The Alchemist tasting panel reviews high-end spirits
Sometimes nothing will do but the highest of high-end spirits. Perhaps there is an important anniversary to commemorate, a business deal to cement, a mentor to thank. Or maybe you are just lucky enough to stumble upon a tasting where you can sip something rare that’s been aging in a barrel for decades. Whatever the event, there comes a time when you may be able to enjoy an ultra-premium spirit—or a cocktail that’s been made with it. We asked our tasting panel to share some of their favourites and the cocktails they’d make with them (if they could afford to). This issue, our tasting panel team comprises bartenders Sabrine Dhaliwal, Robyn Gray, Grant Sceney and David Wolowidnyk. Here’s what they had to say.
If the Vancouver bartender sees a new technique or tries a drink that captures her interest, she wants to know how it works. “I’m like a sponge, I’m always trying to soak it up,” she tells V.I.A over the phone.
She believes constantly learning is a testament to being a good bartender or even chef. It’s also likely one of the traits that earned her the title Bartender of the Year at the World Class Competition in 2017.
Over the past decade British Columbia has become the focal point for craft distilleries within Canada. Prior to 2013, there were only a handful of distilleries in operation in the province. However, once the Provincial Government established new regulations around “commercial” and “craft” distilleries, exempting “craft” distillers from the more than 160 percent markup the province applies to all other B.C. spirit makers, there has been an enormous boom. Today, there are close to 100 distilleries in operation.
At Published on Main, Dylan Riches performs cocktail theatre
Ask Dylan Riches to trace his journey from the wilds of Prince George to bar manager at East Vancouver’s celebrated Published on Main, and he’ll ultimately suggest that he’s simply swapped one stage for another.
“One of the things I love most about this industry is that the path is not the same for every single person,” Riches says at the award-winning restaurant. “I love talking to people in the industry, getting to know them, hearing about where they come from. Every person’s path has a different turn or twist.”