Painkiller

Earls Painkiller. Photo courtesy of Earls restaurants

This tiki-style cocktail is Earls restaurants’ version of the classic originally created by Pusser’s Rum. It uses two different styles of iceregular cubes and crushed.

• 0.75 oz coconut milk
• 0.75 oz passion fruit syrup
• 1 oz Bacardi Superior white rum
• 1 oz Mount Gay Eclipse Rum
• 1 oz pineapple juice
• 1 oz orange juice
• 0.25 oz lime juice
• Dash Bittered Sling Kensington bitters

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Blonde Negroni

Andrew Kong’s version of the Blonde Negroni. H Tasting Lounge photo

There are numerous recipes for a white or blonde Negroni, but this is the variation preferred by Andrew Kong, bartender at H Tasting Lounge. What makes it stand out is the perfectly clear king ice cube.

• 1.25 oz Long Table Distillery Dry Gin
• 1 oz Luxardo Bianco Bitters
• 1 oz Lillet Blanc or Cocchi Americano

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Treebeard

Jeff Savage’s Treebeard cocktail. Botanist photo

“The drink is intended to be a Canadian highball, that is, a drink that is spirit forward, but is also balanced and refreshing,” says Jeff Savage, Botanist’s head bartender, who created the cocktail. The large, crystal-clear ice cubes are precisely measured to fit the glassware and are cut with a band saw. They are also adorned with the Botanist logo: The custom metal stamp is placed on top of the cube and gravity does the rest.

• 1.5 oz Canadian Club Rye Whisky
• 0.5 oz gin, preferably St. George Terroir Gin
• 1.5 oz birch water
• 1 oz Smoked Tea Syrup (recipe follows)

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3 cocktails for your Kentucky Derby viewing party

The Glenrothes 12 Year Old and 10 Year Old Scotch. Supplied photo

The Kentucky Derby is just around the corner—May 4th to be exact—and every year at this time the Mint Julep takes first place as the cocktail of choice. We have compiled three cocktails worth considering for your Kentucky Derby party—cocktails with a twist on the classic go-to.

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The Glenrothes Punch

Glenrothes Punch. Supplied photo

No party is complete without a boozy punch. Make this one for your Kentucky Derby viewing party next weekend. 

• 1 2/3 cups The Glenrothes 10 Year Old
• 1 2/3 cups strong black tea
• 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 cup Oleo-Saccharum
• 7 dashes bitters
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
• Orange and lemon wheels for serving 

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The Golden Dram

The Golden Dram. Supplied photo

A celebratory cocktail for your Kentucky Derby viewing party. 

• 1 oz The Glenrothes 12 Year Old
• 1 sugar cube soaked in bitters
• Prosecco

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The Glenrothes Julep

The Glenrothes Julep. Supplie photo

Try a Scottish spin on the classic Derby Cocktail—The Mint Julep. Switch your bourbon for The Glenrothes 12 Year Old and enjoy the Glenrothes Julep! 

• 2 oz The Glenrothes 12 Year Old
• 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
• 2 teaspoons water
• 4 fresh mint leaves (plus additional for garnish)

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Sugar and spice

The Alchemist tasting panel gathers for a round of Caribbean aged rums

The lineup featured aged and some spiced rums from Jamaica, Nicaragua, Cuba, Guyana, Bermuda and the United States. Dan Toulgoet photo

Nothing says “tropical getaway” like the sweetly spiced flavour of rum. Although it is made all over the world, the sugar-cane spirit originated in the Caribbean islands, where we’re seeing a surge of richly complex aged rums. So when The Alchemist decided to dive into tiki culture, it made sense for our tasting panel to sample as many aged rums as possible.

Just how sweet can rum be? To find out, we gathered at Tableau Bar Bistro with some of the city’s top barkeeps: Alex Black, bar manager of Wildebeest; Max Borrowman, bar manager at Juniper Kitchen; Amber Bruce of The Keefer Bar; Sabrine Dhaliwal, cocktail consultant and Pourhouse bartender; Adam Domet, bar manager of Pourhouse; J-S Dupuis, beverage director of Wentworth Hospitality; Robyn Gray of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia; Ryan Johnson, bar manager of Tuc Craft Kitchen; and Olivia Povarchook, bar manager of Juke Fried Chicken.

The panel tasted 10 different rums; here’s what they had to say about them.

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Tropical dreams

Tiki is back in Vancouver. Why did it ever go away?

Istockphoto.com photo

Tiki culture is a liquid ticket to an imaginary tropical island where the breeze is always warm, the music sways like the branches of a palm tree, and the rum flows as easily as the waves that wash up on a sandy beach.

Tiki originated in California in 1933, but exploded in popularity after the Second World War. It was inspired by the romance of the South Pacific, the culture of Polynesia, the flavours of Asia and the rum punches of the Caribbean, making it the ultimate fusion cocktail experience, served in a kitschy-cool Hollywood-ready vessel to a market that was weary of war and ready to party.

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Scorpion

Beware of the Scorpion’s lethal sting. Joanne Sasvari photo

Originally a blender drink from Beachbum Berry, and traditionally served as a bowl for six with a gardenia garnish at Trader Vic’s, the Scorpion makes a terrific single-serving shaken drink, too. Just beware of its lethal sting.

• 2 oz light rum
• 1 oz brandy
• 1.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz orgeat

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