Sipping Tofino

Wolf in the Fog’s bar manager Hailey Pasemko. Wolf in the Fog photo

When you’re surrounded by wild bounty the way Tofino is, it only makes sense to use it however you can. And so Wolf in the Fog’s bar manager Hailey Pasemko transforms huckleberries into bitters, infuses gin with salal or spruce tips, and fat-washes vodka with salmon.

Now she’s looking beyond Tofino, to the great spirits being produced across B.C., for her new “Local Legends” cocktail program.

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World class city

Home Team cocktail. Photo courtesy of Chris Enns.

With Christopher Enns’ recent win in Montreal, that’s four times Vancouver bartenders have taken home the prestigious title of Diageo Reserve World Class Canada champion since the competition started in 2013.

Enns, who mans the shakers at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge, also recently won the Woodford Reserve Manhattan challenge in New York. “It’s been very busy, that’s for sure,” he says.

Now we’re all wondering: Will lightning strike again?

After all, last year’s World Class Canada winner, Kaitlyn Stewart of Vancouver’s Royal Dinette, went on to win the global competition, beating out 10,000 talented bartenders from more than 50 countries to do so.

Enns is already preparing for the world finals in Berlin this October. “We won’t get the lineup for a few months, but I’ll start researching Berlin and working within the seasonal produce,” he says.

It helps that he’s got a strong team of previous hometown winners helping him prepare, including his colleague, Grant Sceney, the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s creative beverage director and World Class Canada 2014 winner.

“I’m going to see a lot more of him than I do already,” Enns says with a laugh.

For more info, follow @WorldClassCa on Twitter, @WorldClassCanada on Instagram, use the hashtag #WorldClass or visit Facebook.com/WorldClassCanada.

Make Chris Enns’ winning cocktail, the Home Team.

Home Team

Home Team cocktail. Photo courtesy of Chris Enns.

Chris Enns prepared this cocktail for the World Class Canada 2018 national finals. “This drink came from the Wanderlust challenge where we came up with a cocktail inspired by both home and an away location,” he recalls. A twist on the Sazerac cocktail, the Home Team is inspired by the feeling of “home” he found at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, as well the home-team support among the World Class bartenders. Here it is served in a Scottish quaich cup; however, a chilled Old Fashioned or Sazerac-style glass would be fine.

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Mark your calendars

Sure, you could enjoy cocktails alone in your back yard. Or you could join the crowds having fun at these great events here at home and abroad over the next few months.

Deighton Cup photo

Deighton Cup

Don your fancy chapeaux and hoist your glasses! The ponies hit the track once again on July 21 for the 10th annual Deighton Cup at Hastings Racecourse. Some 5,000 people gather at the track to gamble on the ponies while enjoying swish fashion, buckets of bubbly, fine cigars, gourmet cuisine and, of course, cocktails. The event includes an annual mixology competition, plus sweet summer sippers to enjoy trackside. deightoncup.com

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Patio at the Parq

D/6 bar and Lounge photo

We’re always excited to see a new patio in town, especially when it’s one that serves great cocktails. And so we’re thrilled that D/6 Bar and Lounge at Parq Vancouver has flung open the big glass doors onto its vast new patio space.

Located on the sixth floor of the DOUGLAS boutique hotel, the D/6 patio has great views of the city skyline and offers locally inspired cocktails like the Douglas Fir, which is made with Douglas fir-infused gin from Yaletown Distilling Company. (The gin is also available in all the guest rooms.)

Even better news: The patio is covered, so guests can enjoy the views and the cocktails come rain or shine.

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Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir cocktail is made with Douglas fir-infused gin from Yaletown Distilling Company. D/6 Bar and Lounge photo

Find this signature cocktail at the D/6 Bar and Lounge at Parq Vancouver.

• 1.5 oz Douglas Fir-Infused Gin from Yaletown Distillery
• 0.5 oz Cointreau
• 0.5 oz dry vermouth
• 0.5 oz sweet vermouth
• 3 drops of Bittered Sling Orange Juniper bitters

Stir ingredients over ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice and a Douglas fir tip. Serves 1.

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B.C.’s most spirited festival

Clear your schedule for the BC Distilled festival.

Jeff Grayston photo

BC Distilled is the biggest artisan and micro-distillery event in Canada and a must for anyone interested in spirits and cocktails. It is April 14 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, with a trade tasting from 2 to 4:30 pm followed by the public event, 6 to 9 pm.

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Winner, winner

Cocktail competition season is in full swing, and it’s exciting to see so many B.C. bartenders competing both on the local and world stage.

Kaitlyn Stewart at Diageo World Class in 2017. Diageo World Class photo

After Royal Dinette’s Kaitlyn Stewart won Diageo World Class in 2017, all eyes are on the global competition whose winner is considered best bartender in the world. The 2018 round kicked off in January, with regional challenges being held in March and the Canadian finals scheduled for May 7 to 10. Good luck to all who dare enter.

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