Apple Flip

At Olo, the Apple Flip is served with a side of Julien Fremont Calvados to round out the apple experience. Byron Smith photo.

At Olo, the Apple Flip is served with a side of Julien Fremont Calvados to round out the apple experience. 

INGREDIENTS:
• 2oz House Spiced & Solera Aged Honey Shine ‘Rum’ by Devine Vineyards
• 0.5oz Sea Star ‘Prose’ Riesling & Apple Dessert Wine
• 0.5oz Apple & Shiso Syrup
• One whole egg
• Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe Spritz

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Spirit of wine country

The South Okanagan is a fruitful playground for distillers to innovate and collaborate

“Smile, there’s gin,” says the chalked sign. Perched on the Naramata Bench, with a sleek tasting room and sunny patio overlooking Okanagan Lake, Legend Distilling could be mistaken for a hip winery. But a taste of its Doctors Orders gin puts me firmly in the spirit world as I begin my quest to discover what unites the South Okanagan Distillery Trail, a handful of stops mapped on a passport-style stamp card.

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A fine age

If you thought the debate over whisky and age was resolved, a B.C. newcomer and Scotch mainstay start the discussion over again

At BC Distilled, Andrew Campbell Wall poured Victoria Caledonian Distillery’s 17-month-old Mac na Braiche Single Malt Spirit, which has been earning comparisons to 10-year-old Scotch single malts. Victoria Caledonian Distillery photo.

You might forgive Andrew Campbell Wall if he seems just a wee bit bullish.

Wall is the Macaloney Ambassador for the neophyte Victoria Caledonian Distillery, which is based in B.C.’s capital city, but is Scottish through and through. Just to make the point, Wall is wearing his Campbell kilt and full regalia as he samples his wares at this year’s BC Distilled festival.

While he pours me a dram of Mac na Braiche Single Malt Spirit, he can barely contain his excitement.

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H Tasting Lounge takes flight

Globally inspired cocktail program soars at the Westin Bayshore

Chiara Fung and Dylan Williams behind the bar at H Tasting Lounge. Dan Toulgoet photo

Bright, airy and colourful, with a contemporary design that embraces both mid-century and Art Deco motifs, H Tasting Lounge at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, is certainly one of the city’s most elegant cocktail spaces.

But its beauty goes far beyond plush pastel furnishings and dramatic crystal chandeliers.

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Bourbon and beyond

In conversation with Buffalo Trace master blender Drew Mayville

Buffalo Trace master blender Drew Mayville loves experimenting with bourbon and whisky. Supplied photo

It’s rare to find someone who describes their job as “fun,” and even less so if they’ve been in the same business for more than 38 years. But then not everyone has Drew Mayville’s job.

Mayville is the master blender at Buffalo Trace, the world’s most award-winning distillery. He was in Vancouver recently to chat about all things whisky and bourbon.

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Being on brand

Brand ambassadors have a huge influence on what and how we drink. But who are they, and what do they really do?

“There’s a pretty big spectrum of roles that are called ambassadors,” says Ryan Cheverie, the territory sales manager for Brown-Forman. Supplied photo

On any given day, Kevin Brownlee drops in at local bars and restaurants to visit with his bartender colleagues. In the evening, he’ll hit a nightclub or two, or hang out at an event like Dish ’n Dazzle. Or he’ll jet off to some exotic locale, Puerto Rico, say, or maybe Miami.

And he’s actually paid to do all this.

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KB’s Banana Daiquiri

KB’s Banana Daiquiri. Kevin Brownlee photo

Created by Bacardi portfolio ambassador Kevin Brownlee.

• 1 oz Bacardi Añejo Cuatro rum
• 1 oz Bacardi Banana flavoured rum
• 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
• 0.75 oz cane syrup (2:1; see note)
• 1 bar spoon fresh pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and add ice. Shake like the trees on a hot, breezy summer afternoon. Double-strain into a cocktail coupe and enjoy! Serves 1.

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Bartender in a bottle

Raise a glass to the supporting cast of B.C.’s cocktail scene—local craft syrups, sodas, tonics and other mixers

Odd Society Spirits joins the craft soda trend with its zingy housemade ginger beer. RD Cane photo

Forget the genie. Professional bartending expertise is captured in each bottle, can and jar of these B.C.-born cocktail mixers, which are often natural and preservative-free, too. To let loose your cocktail creativity, just add craft spirits.

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Two short, one long

Why the highball is our enduring summer cocktail of choice.

The simplicity of a highball such as a classic gin and tonic makes it the perfect thirst-quenching option when the weather is hot and the days are lazy. iStock photo

When it’s hot and sticky out, who’s really up for making fancy cocktails? Not me.

That’s why summer time is highball time. The highball is the quintessential two-ingredient cocktail: spirits and soda, gussied up with ice and maybe a lemon wheel or a sprig of mint if you want to get fancy.

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Dark ‘n’ Stormy

The Dark ‘n’ Stormy, made with dark rum and ginger beer, is a classic variation of a highball. Dan Toulgoet photo

Purists insist on Goslings Black Seal rum, but in fact, any good quality dark rum will work in this satisfyingly spicy drink. Try one of the new made-in-B.C. craft ginger beers for zingy home-grown flavour.

• 2 oz dark rum such as Goslings Black Seal
• 4 oz chilled ginger beer
• Optional: 1 to 2 dashes Angostura bitters
• Lime wedge

In a highball glass filled with cubes of ice, add the rum and top with ginger beer. If you like, add a dash or two of bitters. No need to stir; the bubbles should do the work for you. Garnish with a lime wedge. Serves 1.

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