The Last Word: Homemade Irish Cream Coffee

Coffee + booze + cream = cold-weather bliss.

We say it’s time to bring the special coffee off the ski hill and back into our after-dinner repertoire, just in time for the chilly days ahead.

This recipe by Justin Taylor of The Cascade Room elevates the oft-maligned special coffee with high-quality ingredients. Dan Toulgoet photo
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Spirit of Victoria

12 great places to get a drink in the Vancouver Island city

The B.C. Parliament Buildings are the centrepiece of Victoria’s vibrant Inner Harbour. Tourism Victoria photo

You could say that Matt Cooke has distilled the spirit of Victoria into his cocktails. The general manager at OLO Restaurant transforms Vancouver Island spirits and local produce into the kind of creatively food-friendly sippers that complement chef-owner Brad Holmes’ fresh comfort food so well. There’s often whisky or gin—Victorians love the smoky and botanical flavours of the British Isles—and a subtle nod to the classics. At the same time, Cooke conjures flavours that are completely new, and often made from scratch.

And he’s not alone. Despite its relatively small size, with a population about an eighth of Vancouver’s, Victoria has a vibrant cocktail scene that makes it truly a great place to get a drink, especially at these 12 watering holes.

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Elevate your holiday cocktails with Blackpool Spiced Rum

Nicole MacKay photo

Lemon Hart & Son was established in 1804 with the creation of its iconic British-style rum, aptly named 1804. Times were exciting then, Beethoven was performing symphonies in Vienna, ‘Mad’ King George III ruled Britain and the world’s population had just reached 1 billion. Today, nearing its 215th birthday, the 1804 lends its traditional base to Lemon Hart’s fuller-bodied counterpart. A rich, Demerara style Spiced Rum.

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Perfect Pears

Fall’s favourite tree fruit makes a great addition to autumnal cocktails

Perfectly preserved pears, from left, as purée, in syrup or dehydrated into chips. Dan Toulgoet photo

There is a sublime comfort in autumn, as the breezy aroma of fallen leaves wafts away the smoke of our sultry summer. One of my favourite things to do in the fall is to cruise out to the local farmers markets and fill my basket with delicious local fruits and vegetables. As a cocktail maker, I love loading up on things that I can preserve and keep around through what is sure to be another cold, wet and dreary Vancouver winter.

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Cognac & Pear Brulée

Justin Taylor’s Cognac & Pear Brulée. Dan Toulgoet photo

• 1.5 oz. Remy Martin VS Cognac
• 0.5 oz Bénédictine liqueur
• 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 0.75 oz pasteurized liquid egg white
• 1 oz caramelized pear purée (see note)
• 2 dashes Angostura bitters
• 1 tsp cinnamon sugar

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Mezcal Mule

Justin Taylor’s Mezcal Mule. Dan Toulgoet photo

• 2 oz mezcal
• 0.25 oz jalapeño and pear syrup (see note)
• 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
• 4 oz ginger beer, preferably Dickie’s

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