Trader Vic’s Mai Tai

Victor Bergeron, founder of Trader Vic’s restaurants, claims to be the originator of the Mai Tai, back in 1944. This is his version of the drink.

• 2 oz aged rum
• 1 oz fresh lime juice
• 0.5 oz orgeat syrup (such as Giffard)
• 0.5 oz  Cointreau or Curaçao
• Mint sprig to garnish

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Tai me up

The origins of the tiki cocktail classic, the Mai Tai

The decor at Vancouver’s Shameful Tiki Room is tiki-tastic. Dan Toulgoet photos

Order the Mai Tai at your peril. It can be one of the world’s greatest cocktails but, like the Bellini and the Margarita, in the wrong hands, it can be an unmitigated disaster. Instead of a delicately fragrant yet powerfully boozy elixir, you are as likely to receive a dispiriting glass of something sweet, sticky and suspiciously hued.

Any bartender who knows their way around the classics should be able to make a decent Mai Tai, but for the real deal, you really want to seek out a tiki expert.

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Rosemary Nights

Jayce Kadyschuk’s Rosemary Nights cocktail. Photo courtesy of Clives Classic Lounge.

• 2 oz Knob Creek Rye
• 0.25 oz rosemary syrup
• 2 dashes black pepper bitters
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
• 1 dash saline solution
• fresh rosemary sprig

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Liquid lore

At Clive’s Classic Lounge, every cocktail tells a story

Photo courtesy of Clives Classic Lounge.

Stepping outside of the box has become old hat to bar manager Jayce Kadyschuk of Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria, who, along with his team, is driven by his passion to tell a story through every cocktail served.

“We want to create a unique experience with every drink,” he explains. “People are always curious about what goes into a cocktail, how we came up with the recipe — and that desire for a story forces us to be innovative.”

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Here and now

At Olo, the cocktail list roots you in space and time

Olo bar manager Matt Cooke. Adriam Lam photo

OLO restaurant has a reputation for championing local, sustainable and seasonal fare, and new bar manager Matt Cooke wanted a cocktail menu to match, focused on highlighting the region’s craft distillers. “We have a ton of local spirits here,” he enthuses. “They’re all made with local ingredients, so we want to pay homage to them and the people making them. We want clients to be able to say, ‘Oh, this is an Ampersand cocktail.’”

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The Last Word: The Papa Doble

The Papa Doble is named for Ernest Hemingway. Lou Lou Childs photo

“I drink to make other people more interesting.”

A legendary drinker, Ernest Hemingway was so partial to a daiquiri—served cold, strong and sour—that Cuban bartender Costantino Ribalaigua of Havana’s famed El Floridita created the Papa Doble (also known as the Hemingway Daiquiri) just for him.

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Cool beans

Bartenders are embracing how the unique properties of cold brew works in cocktails

istockphoto.com photo

Your morning cup of coffee may perk you up nicely, but that same java is more than ready to do the same for your cocktail hour. Forget the drip-filled wine glass containing a shot of Bushmills or Tia Maria, loaded with sugar, and covered with a slick of whipped cream from a can. And step back from the classic, yet oh-so-1980s, Espresso Martini. Coffee cocktails have upped their game.

And what’s behind this fashionable return? It’s all about that barista favourite, cold brew.

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