Pantone Colour of 2020 distilled into a true blue cocktail

Twilight Blooming: The Sky at Dusk gets its blue hue from butterfly pea blossom. Photo courtesy of H Tasting Lounge

Each year, the experts at the Pantone Color Institute pick a hue that they believe will best represent the year ahead; for 2020, the Colour of the Year is PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a deep blue that is at once classic, comforting and contemporary, evocative of both the dusk sky and the deep sea.

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B.C. beverage producers join forces to rally support for local businesses with Time to Buy BC campaign

Supplied photo

B.C. alcoholic beverage producers are joining forces to encourage British Columbians to support local businesses in an effort to mitigate the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19. The “Time to Buy BC” campaign was launched on Tuesday in a joint effort between the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild, the B.C. Farm Crafted Cider Association, the Craft Distillers Guild of B.C. and the B.C. Wine Institute, together representing more than 500 breweries, cideries, distilleries, wineries and alcoholic beverage producers across the province.

The campaign’s website, TimeToBuyBC.ca has a complete list of local B.C. craft breweries, cideries, wineries, distilleries and refreshment beverage companies you can support.

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Twilight Blooming: The Sky at Dusk

Twilight Blooming: The Sky at Dusk gets its blue hue from butterfly pea blossom. Photo courtesy of H Tasting Lounge

Recipe by Premium Bartender Andrew Kong at H Tasting Lounge at The Westin Bayshore, in partnership with Tealeaves. The cocktail comes in two parts, an infused-gin-and-tea base and a citrus-soda side. As you pour the citrus into the infused gin, the acidity transforms the deep blue to bright purple. Magic.

• 2 oz Star of Bombay Gin infused with Tealeaves Classic Blue Blend (see note)
• 0.5 oz steeped Tealeaves Classic Blue Blend tea
• 0.75 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz elderflower cordial
• 2 oz ume (plum wine)
• 0.5 oz soda water

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Canadians rally to save restaurants with #TakeoutDay

Juke Fried Chicken’s bar manager Sabrine Dhaliwal has created pre-mixed cocktail bases to enjoy with your takeout. Supplied photo

In a historic move to save the foodservice industry, several hundred restaurant owners, chefs, culinary leaders and celebrities across Canada have joined forces to support Canada Takeout to make every Wednesday #TakeoutDay. This movement encourages Canadians to order from their favourite local restaurant offering takeout or delivery, with a nationwide kickoff on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 for #TakeoutDay.

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Great world bars we love: Beaufort Bar at The Savoy

The darkly dramatic Beaufort Bar at London’s legendary Savoy Hotel. Photo courtesy of Beaufort Bar at the Savoy

There is always an element of theatre in a good bar, the dazzle of lights bouncing off a mixing glass, the rows of bottles lining the back bar like so many punters, the deft drama of the barkeep shaking a cocktail to his own overture. But the Beaufort Bar actually is a theatre, or was, back when it was the renowned cabaret stage at The Savoy, where the composer George Gershwin was known to strike up the band from time to time. When the hotel was renovated and reopened a decade ago, it was transformed into this glamorous Art Deco bar, all darkly gleaming in black and gold, perhaps the most romantic saloon in all of London.

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Female spirit

Meet some of B.C.’s women distillers, a group so small it begs the question: Why are there still so few?

Shelly Heppner, founder and distiller of Bespoke Spirit House in Parksville. Photo by Dayman-Langen Photography

March 8, 2020, likely passed in a blur for Shelly Heppner. Around International Women’s Day, she was firing up her brand-new stills to produce Virtue Vodka and Jezebel Gin at Bespoke Spirit House in Parksville, which received its distilling green light in February. “Gin is such a vixen! I do want to have a couple of different gins that will have female-oriented names,” says Heppner, who also plans to make small-batch eaux-de-vie from Vancouver Island fruit.

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Demystifying vermouth

The Alchemist tasting panel samples the fortified, aromatized elixir

Vermouth ranges from palest straw to deep ruby red, with flavours to match. Dan Toulgoet photo

Vermouth is not just an essential ingredient in many cocktails, it is already a cocktail, a wine fortified with spirits and flavoured with herbs, spices and other botanicals. And it’s enjoying a major comeback right now.

Five of Vancouver’s top bartenders gathered on a rainy afternoon at Tableau Bar Bistro to taste this beguiling product: Sabrine Dhaliwal, bar manager of Juke Fried Chicken and Beetbox; Adam Domet, bar manager at Pourhouse; J-S Dupuis, beverage director of Wentworth Hospitality; Robyn Gray of Elisa Steakhouse; and Katie Ingram, bar manager at Elisa Steakhouse.

They all love vermouth. “It’s rich in flavour and lower in alcohol,” Ingram said. “And we’re all flavour junkies. So we get that fix of citrus and bitterness and everything you’re looking for.” Besides, with prices as low as $12 for a litre bottle, vermouth is also a complete bargain.

The panel tasted 16 local and international vermouths. Here’s what they had to say.

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JOEY’s Jungle Bird

JOEY’s Jungle Bird. Supplied photo

In this updated tropical classic, Campari is swapped out for subtler Aperol. 

• 1.5 oz Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum (formerly Appleton Estate V/X)
• 0.5 oz Aperol
• 0.5 oz lime juice
• 1.5 oz pineapple juice
• 0.5 oz cane or simple syrup
• Garnish: Fresh lime wheel

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