Tropical dreams

Tiki is back in Vancouver. Why did it ever go away?

Istockphoto.com photo

Tiki culture is a liquid ticket to an imaginary tropical island where the breeze is always warm, the music sways like the branches of a palm tree, and the rum flows as easily as the waves that wash up on a sandy beach.

Tiki originated in California in 1933, but exploded in popularity after the Second World War. It was inspired by the romance of the South Pacific, the culture of Polynesia, the flavours of Asia and the rum punches of the Caribbean, making it the ultimate fusion cocktail experience, served in a kitschy-cool Hollywood-ready vessel to a market that was weary of war and ready to party.

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Scorpion

Beware of the Scorpion’s lethal sting. Joanne Sasvari photo

Originally a blender drink from Beachbum Berry, and traditionally served as a bowl for six with a gardenia garnish at Trader Vic’s, the Scorpion makes a terrific single-serving shaken drink, too. Just beware of its lethal sting.

• 2 oz light rum
• 1 oz brandy
• 1.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz orgeat

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Three Dots and a Dash

Three Dots and a Dash—victory! Joanne Sasvari photo

The garnish says it all. The three cherries are the dots, the pineapple wedge the dash, representing the letter “V” in Morse code, which was the symbol for “victory” during the Second World War.

• 1.5 oz rhum agricole or demerara rum
• 0.5 oz aged blended rum
• 0.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lime juice
• 0.5 oz honey syrup (see note)
• 0.25 oz falernum
• 0.25 oz pimento dram (see recipe)
• 1 dash angostura bitters
• Garnish: 3 cherries and 1 wedge of fresh pineapple

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Startup building a buzz with Nude soda lineup

Brand moving into new markets as demand increases for vodka and gin sodas

Maddy Amisano, who grew up on the North Shore, started out in operations as Nude Soda’s first employee.
Photo MIKE WAKEFIELD, NORTH SHORE NEWS

When North Shore native Maddy Amisano began working with Nude, the new B.C. startup focusing on canned, carbonated soda alternatives to beer and coolers, they had sales of a hundred grand. Two years later the young company is now at just under 10 million.

Amisano grew up on the North Shore attending Windridge Park Preschool, Plymouth Elementary and Windsor Secondary schools, as well as playing team sports with the North Shore Girls Soccer Club and Mount Seymour Little League.

At Nude, she started out in operations as the company’s first employee.

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Pimento Dram

Pimento Dram makes a great addition to tiki and other cocktails. Joanne Sasvari cocktail

This is a simple spice-flavoured liqueur that makes a great addition to tiki and other cocktails. Note that it will take about a week to infuse, so plan accordingly.

• 2 Tbsp whole allspice berries
• 0.5 cup light or dark rum (whichever you prefer)
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 0.5 cup water
• 0.5 cup brown sugar

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The Old Fashioned may be tops, but bring on the Bamboo!

The Old Fashioned is the top-selling cocktail in the world, according to Drinks International. Istockphoto.com photo

In January, Drinks International, a trade publication for the alcohol industry, released its annual list of the 50 best cocktails—or at least the best-selling ones—around the world. It’s perhaps no big surprise that the top drink, for the fifth year running, was that classic whisky-based bittered sling, the Old Fashioned.

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A spirited selection at the BC Distilled 2019 Audience Favourites Awards

Odd Society’s Prospector Rye Whisky was voted the audience-favourite whisky at BC Distilled. Gail Nugent photo

They came, they sipped, they chose their favourites, ranging from a delicately herbal absinthe to a boldly spiced rye whisky.

Some 600 people descended on the Croatian Cultural Centre on April 6 for the sixth annual BC Distilled festival, highlighting the best of the province’s artisan spirits. Some 180 spirits from 39 distilleries were poured over two tastings, and at the end of it all, the audience voted for their favourites in 13 categories.

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Bamboo

Bamboo cocktail. Istockphoto.com photo

Nobody really knows the back story of this sherry-based cocktail from the 19th century, but we do know that it quenches our thirst for all things low-proof and lightly bittered.

• 1.5 oz dry sherry
• 1.5 oz dry vermouth
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
• 1 dash orange bitters

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Finalists ready to fight for Diageo World Class Canada 2019 title

The top ten Diageo World Class Canada finalists will be competing in the national finals in June. Photo courtesy of Diageo World Class Canada

Since Canada entered the Diageo World Class competition in 2013, our bartenders have punched far above their weight, consistently place in the top 12 worldwide.

Moreover, Lauren Mote, who won the national title in 2015, is now Diageo’s Global Cocktailian, and in 2017,

Vancouver’s Kaitlyn Stewart won the whole thing, beating bartenders from nearly 60 countries to become Global Bartender of the Year.

So there’s no pressure at all on this year’s regional winners, who are heading to the National Final in June (details to be announced later).

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