Queensborough Gin “Double Gold” Cocktail

The Queensborough Double Gold Gin cocktail. Central City Brewers & Distillers photo

Christos Kalaitzis, brand ambassador and mixologist for Central City Brewers + Distillers, created this cocktail to celebrate their gin winning double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

1.5 oz (45 mL) Queensborough gin
0.5 oz (15 mL) dry vermouth
1 oz (30 mL) maple syrup
3 dashes aromatic bitters
3 mint leaves
Ginger ale

Place all ingredients except ginger ale in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Double strain into a wine glass, add fresh ice and top up with ginger ale. Garnish with cinnamon stick and mint sprig. Serves 1.

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The sweet seduction of salt

Vij’s bartender Olivia Povarchook putting the (salty) finishing touches on a Smoking Dog. Dan Toulgoet photo

As we get set to celebrate BC Day on Aug. 7, let’s raise a glass to the province’s greatest unsung local ingredient, the one that can transform our cocktails from ordinary to sublime: Salt.

Throughout history, this tasty and essential mineral has been used as a currency, a preservative and a flavour enhancer. Wars have been fought over the stuff. And there’s a whole ocean of it right on our doorstep.

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Smoking Dog

The Smoking Dog cocktail at Vij’s. Dan Toulgoet photo

This cocktail created by bartender Olivia Povarchook of Vij’s updates the classic Salty Dog, but instead of rimming the glass with salt, flakes of smoked Maldon sea salt sit on top of the ice, giving the drinker a taste of smoky salt with each sip.

1.5 oz (45 mL) Bombay Sapphire East London Dry Gin
0.5 oz (15 mL) Yellow Chartreuse
2 oz (60 mL) fresh grapefruit juice
1 tsp (5 mL) Maldon smoked sea salt

Combine gin, liqueur and juice in a Collins glass or (preferably) a beautiful crystal tumbler with 12 oz (350 mL) capacity. Fill with ice cubes and stir. Top to overfilled with more ice cubes. Sprinkle salt flakes on the ice cube surfaces. Serves 1.

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Burrard Gimlet

The Burrard Gimlet cocktail, made with salt water, created by Justin Taylor, general manager of The Cascade Room in Vancouver. Cascade Room photo

Justin Taylor of The Cascade Room makes his own salt water for this refreshing update on a classic cocktail.

1.5 oz (45 mL) Long Table Cucumber gin
0.5 oz (15 mL) Green Chartreuse
0.5 oz (15 mL) chamomile cordial (see note)
0.75 oz (22 mL) lime juice
3 dashes Bittered Sling Lem Marrakesh bitters
1 tsp (5 mL) salt water (see note)
Pinch of sea salt
Garnish: Taboo absinthe mist; lime twist

Rim half of a coupe glass with sea salt. Place all ingredients except garnish into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Double strain into coupe. Spritz surface with a mist of absinthe and garnish with a lime twist. Serves 1.

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