Featherweight Punch Royale

Sean McGuigan’s Featherweight Punch. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Sean McGuigan, head bartender, The Lobby Lounge and RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, A Bit Curious, Flapjack Punch and Morning Ritual.

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This B.C. bartender placed second in an international cocktail competition

He brought a taste of the Okanagan to Mexico, with his cocktail, It Takes a Valley.

Jared Schmidt celebrates his silver at the 2020 Patron Perfectionists competition Thursday. Photo: Facebook – Patron Perfectionists

A local bartender has put Kelowna on the map after taking home the silver at an international cocktail competition in Mexico.

After winning his regional Patron Perfectionists competition in Vancouver last year, followed up by the Canadian nationals in Toronto, Patron flew Kelowna’s Jared Schmidt down to Jalisco, Mexico on January 17 for the international finals, to compete against 20 other bartenders from around the world.

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Rye of the Tiger

Katie Ingram’s Rye of the Tiger, created for Punch Brunch 2020

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Katie Ingram, bar manager of Elisa Steakhouse.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: Featherweight Punch Royale, A Bit Curious, Flapjack Punch and Morning Ritual.

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Labatt acquires Goodridge & Williams Distilling, makers of Nütrl vodka soda drinks

The distiller makes the Nütrl vodka and vodka soda drinks, along with several other spirits and ready-to-drink canned cocktails

Labatt Breweries of Canada has acquired Goodridge & Williams, a Delta, B.C.-based distillery known for its ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages — a growing segment in a struggling beer market. CP Photo

Labatt Breweries of Canada has acquired a Delta, B.C.-based distillery known for its ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages — a growing segment in a struggling beer market.

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The spirit whisperer

B.C. craft spirits pioneer Frank Deiter is taking on the world

Master distiller Frank Deiter has gone from founding Okanagan Spirits in Vernon to travelling the world as a consultant and instructor.
Photo courtesy of Frank Deiter

Frank Deiter is a man on a mission.

As the founder of Okanagan Spirits in 2004, Deiter charted the pioneering distillery’s early successes before leaving in 2011 to pursue other ventures. These days he works with Mueller Pot Stills, representing what is widely recognized as one of Germany’s leading still manufacturers across North America. He also maintains a hands-on presence throughout the craft-distilling industry as an independent consultant and instructor.

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A decade of great Canadian whisky

B.C. distillers scored big at the 10th annual Canadian Whisky Awards in Victoria last night.

The BC winners at the Canadian Whisky Awards included (from left to right): Grant Stevely of Dubh Glas Distillery, Kevin Titcomb and Ken Winchester of De Vine Spirits, Terence Fitzgerald and Jason MacIsaac of Sheringham Distillery, and Leon Webb and Jacob Wiebe from Shelter Point Distillery. Charlene Rooke photo

At a gala awards ceremony celebrating 10 years, the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards recognized famous whiskies and big achievements of the past decade, while giving kudos to small-batch innovations from artisan distilleries, including four from B.C.

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Bitter & sweet

Why you should be drinking vermouth made in B.C.

At MARKET at the Shangri-la Hotel in Vancouver, head bartender Gianluigi Bosco makes his own house-aromatized and fortified wines. Leila Kwok photo

More than 200 years ago, wine drinkers in Turin and Marseille started adding bittering and flavouring botanicals to wine fortified with spirit, to make an entirely new drink. The styles they created—a sweeter, reddish-brown style in Italy and a drier white-wine version in France—are iconic today, and collectively known as vermouth, a term that comes from the root word for wormwood, which is synonymous in many languages with “bitter.”

Now enjoying a renaissance thanks to cocktail mixology and the Spanish-driven trend for sipping them solo or as a spritz, vermouths should have a place on your back bar. (Actually, in your fridge, where a red vermouth will stay fresh for several months, and white vermouth for several weeks after opening.) Here are three new and three favourite B.C. bottlings to try.

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Citrus Breeze

Gianluigi Bosco’s Citrus Breeze. Leila Kwok photo

This refreshing spritz recipe by Gianluigi Bosco, head bartender at MARKET at the Shangri-la Hotel, uses a vermouth you can make yourself.

• 3 oz Citrus Wine (recipe below)
• 0.25 oz melissa and peppermint hydrosols (see note)
• 2 dashes citric acid, available at gourmet stores
• Soda water, to taste
• Orange zest and mint, for garnish

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