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.
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
If you love local spirits, mark your calendar for the most important event of the year: the sixth annual BC Distilled festival, which will be held April 6 at Vancouver’s Croatian Cultural Centre.
The wood wowed them. It seems the judges at the ninth annual Canadian Whisky Awards were impressed by what a little extra barrel-aging can accomplish, naming Bearface Triple Oak Best New Whisky, and awarding it a gold medal for excellence as well.
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.
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.
Heading to the Diageo Reserve World Class Canada 2019 regional final competitions at the end of March are the following bartenders:
While Sheringham Distillery’s new Red Fife Whisky is winning prizes in Canada, its original Seaside Gin is picking them up across the pond. The seaweed-infused spirit just took home the prize for Best Contemporary Gin at the World Gin Awards in London, UK.
In 2012, a handful of local bartenders slipped on some boxing gloves and started fighting for a cause. Aprons for Gloves, they called it, a non-profit organization with the aim of providing community outreach in the Downtown Eastside through the sweet science of boxing and the annual Restaurant Rumble charity boxing match.
Now there’s a gorgeous hardcover book celebrating the event: Blood, Sweat & Beers is written by wine writer and boxer Laura Starr and features some 450 photos by Guy Roland, who has been documenting the event since the beginning.
It’s not even available for sale yet, but already Christos Kalaitzis’ new bitters line is reaping the kind of recognition a crafty bartender could only dream of.
Bitters by Christos, created by the spirits brand ambassador and mixologist for Central City Brewers & Distillers, just took home not one, not two, but three double gold awards at the prestigious San Diego Spirits Festival, the premiere West Coast celebration of spirits and cocktails. (Central City’s Lohin McKinnon Peated Whisky also won double gold.)