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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Mixing it up

Fever-Tree lifts mixers to premium levels, adds a new Refreshingly Light Cucumber Tonic Water to its artisanal collection

Photo courtesy of Fever-Tree

Whether you like to sip on a classic cocktail like a Manhattan or prefer to experiment with new, unconventional concoctions, the spirits world has never been more sophisticated or exciting. Yet for the longest time, mixers were overlooked, an afterthought rather than being considered a crucial ingredient in an extraordinary drink.

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Diageo World Class: More than a competition

How the esteemed bartending contest is shaking up the cocktail world

Competitors and previous winners celebrate at the Diageo World Class Canada final 2019 in Whistler. Leila Kwok photo

Diageo World Class is more than just the biggest, most prestigious cocktail competition on the planet. It is also a major source of education for bartenders.

“We’re really trying to play our part in driving the industry forward, focusing on educating and giving bartenders the tools they need to achieve their goals, at home and around the globe,” says Michael Armistead, who oversees the Diageo World Class Canada Bartending Competition as National On-premise, Reserve and Sponsorship Manager.

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