Hotel Georgia

The recipe for the Hotel Georgia cocktail was discovered by Hawksworth Restaurant’s bar manager, Brad Stanton, in the hotel archives in 2011.

1.75 oz (52 mL) Plymouth gin
0.75 oz (22 mL) fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz (15 mL) orgeat (almond syrup)
6 drops orange blossom water
1 egg white

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and “dry shake” (without ice) vigorously until quite frothy. Add ice and shake again until well chilled, then double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. If you like, garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Serves 1.

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Vancouver’s classic cocktails

There’s now a handful of unique, signature cocktails that make up part of the city’s cultural identity. Pictured: Wildebeest’s Horseradish Sour. Contributed photo

You can’t call something a classic until it’s been kicking around a while. But there’s more to it than that. A classic has a timeless elegance that feels so right, you can’t quite imagine the world without it.

Think Breton stripes, little black dresses, Hemingway’s novels, the Barcelona chair, Frank Sinatra’s velvet vocals and the Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Negroni – the LBDs of the cocktail world.

Here in Vancouver, you might think the cocktail scene is too young to have inspired any classics. You’d be wrong. Here are some of the city’s signature sips.

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Justin Taylor’s Gerard. KK Law photo

This drink is perfect for sipping while you sit beside the fireplace on a leather couch and reminisce. 

1.5 oz (45 mL) Macallan Gold whisky
0.5 oz (15 mL) maraschino liqueur
0.25 oz (7 mL) Fernet Branca
3 dashes Bittered Sling Suius Cherry

Combine all ingredients and stir in a mixing glass with ice for 20 seconds. Strain mixture into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a cherry. Serves 1.

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Avocado Gimlet

Shaun Layton’s Avocado Gimlet. Contributed photo

Inspired by a visit to Mexico, Shaun Layton infused gin with olives and rosemary, mixed it with avocado and created a West Coast classic.

1.5 oz (45 mL) olive and rosemary-infused Beefeater Gin (see note)
0.5 oz (15 mL) Lillet Blanc
1 oz (30 mL) fresh lime juice
0.75 oz (22 mL) simple syrup
1/4 fresh avocado, flesh only

Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin and fill with ice. Give it a good, long, hard shake to make sure the avocado blends into the cocktail. Double-strain with a slightly bigger mesh strainer into a large coupe glass. Serves 1.

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Horseradish Sour

Wildebeest’s Horseradish Sour. Contributed photo

Josh Pape’s Horseradish Sour features a crisp tartness balanced with an umami-rich profile that goes exceptionally well with oysters and steak.

1 tsp (5 mL) creamed horseradish
2 oz (60 mL) Beefeater London Dry Gin
1 oz (30 mL) lemon juice
0.5 oz (15 mL) honey syrup  (1:1; see note)
1 egg white

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail tin and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail coupe glass.  Garnish with finely cracked black pepper. Serves 1.

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Chartreuse Milkshake

Lauren Mote’s Chartreuse Milkshake. Issha Marie photo

Crushable, complex and refreshing.

1.5 oz (45 mL) Tanqueray No. TEN Gin
0.5 oz (15 mL) Green Chartreuse
0.5 oz (15 mL) crème de cacao (chocolate liqueur)
0.75 oz (22 mL) orange juice
0.75 oz (22 mL) lime juice
0.25 oz (bar spoon) simple syrup (see note)
2 dashes Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate bitters
1 egg white

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail and dry shake (without ice) to emulsify egg white. Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds until well chilled and diluted. Pour into a tall Collins glass over fresh ice and garnish with crushed cacao nibs. Serves 1.

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Classic Mint Julep

Classic mint julep. photo

With its mountain of crushed ice, the mint julep is one drink that cries out for a straw, and a reusable glass one allows for the purest taste of bourbon and mint. In fact, it was because he didn’t like the way rye grass made his mint juleps taste that an American inventor named Marvin C. Stone created the first paper straws, back in the late 19th century.

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B.C.’s gold medal gin: Central City strikes award-winning balance with Queensborough

Here’s a local spirit to add a tonic to your liquor cabinet

Christos Kalaitzis, mixologist and spirits brand ambassador (left), and Stuart McKinnon, head distiller at Surrey’s Central City Brewers + Distillers, showcase their award-winning Queensborough Gin and Double Gold Gin cocktail. Central City Brewers & Distillers photo

British Columbia’s artisan gins are in a tricky place.

Some are interesting, but not exactly delicious. Some taste good, but aren’t exciting enough to warrant the high price tag that the difficulty of making local hooch demands. Some have such powerful cereal notes you know the distiller really wants to be making whisky instead. Some taste like perfume, others like vodka.

And then there’s Queensborough gin from Surrey’s Central City Brewers + Distillers.

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