A matter of taste

At Sheringham Distillery, Jason MacIsaac brings a chef’s palate to the still

David McIlvride photo

Twenty-three years in kitchens taught Jason MacIsaac all about balance. Bitter versus sweet, savoury versus salty, weight versus intensity—key principles in creating harmonious foods. Now, as founder, owner, operator, distiller and, along with his wife Alayne, every other possible role at Vancouver Island’s Sheringham Distillery, MacIssac has transposed those culinary skills to the still.

“As a chef, studying flavour profiles was my career,” he reflects. “Balancing flavours has been a passion. Every chef can start with the same ingredients but have vastly different outcomes. The same goes for distilling.”

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Sweet Sangria

Spain’s iconic cocktail is a staple at Bodega On Main

Jennifer Gauthier photo

Sangria has been around for quite a while — a couple of thousand years, in fact. “Most people don’t realize that it’s been around that long,” laughs Paul Rivas, who, along with his sister Natalie, owns Vancouver’s Bodega on Main — the reincarnation of the much-loved former downtown tapas bar, La Bodega.

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Main Street “Wide eye”

Justin Taylor’s Main Street “Wide Eye.” Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. Odd Society East Van Vodka
• 0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 oz. Walter’s Caesar Mix
• 2 dashes Tapatio Hot Sauce
• Pinch ground pepper
• Pinch brown sugar
• 3 oz. Main Street Pilsner

METHOD:
In a 20 oz. pint glass, add ice and all other ingredients, and stir. Garnish with a stick of celery.

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Polynesian Strange Fellow

Justin Taylor’s Polynesian Strange Fellow. Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1.5 oz. Wayward Distilling Honey Rum
• 0.5 oz. orgeat syrup
• 0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
• half a ripe banana
• 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
• 4 oz. Strangefellows Guardian White IPA

METHOD:
Put the banana into a cocktail shaker and muddle to a paste. Add everything except the beer, add ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain over fresh ice into a goblet. Top with Strangefellows Beer. Garnish with fresh banana slices.

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Up on the roof

A rooftop garden brings fresh flavours and new ideas to ARC bar in the Fairmont Waterfront

Supplied photo

Kissed by a Bee, Sage Paloma, Raspberry Thyme Collins… The cocktail menu at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel’s ARC Bar, pays proper tribute to the 2,100-square foot garden perched on its roof.

ARC’s general manager Roman Vondal describes the garden, which also includes four bee hives, as a treasure coveted by both the hotel’s chefs and bartenders.

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Parkside “Sip ‘n’ Slide” Raddler

Justin Taylor’s Parkside “Sip ‘n’ Slide” Raddler. Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. Okanagan Spirits Gin
• 0.5 oz. Okanagan Spirits Rhubarb Liqueur
• 2 oz. freshly squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Grapefruit & Hops Bitters
• 3 oz. Parkside Graffiti IPA

METHOD:
Add all ingredients except beer to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Fine strain into a pilsner glass, top with Parkside Beer. Garnish with a fresh grapefruit wedge.

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Four-Winds-Of-Change

Justin Taylor’s Four-Winds-of-Change cocktail. Oliver Harden photo

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 oz. Shelter Point Distillery Whisky
• 0.75 oz. lemon juice
• 0.5 oz. clove-infused maple syrup*
• 3 dashes of Bittered Sling Gastown Bitters
• 2 oz. Four Winds Pale Ale

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 15 seconds. Strain over fresh ice into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with apple slices.

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Rhapsody in brew

Get crafty at home with these delicious beer cocktails

Local craft beer can provide excellent flavour in mixed drinks. Oliver Harden photo

We are fortunate to not only have incredible local spirits in B.C., but also an abundance of amazing craft beers. As a cocktail maker, this is another great excuse to start mixing — but before you begin that process, you’re just going to have to make the sacrifice and open a few beers to taste.

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Gentleman’s Sour

Kylie Bartlett’s Gentleman’s Sour. Lou Lou Childs photo

A twist on the classic Clover Club

• 1 fresh raspberry
• 1.5oz Odd Society Wallflower Gin
• 0.5oz Odd Society Crème de Cassis
• 0.5oz Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth
• 1oz lemon juice
• 0.25oz simple syrup
• 2 dashes Szechuan pepper bitters
• 4 drops Ms. Better’s Bitters Miraculous Foamer

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Come together

At Odd Society Spirits, innovation is all about collaboration

LEFT: Kylie Bartlett works with bartenders across the province to create cocktails using Odd Society’s spirits. Lou Lou Childs photo

The Tasting Lounge at Odd Society Spirits in East Vancouver is a veritable beehive, buzzing with collaboration. Behind the bar, Kylie Bartlett shakes a frothy Tree Sum cocktail and strains it into a coupe glass. The neon-green libation was created by Vanessa Bourget, owner of Exile Bistro, and is made with a foraged-pine-needle, parsley syrup that Ms. Bourget trades to the craft distiller in exchange for the drink’s other key ingredient, Odd Society’s Wallflower Gin.

Part of the distillery’s Visiting Cocktail program, the forest-fresh Tree Sum is just one of many collaborations that allows Odd Society to live up to its name as an unusual innovator within British Columbia’s still somewhat oddly disconnected worlds of craft spirits and bartending.

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