Vancouver bartenders share their top cool-weather cocktails

We launch our new weekly cocktail column, The Alchemist, with the hottest drinks of the season

L’Abattoir head bartender Katie Ingram shakes up a Donner & Blitzen. Dan Toulgoet photo.

What’s the best way to get into the festive spirit? Why, with some festive spirits, of course.

All over Vancouver, the city’s best bartenders are shaking, stirring and mulling the best seasonal flavours into cocktails designed to warm body and soul. And truly, can you think of a better way to bring this cold, dreary year to a close?

Continue Reading

Cool Yule

Warm up with these festive cocktails

Lou Lou Childs photo

Whether it’s a glass of eggnog, a hot buttered rum, or a mug of spicy mulled wine, the winter season is loaded with tasty cocktails. What makes them ideal for the home bartender is their reliance on easily sourced pantry ingredients: spices (cinnamon, clove and nutmeg), fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage), and fruits (mandarins, cranberries and pomegranates). Here are my family recipes for iconic winter cocktails—and a twist or two designed to take your holiday gathering to the next level.

Continue Reading

Hot Buttered Rum

Justin Taylor’s hot Buttered Rum. Lou Lou Childs photo

Making the compound butter in advance will improve the finished drink. You could also package it for a seasonal gift.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tsp compound butter*
6 oz. boiling water
1-2 oz. dark rum to taste
cinnamon stick

METHOD:
Combine compound butter and boiling water in your serving mug and stir to dissolve. Add rum and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Continue Reading

Cranberry Collins

Justin Taylor’s Cranberry Collins. Lou Lou Childs photo

A perfect welcome cocktail to any holiday party and one that can also be served alcohol-free.

INGREDIENTS:
2 oz. gin
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. pure cranberry juice
1 oz. rosemary and sage syrup*
3 oz. soda water
rosemary sprigs

METHOD:
To a tall glass, add gin, juices and syrup. Add ice and top with soda. Garnish with rosemary.

Continue Reading

Home Made Eggnog

Justin Taylor’s Home Made Eggnog. Lou Lou Childs photo

Best made a few days in advance to allow the flavours to develop.

INGREDIENTS:
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground allspice
12 oz bourbon or rum
3 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 whole nutmegs (for garnish)

METHOD:
Measure all your ingredients. Add the eggs to a blender running on lowest setting. After 20 seconds slowly pour in sugar and allspice. Increase speed to medium and slowly add bourbon, followed by milk and cream, and blend for one minute. Refrigerate immediately in an airtight container. Stir before serving. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes 8-10 servings.

Continue Reading

Mulled Wine

Justin Taylor’s Mulled Wine. Lou Lou Childs photo

Turn the heat on under this cocktail an hour before your guests arrive and your home will be filled with wonderful holiday aromas.

INGREDIENTS:
750ml bottle red wine
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, pulp removed
0.5 cup granulated sugar
0.5 cup brandy or Cognac
2 tsp whole cloves
3 unpeeled mandarins, washed and cut into quarters
2 apples cored and quartered
1 cup frozen cranberries
4 cinnamon sticks
3 sprigs of rosemary

METHOD:
Add wine, orange juice and sugar into a large pot over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Stud mandarins with cloves and add, along with remaining ingredients, to pot. Cook gently for two hours (take care not to boil off the alcohol). Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain through a sieve, pressing down to extract the juices from the cranberries and mandarins. Store up to one week in fridge. To serve, heat in a crockpot on low, or in a pan over low heat. Do not boil. Garnish with mandarin segments, apple slices, cinnamon sticks and cranberries. Makes 12, five oz. servings.

Continue Reading

Main Street “Wide eye”

Justin Taylor’s Main Street “Wide Eye.” Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. Odd Society East Van Vodka
• 0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 oz. Walter’s Caesar Mix
• 2 dashes Tapatio Hot Sauce
• Pinch ground pepper
• Pinch brown sugar
• 3 oz. Main Street Pilsner

METHOD:
In a 20 oz. pint glass, add ice and all other ingredients, and stir. Garnish with a stick of celery.

Continue Reading

Polynesian Strange Fellow

Justin Taylor’s Polynesian Strange Fellow. Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1.5 oz. Wayward Distilling Honey Rum
• 0.5 oz. orgeat syrup
• 0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
• half a ripe banana
• 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
• 4 oz. Strangefellows Guardian White IPA

METHOD:
Put the banana into a cocktail shaker and muddle to a paste. Add everything except the beer, add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice into a goblet. Top with Strangefellows Beer. Garnish with fresh banana slices.

Continue Reading

Parkside “Sip ‘n’ Slide” Raddler

Justin Taylor’s Parkside “Sip ‘n’ Slide” Raddler. Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. Okanagan Spirits Gin
• 0.5 oz. Okanagan Spirits Rhubarb Liqueur
• 2 oz. freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Grapefruit & Hops Bitters
• 3 oz. Parkside Graffiti IPA

METHOD:
Add all ingredients except beer to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Fine strain into a pilsner glass, top with Parkside Beer. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit wedge.

Continue Reading

Four-Winds-Of-Change

Justin Taylor’s Four-Winds-of-Change cocktail. Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. Shelter Point Distillery Whisky
• 0.75 oz. lemon juice
• 0.5 oz. clove-infused maple syrup*
• 3 dashes of Bittered Sling Gastown Bitters
• 2 oz. Four Winds Pale Ale

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with apple slices.

Continue Reading