Celebrate the most important day in the Canadian calendar with the country’s iconic homegrown whisky, J.P. Wiser’s! Before Canada was even Canada, J.P. Wiser’s was distilling and barreling whisky in 1857 in Prescott, Ontario. That makes it Canada’s oldest continuously produced Canadian whisky.
Meet Joey Donnelly, a maritime treasure of a human, who has made a solid east-coast stamp on the west-coast hospitality industry here in BC. He is the GM of Clough Club in Gastown (his last name is unrelated to the Donnelly Group) and even after almost a decade in Vancouver (with eight years under his belt at the Clough), he still greets you from behind the bar with genuine maritimer charm and an enthusiastic drawl of, “Hey Bahd!” He also owns a couple of restaurants in Tofino with some of his old ‘Scotian pals’ (being the much-admired Lil’ Ronnie’s Backyard BBQ, of which a second location just opened in early June 2019), and he sits on the Board of Directors for the newly formed mental health initiative, Mind The Bar, which serves as a resource for Vancouver hospitality workers struggling with thoughts of suicide, addictions, depression, or workplace harassment. Despite his efforts to be low-key, Joey is absolutely beloved in the industry, from colleagues to patrons to musicians to CEOs. If you don’t know him, you should. Hailing from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, this is Joey Donnelly.
Canada’s cocktail hits the big five-oh
This year Canada’s favourite cocktail turned 50. And like many a middle-aged bon vivant, it has been undergoing something of a makeover.
The Caesar was famously invented in 1969 by a Calgary bartender named Walter Chell, who was tasked with creating a drink to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant at The Calgary Inn (now The Westin). Inspired by the popularity of the Bloody Mary and the umami-rich flavours of spaghetti alle vongole, he mixed together vodka, tomato juice, clam nectar and spices and created Canadian cocktail history.
With a few aromatic tweaks, the Donnelly Group’s Trevor Kallies has updated the classic cocktail created by Walter Chell in 1969. If you prefer it zero proof, he suggests substituting Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit for the vodka.
• 2 oz Absolut vodka OR Seedlip Garden 108
• 1 dash Tabasco hot sauce
• 1 dash Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
• Top with Walter Caesar Mix
• Celery salt rim
• Skewer of Castelvetrano olive, pickled onion and cucumber spear
• 1 lime wedge
• Sprig of rosemary and thyme
All the buzzzzz
June is National Pollinator Month. Celebrate all the winged things that keep us alive with an updated classic that’s the Apis patella.
Spanish-style G&Ts like the one on our cover are the coolest drinks of summer 2019. This one was photographed at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and created by head bartender Jeff Savage.
• 1.5 oz Star of Bombay gin
• 0.5 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur
• 2 dashes Bittered Sling Haskap Bitters
• Fentiman’s tonic water
Keep cool: The summer issue of The Alchemist is out this week.
The 12th edition of B.C.’s only magazine dedicated to cocktail and spirits culture returns with everything you need to quench your thirst this summer.
The Fairmont Pacific Rim team cleans up at the global competition
Another day, another global win for Botanist Bar. Bartenders Grant Sceney, Jeff Savage and Max Curzon-Price have just been crowned the “Bols Around the World” bar team of the year.
Creating cocktails is a team effort at Timber, with all the bartenders and servers contributing their ideas. Most recently, they’ve been working on summer cocktails—including this one that restaurant manager Jonathan Dennis calls “a mix between a mojito and a bourbon peach lemonade.”
• 2 oz chili-infused Okanagan Spirits BRBN (see note)
• 1 oz peach and mint purée
• 1 oz mint syrup (see note)
A sparkling goblet filled with golden elixir revolves lazily in mid-air, twirling a couple of inches above the vapours of dry ice billowing from a wooden platform. It looks like magic, and it is, sort of.