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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Clear your schedule for the BC Distilled festival.
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.
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.
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.