz. Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth. You can’t get more local than that!


Matt Cooke

Bar Manager, OLO Restaurant, Victoria

It would have been a bottle of de Vine’s Glen Saanich Single Malt, but as it’s sold out, I’ll have to wait until next Christmas. Meanwhile, I’ll happily settle for a bottle of their Moderna Vermouth. It’s a great example of the direction B.C. distilling is going, utilizing local ingredients and being creative with Old World recipes. I’d go with a Christmas Morning B.C. Martinez, with equal parts Legend Distilling Black Moon smoked rosemary gin and Moderna Vermouth, a splash of Okanagan Spirits Maraschino Liqueur, and a dash or two of Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters.


Max Borrowman’s tipple is Juniper’s Islander G&T, made with Sheringham Seaside Gin. Supplied photo

Max Borrowman

Head Bartender, Juniper Restaurant & Bar

I would like a bottle of Sheringham Seaside Gin because I love the delicious briny notes that come from the winged sea kelp, one of its key botanicals. I used to go surfing near where the distillery is located on Vancouver Island, so those coastal flavours evoke fond memories for me. My first drink would be the Islander G&T we serve at Juniper: 1.5 oz. Sheringham Seaside Gin, a dash of Bittered Sling Cascade Celery Bitters and Fever Tree Indian Tonic Water.

German Burnt Punch

German Burnt Punch. Lou Lou Childs photo

A take on the traditional Feuerzangenbowle

• 1 sugar cube
• 0.25 oz  Bacardi 151 over-proof rum
• 1 oz Asbach German brandy
• 1 oz Cointreau
• 3 oz fresh orange juice
• 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
• 0.25 oz vanilla syrup (such as Giffard)

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Light my fire

Flames add flavour—and drama—to festive concoctions 

Oil from the orange peel fans the flames of a German Burnt Punch. Lou Lou Childs photo

I was just thinking of a Flaming Rum Punch,” says Clarence Odbody, the 293-year-old guardian angel in Frank Capra’s 1946 masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life. But in this post-war dive bar all that’s on offer is “hard drinks… for men who want to get drunk fast.”

Back when Clarence was just a cherub, though, punches were all the rage. A concoction of spirits with something sweet, something sour, something weak and something spicy, punch was a communal beverage, enjoyed at social gatherings. It was often served hot, typically heated by inserting a molten hot poker into a jug, bowl or pitcher of liquor. There were, at times, flames.

Since then, flamed drinks have gone in and out of fashion like a Blue Blazer in a fickle breeze.

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Cool Yule

Warm up with these festive cocktails

Lou Lou Childs photo

Whether it’s a glass of eggnog, a hot buttered rum, or a mug of spicy mulled wine, the winter season is loaded with tasty cocktails. What makes them ideal for the home bartender is their reliance on easily sourced pantry ingredients: spices (cinnamon, clove and nutmeg), fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage), and fruits (mandarins, cranberries and pomegranates). Here are my family recipes for iconic winter cocktails—and a twist or two designed to take your holiday gathering to the next level.

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Hot Buttered Rum

Justin Taylor’s hot Buttered Rum. Lou Lou Childs photo

Making the compound butter in advance will improve the finished drink. You could also package it for a seasonal gift.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tsp compound butter*
6 oz. boiling water
1-2 oz. dark rum to taste
cinnamon stick

METHOD:
Combine compound butter and boiling water in your serving mug and stir to dissolve. Add rum and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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Cranberry Collins

Justin Taylor’s Cranberry Collins. Lou Lou Childs photo

A perfect welcome cocktail to any holiday party and one that can also be served alcohol-free.

INGREDIENTS:
2 oz. gin
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. pure cranberry juice
1 oz. rosemary and sage syrup*
3 oz. soda water
rosemary sprigs

METHOD:
To a tall glass, add gin, juices and syrup. Add ice and top with soda. Garnish with rosemary.

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Home Made Eggnog

Justin Taylor’s Home Made Eggnog. Lou Lou Childs photo

Best made a few days in advance to allow the flavours to develop.

INGREDIENTS:
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground allspice
12 oz bourbon or rum
3 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 whole nutmegs (for garnish)

METHOD:
Measure all your ingredients. Add the eggs to a blender running on lowest setting. After 20 seconds slowly pour in sugar and allspice. Increase speed to medium and slowly add bourbon, followed by milk and cream, and blend for one minute. Refrigerate immediately in an airtight container. Stir before serving. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes 8-10 servings.

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