Funky Town

Could B.C.’s new spirits inspire a truly West Coast cocktail culture?

At Royal Dinette, Kaitlyn Stewart embraces the challenge craft spirits bring. Fred Fung photo.

Kaitlyn Stewart slides a mason jar filled with a disturbingly yellow liquid across her bar at Royal Dinette in downtown Vancouver. I hope it’s not what it looks like.

“Milk liqueur,” she says, beaming proudly. “Double strained after sitting on the shelf for 10 days.”

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The milky-whey

The Milky-Whey. Fred Fung photo

Unique, delicious and very West Coast.

• 1 oz milk liqueur (see recipe below)
• 0.5 oz East Van vodka
• 0.25 oz arancino
• 0.5 oz B.C. mead
• 0.5 oz fresh-pressed orange juice
• 0.5 oz whey

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Terms of endearment (a Cocktail Glossary)

You can order a rum and coke like a pro or a Boulevardier like a schmuck­—the key to showing your cocktail props is all in the lingo

Japanese bar spoons are beloved of batenders. Lou Lou Childs photo

Amaro: A generic term for Italian herbal liqueurs, favoured by bartenders for complex cocktails. Famous examples include Averna, Cynar, and Fernet-Branca.

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Here comes a regular

“‘Upstairs’ at Campagnolo is somewhere I’ve been going since it opened, and I feel comfortable there on my own. Peter Van de Reep, the bar manager, has such a passion for learning about spirits and cocktails, I just love geeking out with him.”

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Loup-Garou

Lauren Mote’s Loup-Garou. Issha Marie photo

French for ‘werewolf’ or ‘moondog’

INGREDIENTS:
• 1.5 oz Johnnie Walker Platinum Label Blended Scotch Whisky
• 0.5 oz Lagavulin 16-Year-Old Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky
• 0.75 oz Punt E Mes
• 0.25 oz Jagermeister Herbal Liqueur
• 2 dashes Bittered Sling Cascade Celery Bitters
• 2 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters
• 2 dashes Vancouver Island Smoked Sea Salt Water

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Smoke on the water

Experience the magic of Islay, one Scotch at a time

Islay is known for its dramatic scenery and changeable weather. Istockphoto.com photo

The romantic Isle of Islay in Scotland’s southern Hebrides is best known for its moors, treacherous weather, high seas, early Viking settlements—and, yes, its whisky. For, buried within that dramatic landscape, exists rich soil redolent with peat, and a water supply heavy with briny minerals. No wonder, then, that Islay is home to some of the finest and most distinctive single malts in the world, among them, Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin.

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Balancing Act

Simon Ogden encourages his customers to put their drinks in his hands

Bartender Simon Ogden. Supplied photo.

Balance. Whether it’s blending the elements of the perfect cocktail or juggling work and play, balance is key.

It’s a philosophy bartender Simon Ogden takes to heart, both behind the bar and in life.

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Tell Me What You Will

Shawn Soole’s Tell Me What You Will showcases locally distilled products. Shawn Soole photo.

Showcasing local ingredients in a classic style. 

INGREDIENTS: 
• 50ml Merridale Whisky Jack
• 20ml Odd Society Bitter Sweet Vermouth
• 10ml Merridale Apple Cider Brandy
• Dash of Bittered Sling Suius Cherry Bitters

METHOD: 
Stir all ingredients and strain into a small coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

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Whisky Galore!

B.C.’s fledgling industry prepares for a bright future

Whisky is set to be the next boom in B.C. spirits. Thinkstock photo.

After just five years in business, British Columbia’s distillers have already confronted some mighty challenges. For one, it takes years of practice to make a quality product. Plus, craft liquor is expensive—not only for consumers at the till but for makers at the still.

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Urban Legend

How one Okanagan man’s hobby became a serious business

Urban Distilleries photo.

Mike Urban had a booze habit. Making it, that is. After tinkering with homemade beer and wine, he felt that the next logical step could be distilling.

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