Where to Drink Right Now on Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is a Canadian-favourite winter destination. Photo courtesy Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

This expat-filled, Canadian-favourite winter destination is planting a flag on the world-class bar map. With pretty perfect daily weather and literally a Seven Mile Beach to enjoy during the day, and plenty of sunset and nightlife spots, there’s no need to wait until Cayman Cocktail Week (an annual festival, in the last week of October) to visit.

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First we take Manhattan

And then we try these other city cocktails

The Manhattan is regarded as the first modern cocktail. Getty Images photo

Like its namesake city, the Manhattan is elegant but uncompromising and invulnerable to fashion’s changing whims. Oh, sure, it can bend a little—rocks or up, bourbon or rye, occasionally willing to entertain a variation like the scotch-inflected Rob Roy—but it will always be what it is: a drink of whisky, vermouth and bitters.

It’s been that way since the 1880s, when it was invented. Or maybe it was the 1870s or 1860s. In any case, writing in Difford’s Guide, Simon Difford notes that “the Manhattan is regarded as the first ‘modern cocktail.’” Or as the late bartending legend Gary “Gaz” Regan once said, “It was the drink that changed the face of cocktails.”

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The Toronto first appeared in print in 1922, replacing the Manhattan’s vermouth with the darker, more intensely herbaceous Fernet-Branca.

2 oz rye whisky (Canadian, of course)

0.25 oz Fernet-Branca

0.25 oz simple syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish: orange twist

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The Brooklyn is a drier Manhattan: whisky, dry (French) vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Angostura bitters.

2 oz rye whisky

1 oz dry vermouth

0.25 oz maraschino liqueur

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish: brandied or maraschino cherry, preferably Luxardo

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Like its namesake city, the Manhattan is elegant but uncompromising and invulnerable to fashion’s changing whims. 

2 oz rye whisky (or, if you must, bourbon)

1 oz sweet vermouth

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Garnish: brandied cherry or lemon twist

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Scotch Sippers

Our bartenders explain how to master single-malt mixology

Sweet, spicy, smoky: Scotch whisky has something for everyone. Getty Images photo

In the world of spirits, few elixirs carry the weight of tradition and reverence as does single malt whisky. This liquid gold, celebrated for its complexity and rich character, has long been the epitome of sipping perfection. It is often imbibed neat, treasured in crystal glasses and savoured slowly, as if each drop encapsulates generations of craftsmanship.

Historically the thought of mixing such a revered spirit into a cocktail was nothing short of sacrilegious. However, with the variety of flavour profiles offered by the category, as well as an interest from distilleries to produce their own interpretations around the globe, a transformation is underway. Bartenders are now revitalizing classics and reimagining new possibilities.

Our tasting panel team comprises Jenna Gillespie, Lory Nixon and Kate Chernoff from British Columbia and Erika Mauro, Ashley Flynn and Jenn Abergel from Ontario. This all-female perspective weighs in on their favourite single malts and how to cocktail with them.

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Meat Hook

Kate Chernoff photo

This is Kate Chernoff’s preferred recipe for the Meat Hook, a classic whisky cocktail named for a famed New York neighbourhood.

1.5 oz Bruichladdich Classic Laddie

0.75 oz sweet vermouth

0.25 oz maraschino liqueur

1 bar spoon (5 mL) Port Charlotte single malt

Garnish: expressed orange oils and a quality cherry

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Taste the World with these Vancouver Cocktail Week events

Living Room Creative photo

One of the most exciting aspects of the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week is the unprecedented opportunity it offers for guests to taste international flavours and meet bartenders from far-flung regions of the planet. Here are just some of the festival’s great dinners, seminars, guest shifts and other events that bring the rest of the world home.

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Jenna Gillespie photo

L’Abattoir‘s Jenna Gillespie adds a sweet touch to her version of the modern-classic Penicillin, created in the mid-2000s by bartender Sam Ross at New York City’s famous Milk & Honey bar.

• 2 oz blended scotch of your choice

• 0.75 oz Honey, Tonka Bean & Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)

• 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

• Float: 0.25 oz Royal Lochnagar 16

• Garnish: lemon twist (optional)

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