In the spirit of cocktails

Into the Aether, created by the Botanist bar team, was selected to represent North America at the Bols Around the World competition in Amsterdam in June 2019. Photo courtesy of Botanist Restaurant

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.

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Into the Aether

Photo courtest of Botanist

Designed by Botanist Bar team members Grant Sceney, Jeff Savage and Max Curzon-Price. Note that the team uses their own housemade vermouth, but any quality dry vermouth will also work.

• 1.5 oz Bols Genever
• 0.75 oz dry vermouth
• 0.75 oz cold-pressed white tea
• 0.25 oz BOLS Maraschino
• 1 barspoon peated Scotch whisky
• 1 barspoon salt water (5%)

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A cocktail glass full of light

Talia Kleinplatz photo

When Devin McKeigan created her cocktail for the Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition, inspiration shone around her like a bright beam of light.

“Within the industry I’ve met so many people…everybody fuels my light, not just in the hospitality industry, but everyone I’ve met. It’s all of us working together,” says the bartender for the Toptable Group’s newly opened Elisa Steakhouse.

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Mi Luz

Mi Luz means “My Light” in Spanish and pays homage to the light within that burns strong when everyone stands tall and together. Talia Kleinplatz photo

• 2 oz Bacardi Añejo Cuatro rum
• 0.75 oz Martini Bianco vermouth
• 0.25 oz rich apple demerara syrup (see note)
• 2 dashes Scrappy’s Seville Orange Bitters
• 2 to 3 spritzes of salted caraway solution (see note)

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The Old Fashioned may be tops, but bring on the Bamboo!

The Old Fashioned is the top-selling cocktail in the world, according to Drinks International. Istockphoto.com photo

In January, Drinks International, a trade publication for the alcohol industry, released its annual list of the 50 best cocktails—or at least the best-selling ones—around the world. It’s perhaps no big surprise that the top drink, for the fifth year running, was that classic whisky-based bittered sling, the Old Fashioned.

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Bamboo

Bamboo cocktail. Istockphoto.com photo

Nobody really knows the back story of this sherry-based cocktail from the 19th century, but we do know that it quenches our thirst for all things low-proof and lightly bittered.

• 1.5 oz dry sherry
• 1.5 oz dry vermouth
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
• 1 dash orange bitters

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Monashee’s Ethos Gin named CASC Spirit of the Year

Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin was named Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year. Eliisa Meaghan photo

For the second year in a row, a small-batch spirit from British Columbia is the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year. Last year, it was Sheringham Distillery’s Akvavit. This year Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin from Revelstoke was not only the best-in-class Canadian gin, but scored highest of any entry in the entire competition.

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Science of Cocktails makes science both delicious and accessible

Amber Bruce won the cocktail competition for her riff on a Manhattan. Photo by Isabella Sarmiento for Science of Cocktails

There was ice and fire, CO2 and NO2, test tubes and copper tubing and all sorts of mysterious gadgets. Most of all, there was great food and drink in support of an even greater cause.

The city’s top bartenders gathered in February at Telus World of Science for the fourth annual Science of Cocktails event, where they demonstrated the myriad ways science contributes to cocktail culture.

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