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.
If you thought the debate over whisky and age was resolved, a B.C. newcomer and Scotch mainstay start the discussion over again
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.
Globally inspired cocktail program soars at the Westin Bayshore
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.
Brand ambassadors have a huge influence on what and how we drink. But who are they, and what do they really do?
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.
Raise a glass to the supporting cast of B.C.’s cocktail scene—local craft syrups, sodas, tonics and other mixers
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.
Why the highball is our enduring summer cocktail of choice.
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.
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.
Sabrine Dhaliwal takes over the guest experience at UVA
Sabrine Dhaliwal didn’t have to join UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar—with her bartending pedigree she would have had her choice of bar manager positions in this town. So why sign on to run the room that had, to date, been defined by Vancouver’s cocktail queen Lauren Mote?
“Why not?” Dhaliwal counters, with a playful smile. “I’ve known Lauren for about five years, so I’ve been fortunate enough to see how she built her cocktails and what avenues she goes in. I’m fortunate in that way to have an insight into that realm.”