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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Edmonton’s James Grant named Bartender of the Year 2021

Diageo World Class is back with a thrilling competition and big new plans

Former World Class Canada winners welcome the newest champion, Edmonton bartender
James Grant, to the group. From left: Shane Mulvany, Kaitlyn Stewart, Jeff Savage, James Grant, Grant Sceney and Chris Enns. Photos courtesy of World Class Canada

Michael Armistead thought organizing the 2019 World Class Canada finals in Whistler—where he had to transport all the bars, people and gear to the top of a mountain—was the hardest thing he’d ever do. Then along came COVID-19 and the 2021 finals in Toronto.

“Having done it, I know we can do anything now,” says Armistead, who oversees the Diageo World Class Canada Bartending Competition as National On Premise, Reserve and Sponsorship Manager. “With all of the external factors, this was the most complex event I have ever put together.”

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DEVINE Distillery’s Glen Saanich

Ken Winchester’s single-malt legacy

Besea photo

The fifth and largest-ever release of DEVINE Distillery & Winery’s coveted Glen Saanich Single Malt Whisky (1,016 bottles) quickly sold out this fall. “Ken [Winchester] and Kevin [Titcomb] put that beautiful whisky into the barrel in 2017,” says general manager Kirsten Titcomb of the ultra-local Saanich Peninsula bottling. Winchester, a trained winemaker and master distiller who founded the Island’s first craft distillery and created Victoria Gin, is a legendary name in B.C. distilling. Although he plans to step down by the end of 2020 at DEVINE, his legacy will endure.

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Spice up winter with Fever-Tree ginger

Ale or beer, spiced or smoky, it’s what we’re thirsty for right now

Fever-Tree photo

Warm, bright and pleasantly spicy—when the weather turns cool, we crave the flavour of ginger. Luckily, Fever-Tree has our holiday-spice cravings covered with a range of ginger mixers.

“People love it,” says Alexis Green, the national brand engagement manager for Fever-Tree. “People are slowly starting to discover the ginger ale range and they really love it. People are going crazy for the smoky and the spicy.”

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