Brrrr – it’s chilly out there. Must be toddy time. With the mercury plunging below zero these past few weeks, Vancouver’s bartenders have been brewing up pots and pots of toddies, mulled ciders and other steamy beverages. Open the door to just about any drinking establishment – from the pop-up Winter Terrace at Reflections (in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia) to Juniper Kitchen & Bar in Gastown – and you’ll be greeted by the seasonal aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. And this is especially true at the Cascade Room on Main Street.
Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period meets the Martini.
• 1.5 oz Grey Goose Pear
• 0.75 oz Hpnotiq
• 0.25 oz vermouth infused with lavender and sage
• 0.25 oz chamomile
• 0.25 oz fresh squeezed lemon
• Dash of Bittered Sling Denman Extract
The bartender’s salt and pepper, bitters are big in B.C.
After working for five years as a bartender on cruise ships, Tiffany Davis is well acquainted with the benefits of cocktail bitters.
“I went through so many bottles of Peychaud’s,” she laughs. “It was the best cure for seasickness.”
Now safely moored on dry land, as a bartender at the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver’s Market by Jean-Georges, Davis still relies on bitters, but primarily for their cocktail applications.
Smoky and tropical, this cocktail created by Katie Ingram, bar manager of L’Abattoir, is a perfect pick-me-up for a chill day.
• 0.75 oz (20 mL) Del Maguey Vida Espadin Mezcal
• 0.75 oz (20 mL) French sweet vermouth
• 0.75 oz (20 mL) Heering cherry liquor
• 0.5 oz (15 mL) pineapple juice
2 tsp (10 mL) orange juice
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
2 dashes Bittered Sling Autumn Bog Cranberry
This tart, juicy and refreshing take on wintry flavours is created by Sabrine Dhaliwal, bar manager of Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar.
• 1.5 oz (45 mL) Taylor Fladgate White Port
• 1 oz (30 mL) Beefeater gin
• 0.25 oz (7 mL) Okanagan Spirits Haskap Liqueur
• 0.75 oz (22 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 dashes Bittered Sling Autumnbog Cranberry Bitters
• Tonic water
We launch our new weekly cocktail column, The Alchemist, with the hottest drinks of the season
What’s the best way to get into the festive spirit? Why, with some festive spirits, of course.
All over Vancouver, the city’s best bartenders are shaking, stirring and mulling the best seasonal flavours into cocktails designed to warm body and soul. And truly, can you think of a better way to bring this cold, dreary year to a close?
• 2 oz. Cherry Heering
• 0.5 oz. orgeat syrup
• 0.25 oz. Fernet-Branca
• 1 oz. lemon juice
• 1 egg white
Andrew Schneider’s Mount Pleasant cocktail put Cherry Heering front and centre on the London stage
Close to 3,000 bartenders around the world vied to be the best, but in the end it was the U.K.’s Grant Murray who was named winner of the prestigious 2016 Peter F. Heering Classic Challenge at London Cocktail Week in October.
Vancouver entrant, Andrew Schneider, bartender at Vij’s, advanced to the final round of the competition, held as part of the World’s Best 50 Bars gala countdown, and judged by spirits luminaries, David Wondrich, Lauren Mote, Simon Difford, Charlene Dawes, Hamish Smith, and host Andrew Seymour.
Our man at the bar, John Burns, discovers the joys of warm beer
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, reading 141 books over the course of a few months, but that was a side project of mine over the fall and if I’m going to be completely frank, since we’re old friends now, I’ll admit that it wasn’t always tea in my cup as I worked my way through eight linear feet of Canadian nonfiction.
Now that I’ve finished the reading, you’d think I’d never pick up a book again, but I found myself leafing through Charles Dickens the other day—it’s the snap in the air—and came across this passage from Our Mutual Friend: “The bar of the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters was a bar to soften the human breast.…[The rooms] had red curtains matching the noses of the regular customers, and were provided with comfortable fireside tin utensils, like models of sugar-loaf hats, made in that shape that they might, with their pointed ends, seek out for themselves glowing nooks in the depths of the red coals, when they mulled your ale, or heated for you those delectable drinks, Purl, Flip, and Dog’s Nose.”