Falling for falernum

Step by step: How to make the secret ingredient that puts the terrific into tiki drinks

Before you start, assemble your ingredients. Dan Toulgoet photo

In bartending, there’s a simple rule called the Golden Ratio: two parts spirit, one part sweet, one part sour. If you apply this rule to your drink making, you can quickly learn dozens of cocktails.

If you dissect a Daiquiri for example, it is simply two parts rum, one part lime juice, one part simple syrup. Sometimes you can use a sweet liqueur to replace the simple syrup, like Curaçao in the case of a Margarita. Depending on your palate, you can increase or decrease the sour and sweet elements or adjust the amount of spirits to create the right balance. In fact, herein lies one of the secrets of fine cocktail making: Bartenders often create one-of-a-kind cocktails by transforming classics simply by using different spirits, sours and sweets.

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El Mocambo

Justin Taylor’s El Mocambo gives tiki a Canadian twist. Dan Toulgoet photo

Named after the legendary live-music venue in Toronto, this tiki-style cocktail takes on a Canadian twist.

• 1.5 oz Canadian 100 percent rye whisky
• 0.75 oz falernum
• 2 oz coconut water
• 1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington bitters

Garnish:

• 5 mint leaves
• 1 mint sprig
• 2 whole almonds

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Zombie Punch

Justin Taylor’s Zombie Punch serves a crowd! Dan Toulgoet photo

This tiki punch recipe serves a crowd—so find some friends to help you out!

• 6 oz añejo rum
• 6 oz dark Jamaican rum
• 4 oz high-proof rum (such as Lamb’s Navy 151)
• 3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1.5 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 3 oz falernum
• 1 oz pomegranate juice
• 2 tsp Pernod
• 10 oz filtered water

Garnish:
• 5 sprigs mint
• 3 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
• 6 wheels grapefruit

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Mai Tai

The classic Mai Tai. Jennifer Gauthier photo

A classic from the tiki-culture pantheon.

• 1.5 oz aged rum such as Mount Gay Eclipse
• 0.5 oz Cointreau
• 1.5 oz orgeat
• 1 oz lime juice

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Front of the class

From East and West, bartenders move on to the regional finals of the Diageo World Class competition

Chris Enns, bartender at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, is the World Class Canada Bartender of the Year 2018. Photo courtesy of Diageo World Class Canada

Since the beginning of January, Canada’s bartenders have been perfecting their recipes, practising their techniques and preparing for their moment in the spotlight at the Diageo World Class Canada cocktail competition.

On March 1, 13 bartenders from Eastern Canada and 13 from the West made it through to the Regional Finals, which will be held in Toronto and Calgary in late March. From there, five winners from East and West will go on to the National Final in June. The winner of that event will compete in the global final of the world’s biggest, most prestigious bartending competition, which will be held in Glasgow at the end of September.

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The Alchemist Spring 2019

Quench your thirst for all things spirited: The spring issue of The Alchemist is out this week.

Jennifer Gauthier photo

The 11th edition of B.C.’s only magazine dedicated to cocktail and spirits culture brightens the season with a taste of the tropics.

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Monashee’s Ethos Gin named CASC Spirit of the Year

Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin was named Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year. Eliisa Meaghan photo

For the second year in a row, a small-batch spirit from British Columbia is the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year. Last year, it was Sheringham Distillery’s Akvavit. This year Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin from Revelstoke was not only the best-in-class Canadian gin, but scored highest of any entry in the entire competition.

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