Jeff Savage’s Treebeard cocktail. Botanist photo

“The drink is intended to be a Canadian highball, that is, a drink that is spirit forward, but is also balanced and refreshing,” says Jeff Savage, Botanist’s head bartender, who created the cocktail. The large, crystal-clear ice cubes are precisely measured to fit the glassware and are cut with a band saw. They are also adorned with the Botanist logo: The custom metal stamp is placed on top of the cube and gravity does the rest.

• 1.5 oz Canadian Club Rye Whisky
• 0.5 oz gin, preferably St. George Terroir Gin
• 1.5 oz birch water
• 1 oz Smoked Tea Syrup (recipe follows)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice; stir until chilled and diluted. Strain into a Collins glass with a clear ice spear. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Serves 1.

Smoked Tea Syrup

• 8 cups (2 L) water
• 3 oz (100 g) food-safe cedar (broken into pieces)
• 1.5 oz (40 g) BC Forestea from Vancouver’s Tealeaves
• 2.2 lb (1 kg) superfine sugar (or as needed)
• 3 oz (90 g) citric acid

Heat water to a boil. Pour boiling water over cedar and tea leaves and cover. Steep 20 minutes. Strain out cedar and tea leaves. Weigh the steeped tea and combine with an equal amount (in weight) of sugar. Stir until fully dissolved; heat a little if needed. Add citric acid and stir. Makes 8 cups (2L).

—by Jeff Savage

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