Spirits to gift & what to sip this holiday season

Canadian Club 43 year old Canadian Whisky. Supplied image

Canadian Club 43 Year Old

A true collector’s items, this limited-edition is Canada’s oldest aged whisky and the third edition of the Chronicles Series. Canadian Club 43 Year Old is sure to impress someone special on your list. Paying tribute to its legendary role during Prohibition, Canadian Club has dubbed this expression ‘The Speakeasy.’ The Canadian Club 43 Year Old boasts notes of oak and leather on the nose, while delivering nutmeg and dried fruit with its lingering mouth feel. Available in 750ml bottle with a suggested retail price of $319.95. Price may vary by market.

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Bushmills master blender Helen Mulholland creates innovative whiskeys

Bushmills Master Distiller Helen Mulholland. Supplied photo

Helen Mulholland, Master Blender for Bushmills Irish Whiskey, has a nose in a million—a nose that truly understands all the intricate notes, aromas and flavours of whiskey. It is a rare gift and one that plays such an important part in crafting the Bushmills® Irish whiskey premium blends and aged single malts.

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Lamento

Lamento. Origami Social photo

Recipe courtesy of Bodega on Main

• 2 oz Rum Blend
• 1 oz Coconut Syrup
• 0.5 oz Lime
• 0.5 oz Passionfruit Purée
• 0.5 oz Pineapple Juice

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The Martini

The murky past of a clear favourite

Martini. istockphoto.com

Plenty a tall tale has crossed the polished oak; after all, bartenders like to dish out lively anecdotes along with the gin and spiced nuts. But when it comes to boozy myths, legends, outright lies and wholesale whoppers, “more cling to the Martini than any other cocktail.”

So writes Robert Simonson in his IACP-nominated book The Martini Cocktail (Ten Speed Press). He is fascinated by the outsize role the Martini has played in popular culture ever since its invention in 1849, or maybe it was the 1880s, or possibly 1906, who knows?

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Turf Cocktail

The Turf Cocktail. Istockphoto.com photo

The Turf Cocktail emerged around the same time as the Martini, and some believe it was an early version of it (not likely, but you never know).

• 1.5 oz Plymouth gin
1.5 oz dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat
• 2 dashes orange bitters
• 2 dashes maraschino liqueur
• 2 dashes absinthe
• Garnish: olive

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Martini

Martini. istockphoto.com

The classic, as it has evolved over more than a century of opinionated drinking.

• 2.5 oz London dry gin
• 0.25 to 0.5 oz dry vermouth
• Garnish: lemon peel twist or olives

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From necessity, transformation

In our new column, Kelowna bartender Harry Dosanj reveals how his unlikely career was born

Bartender Harry Dosanj pours a cocktail in the well-stocked whisky bar he established at Kelowna’s Hotel Eldorado. Behind him, cocktails age peacefully in oak barrels. Hotel Eldorado photo

Harry Dosanj is a multiple-award-winning bartender who has twice ranked among Canada’s best bartenders in the Diageo World Class competition. His accomplishments are especially impressive given that before moving to Canada from Southampton, England, with his family in 2009, his interest in alcohol didn’t extend beyond an occasional beer. Here, Dosanj—who recently celebrated his second anniversary at Kelowna’s Hotel Eldorado—shares the story of his unlikely entry into the bartending profession.

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Better with bitters

Add your own unique flavour to cocktails with homemade bitters. Here’s how

A variety of spices, herbs and other botanicals give bitters their intense flavour. Dan Toulgoet photo

Making your own bitters at home is a lot easier than you may think. However, we need to understand a few things first. Cocktails, by definition, are made up of four essential ingredients: spirits, sugar, water and bitters. Spirits are self-explanatory. The sugar and water elements can be exactly that or they can take on other forms, such as syrups and juices. Bitters are much more complex, though. Bartenders use bitters to bridge the flavours of spirits, sugar and water so they come together. The key to selecting the right bitter is to use one that complements the other three components in the cocktail.

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