Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Spritz

Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Spritz. Jeff Malo photo

Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit perfectly complements spirits and captures the essence of easy-to-make spritzes.

¼ vodka (we suggest Grey Goose)

¾ Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit

Garnish: grapefruit wedge and rosemary sprig (optional)

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Fever-Tree Paloma

Fever-Tree Paloma. Supplied photo

Mexico’s favourite cocktail, the refreshing Paloma, is also the easiest to make.

• ¼ tequila (we suggest a 100% agave, like Patrón)

• ¾ Fever-Tree Sparkling Pink Grapefruit

• Garnish: grapefruit wedge

• Optional: salt rim

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Satisfying summer sips

Three ‘extremely drinkable’ cocktails from Donnelly Group’s Trevor Kallies

Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group

I’ve been crafting and designing cocktails for close to 20 years. There are a handful I can look back on with a great deal of pride and, of course, a handful that I would love to forget, but those closest to me can’t seem to let go. (There was an incident with a blue whale candy circa 2003.) Regardless of the wins and losses, there is a fairly steady evolution of where it started and how it’s going.

I realized extremely early in my role as Beverage Director for Donnelly Group that 95 per cent of the drinks I design that find their way onto the 14-plus menus around Vancouver and Toronto are not for me. Not for my enjoyment anyway. I can appreciate their flavour, their ingredients, the spirits and brands found within, of course. When I say “not for me,” I am referring to the fact that a great cocktail is designed for the enjoyment of the guests and to capture the brand of the bar, not to appease the hubris of the bartender.

Here are a handful of relatively recent cocktails that we’ve been pouring at some of the venues. They’re extremely drinkable (if I do say so myself) and not overly cost- or technique-prohibitive to be made at home.

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Modern Martini

Modern Martini. Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group

Available at Brass Fish. I typically have three cocktails that I’ll order when time calls for a cocktail. A Negroni is likely what I am most known for ordering. Number 2 would be a Margarita (rocks, half-salt rim). For the past few years I have led our team in overall Martinis consumed. I can’t get enough of them. The Modern Martini is our flagship Martini on the Brass Fish menu. It’s the type of Martini that will gateway you into drinking more Martinis. You’re welcome. It’s a rare occasion when I don’t have a bottle of this in my home freezer for an after-work libation.

• 1.5 oz gin (preferably Beefeater for the citrus punch)

• 0.25 oz dry vermouth (Dolin if you have it; Martini Dry also works)

• 0.25 oz Tio Pepe fino sherry

• 0.25 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur

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Stray Bullets

Stray Bullets. Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group

Available at Brass Fish and The Three Brits. This one quickly became a staple at Brass Fish when we opened in February 2020. It found its way onto a few other menus and holds its own in the overall sales of cocktails in the pubs.

• 2 oz silver tequila (preferably Olmeca Altos 100% Agave)

• 0.5 oz simple syrup (1:1)

• 0.5 oz lemon juice

• 1 oz passionfruit purée

• Soda

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Good Vibes Only

Good Vibes Only. Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group

Available at Granville Room. I basically grew up as a bartender at Granville Room so it will always hold a special place for me. Good Vibes Only is a drink that came along mid-2020. It started as a Collins-style drink and found its way into the frozen drink machine and is currently being poured in slush format.

• 2 oz gin (preferably Beefeater London Dry, which has lots of citrus and juniper)

• 0.5 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur

• 0.5 oz crème de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)

• 0.5 oz lemon juice

• Soda

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Patrón, perfected

Competition is a celebration of tequila

Patrón photo

Cocktail competitions are not just about the winning drinks. They are about community, creativity and exploration, discovering new flavours and learning new techniques. Only a handful worldwide truly raise the bar for the industry. Among those, there is Patrón Perfectionists, the world’s premier tequila competition.

After the challenges of the past year, Patrón felt it was important to make the competition as inclusive as possible. So it has opened the competition to all bartenders across Canada, regardless of where (or if) they are working.

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It Takes a Valley

It Takes a Valley. Patrón photo

Jared Schmidt’s Patrón Perfectionists competition-winning cocktail is inspired by the Okanagan Valley.

• 1.5 oz Patrón Silver

• 0.5 oz B.C. apple-infused Bénédictine (see note)

• 0.25 oz 1:1 simple syrup

• 1 oz B.C. organic white verjus

• 0.75 oz dry B.C. apple cider

• Garnish: grapefruit peel

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Summer of spritz

Aperol is the bright, bittersweet taste of the season

Aperol Spritz. Supplied photo

The vibrant orange hue of an Aperol Spritz is as cheerful as a sunny day, its refreshing flavour as uplifting as happy hour itself.

The spritz combines effervescent Prosecco with bittersweet Aperol, an aperitif that is low in alcohol (only 11% ABV), but high in flavour. A subtler version of its cousin Campari, Aperol’s flavour derives from gentian, rhubarb, cinchona and other botanicals that whet the appetite and quench the thirst.

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