Very vegan

No eggs or dairy? No problem for these bartenders

Katie Ingram’s Empress. Leila Kwok photo

The Pink Lady, Pisco Sour and Ramos Gin Fizz have at least one thing in common: their frothy, silky top. The luscious foam traditionally comes from shaken egg whites, the flavourless, foamy ingredient lending the drinks a smooth and creamy texture.

Bartenders’ use of albumen is nothing new. Alongside the rise of contemporary cocktail culture, however, has been the growing trend of veganism.

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Coconut Milk Punch

Adam Domet’s Coconut Milk Punch. Chris Giannakos photo

The tropical vibes of this updated classic come from Adam Domet of Pourhouse.

• 1.5 oz coconut milk
• 1 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
• 1 oz Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum
• 2 tsp simple syrup (see note)
• 1 drop vanilla extract 

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Wonderlust

Wonderlust at YEW Seafood + Bar. Supplied photo

• 1.5 oz white rum (preferably Flor de Caña 4)
• 0.75 oz banana liqueur (preferably Giffard Banane du Brésil)
• 0.5 oz smoky scotch (preferably Ardbeg 10 year)
• 0.75 oz lemon juice
• 0.5 oz coconut syrup (see note)
• 0.5 oz aquafaba 

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Empress

Empress cocktail at Elisa Steakhouse. Leila Kwok photo

• 2 oz Mount Gay XO rum
0.75 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz turmeric honey
• 1 oz aquafaba
• 2 dashes Bittered Sling Arabica Coffee bitters

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True blue cocktails

Shake up your drinks with blueberries

The sweet-tart taste of blueberries is unique and the infusion of blue is not only colourful, but good for you as well.. istockphoto.com photo

Who knows when the first blueberry found its way into a jigger of gin or a vodka martini?

Today more and more of these bright blue berries are finding their way into mixed drinks throughout the year. Fresh or frozen, whole or juiced, the sweet-tart taste of blueberries is unique and the infusion of blue is not only colourful, but good for you as well.

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Blue Rose Sour

The Blue Rose Sour was created by James Grant at Black Lodge. Supplied photo

This aquafaba-based fizz-style cocktail was created by mixologist James Grant at Black Lodge.

• 1.5 oz gin
• 0.75 oz Bols Blue liqueur
• 1 oz lemon juice concentrate
• 0.5 oz simple syrup
• 1.5 oz aquafaba (chickpea water)
• 1 to 2 oz soda water

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Vegan Irish Cream

Angie Quaale’s Vegan Irish Cream is a delicious low-carb vegan treat. Supplied photo

This recipe by Well Seasoned owner Angie Quaale is a tasty, low-carb vegan treat.

• 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut cream
• 0.5 can (about 6.75 oz) coconut milk
• 1 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
• 0.5 cup Lakanto Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener or coconut sugar
• 1 Tbsp espresso powder
• Pinch of salt
• 1 cup Irish whiskey (or to taste)

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Return of the green fairy

The spirit that supposedly drove a generation of French artists mad is back in B.C., where distillers are reinventing absinthe

The traditional way to serve absinthe is by filling a fountain like this one at Botanist with ice water, then dripping it through a sugar cube on a spoon into the spirit, where it creates the cloudy effect known as the louche. Dan Toulgoet photo

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an ear. Vincent Van Gogh’s escapades might have delivered the final cut to the fashionable, anise-flavoured spirit absinthe, invented in Switzerland in the late 18th century and favoured by Belle Époque bohemians. Seen as highly addictive and dangerous, it was banned in the U.S. and much of Europe for nearly a century, until 2007.

Likely the poor quality or high-proof base spirit—not the relatively small amount of hallucogenic thujone, naturally found in absinthe’s bittering agent, wormwood (Artemesia absinthium)—was responsible for absinthe-attributed naughtiness. But its reputation as the bad boy of the spirits world persists, as does its role in cocktails, particularly of the French-influenced New Orleans school, such as the Sazerac, Corpse Reviver No. 2 and La Louisiane.

Here are five local absinthes to try, from newcomers to B.C.’s standard-bearers.

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Absinthe Mojito

Jeremie Dyck photo

Okanagan Spirits’ anise-flavoured take on the Cuban classic.

• 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 6 mint leaves
• 1 oz Taboo Absinthe
• 1 cup crushed ice
• Sparkling water
• Garnish: 1 lime wheel

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