Sweet taste of success

The Watermelon Drink at JOEY uses Simps’ fresh mint syrup. Photo courtesy of JOEY Restaurants.

Since 2015, star bartenders Dave Simpson and Gerry Jobe have quietly been building a growing line of syrups, Caesar mixes, kegged cocktails and other bar supplies from their home base in Kelowna. Now Simps Modern Beverage is getting national—even international—attention for their products.

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Weekend Getaway: Denver’s 3 Best Drink Districts

The Deviation Distilling space was formerly a firehouse. Reece Sims photo

If you’re someone who frequents Gastown, wears oversized glasses ironically, has at least a half sleeve of tattoos, or simply possesses a potent appreciation for craft cocktails, then Denver, Colorado is a must-visit destination.

Just a quick 2 hour 45 minute direct flight from Vancouver, the Mile-High City has become a haven for hipsters. Here we explore three of the most delicious neighbourhoods in this up-and-coming cocktail destination.

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Orange liqueur

Getty Images photo. Beat the Triple Sec shortage by making your own orange liqueur. Getty Images photo

Short of triple sec? Make your own

It seems there will be no end to the supply chain issues that have drained back bars of essential spirits these past two years. This summer, for instance, it looks like we’re facing a shortage of Aperol, just in time for spritz season, so drink up while you can.

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Where to drink right now in New York City

10 bars to check out in the city that never sleeps

A White Negroni paired with shrimp cocktail at the Panorama Room. Charlene Rooke photo

Though there’s a bar on virtually every downtown street in New York, we recently hit some old favourites and some new essentials, to help guide your next drinking safari to the Big Apple.

 

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Make it Matsutake

Photo courtesy of Bearface Whisky

Because there are so few rules governing Canadian whisky, those who make it can give their creativity free rein. And that is just what Andres Faustinelli, master blender at Bearface Whisky, is doing with his new “Wilderness Series” of whiskies made with ingredients foraged in B.C.’s Monashee Mountains.  

The series launches with the Matsutake Release 01, featuring the rare and precious matsutake mushroom that grows wild here and is so very prized abroad, especially in Asia. Adding mushrooms to whisky may seem odd, but it is in fact part pf a much larger trend, notes sommelier-forager Bram Bolwin. “In recent years, many of the world’s most acclaimed mixologists have been embracing the potential of umami-rich fungi as an inventive cocktail ingredient,” he says.

The limited edition Bearface Wilderness Series: Matsutake Release has a complex, nutty and earthy character with notes of baking spices and a savoury finish. It retails for $49.95.

Summer spirits

The Alchemist tasting panel reviews sips for the sunny season

Hot weather demands lighter spirits and less complicated cocktails. Getty Images photo

Once summer’s warmer, sunnier weather finally arrives, we crave drinks that are lighter and easier, more refreshing and less complicated. No one knows that better than the bartenders who craft all your Margaritas, G&Ts, spritzes and other summertime thirst quenchers. So we asked them to share their favourite warm weather spirits, and the cocktails they would make with them. This issue, our tasting panel team comprises bartenders J-S Dupuis, Robyn Gray, Jeff Savage, Grant Sceney and David Wolowidnyk. Here’s what they had to say. 

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Pisco Punch

Pisco Punch. Getty Images photo

A twist on the classic from bartender David Wolowidnyk, Acquafarina.

• 2 oz Barsol Pisco – Quebranta

• 1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice

• 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

• 0.5 oz orgeat (almond syrup)

• Garnish: pineapple slice

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Check In

Grant Sceney’s Check In. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Pacific Rim

Recipe by Grant Sceney, Fairmont Pacific Rim.

• 1 oz Tanqueray gin

• 0.67 oz Blueberry Lavender Oleo (see note)

• 0.67 oz lemon juice

• 0.25 oz Luxardo Bitter Bianco

• 3 oz Blue Mountain Brut (or other sparkling wine)

• Garnish: Thyme flower

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