Bourbon and beyond

In conversation with Buffalo Trace master blender Drew Mayville

Buffalo Trace master blender Drew Mayville loves experimenting with bourbon and whisky. Supplied photo

It’s rare to find someone who describes their job as “fun,” and even less so if they’ve been in the same business for more than 38 years. But then not everyone has Drew Mayville’s job.

Mayville is the master blender at Buffalo Trace, the world’s most award-winning distillery. He was in Vancouver recently to chat about all things whisky and bourbon.

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Shaking up the Fraserhood

At Escobar, small bites, bold flavours and creative cocktails add a taste of something new

Thomas Bullock and Ayur Media photos

In Latin cultures, food and drink are meant for sharing with friends and family. And that’s the whole idea behind the Fraserhood’s newest hotspot, Escobar, and its tapas-and-cocktails menu.

It’s simply the way co-owner Alex Kyriazis and his partners like to dine. In part, they crave the bright, fresh flavours of Latin cuisine. But they also prefer the fun of sharing. After all, says bar director Bobby Kordonis, “You get to taste more when you share.”

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Mark your calendars

Sure, you could enjoy cocktails alone in your back yard. Or you could join the crowds having fun at these great events here at home and abroad over the next few months.

Deighton Cup photo

Deighton Cup

Don your fancy chapeaux and hoist your glasses! The ponies hit the track once again on July 21 for the 10th annual Deighton Cup at Hastings Racecourse. Some 5,000 people gather at the track to gamble on the ponies while enjoying swish fashion, buckets of bubbly, fine cigars, gourmet cuisine and, of course, cocktails. The event includes an annual mixology competition, plus sweet summer sippers to enjoy trackside. deightoncup.com

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Patio at the Parq

D/6 bar and Lounge photo

We’re always excited to see a new patio in town, especially when it’s one that serves great cocktails. And so we’re thrilled that D/6 Bar and Lounge at Parq Vancouver has flung open the big glass doors onto its vast new patio space.

Located on the sixth floor of the DOUGLAS boutique hotel, the D/6 patio has great views of the city skyline and offers locally inspired cocktails like the Douglas Fir, which is made with Douglas fir-infused gin from Yaletown Distilling Company. (The gin is also available in all the guest rooms.)

Even better news: The patio is covered, so guests can enjoy the views and the cocktails come rain or shine.

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Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir cocktail is made with Douglas fir-infused gin from Yaletown Distilling Company. D/6 Bar and Lounge photo

Find this signature cocktail at the D/6 Bar and Lounge at Parq Vancouver.

• 1.5 oz Douglas Fir-Infused Gin from Yaletown Distillery
• 0.5 oz Cointreau
• 0.5 oz dry vermouth
• 0.5 oz sweet vermouth
• 3 drops of Bittered Sling Orange Juniper bitters

Stir ingredients over ice. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice and a Douglas fir tip. Serves 1.

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Party in a bottle

Batch the cocktails for your next gathering, and you can be part of the fun, too

Bottling cocktails for your next social event makes for impressive presentation—and it’s much easier than you might think. Dan Toulgoet photo

Let’s face it: Making cocktails for a crowd is quite easy, but executing multiple different drinks over and over can be a tedious chore, especially when you want to enjoy the fun, too. The solution? Bottle these crowd pleasers in advance of your next party or backyard barbecue.

Your guests will be blown away with your attention to detail and this fun way of serving iconic cocktails.

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Being on brand

Brand ambassadors have a huge influence on what and how we drink. But who are they, and what do they really do?

“There’s a pretty big spectrum of roles that are called ambassadors,” says Ryan Cheverie, the territory sales manager for Brown-Forman. Supplied photo

On any given day, Kevin Brownlee drops in at local bars and restaurants to visit with his bartender colleagues. In the evening, he’ll hit a nightclub or two, or hang out at an event like Dish ’n Dazzle. Or he’ll jet off to some exotic locale, Puerto Rico, say, or maybe Miami.

And he’s actually paid to do all this.

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KB’s Banana Daiquiri

KB’s Banana Daiquiri. Kevin Brownlee photo

Created by Bacardi portfolio ambassador Kevin Brownlee.

• 1 oz Bacardi Añejo Cuatro rum
• 1 oz Bacardi Banana flavoured rum
• 0.75 oz fresh lime juice
• 0.75 oz cane syrup (2:1; see note)
• 1 bar spoon fresh pineapple juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin and add ice. Shake like the trees on a hot, breezy summer afternoon. Double-strain into a cocktail coupe and enjoy! Serves 1.

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Big-Batch Margarita

Justin Taylor’s big-batch Margarita. Dan Toulgoet photo

Toss one of these bottled Margaritas to your guests the next time you have a party or barbecue. Minds blown!

3 cups reposado tequila
1.5 cups Cointreau
1.5 cups freshly squeezed lime juice
2 cups water
2 pinches sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir, pour into bottles, seal, label and refrigerate or stash on ice.

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Big-Batch Negroni

Justin Taylor’s big-batch Negroni. Dan Toulgoet photo

Free up your party time by bottling up these Negronis in advance of your next party. Once bottled and properly sealed, these will keep for about one month. 

• 2 cups gin
• 2 cups Campari
• 2 cups sweet vermouth
• 2 cups water

Combine ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir, pour into small bottles, seal, label and refrigerate or stash in ice.

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