Whistler warmers

Après ski is a cozy affair at Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s The Mallard Lounge

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Whistler is synonymous with winter. Temperatures fall and, in short order, so too does the snow and a barrage of tourists eager to take to the slopes.

And when those tourists have had their fill of the great outdoors, many of them descend upon Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s The Mallard Lounge.

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German Burnt Punch

German Burnt Punch. Lou Lou Childs photo

A take on the traditional Feuerzangenbowle

• 1 sugar cube
• 0.25 oz  Bacardi 151 over-proof rum
• 1 oz Asbach German brandy
• 1 oz Cointreau
• 3 oz fresh orange juice
• 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
• 0.25 oz vanilla syrup (such as Giffard)

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Light my fire

Flames add flavour—and drama—to festive concoctions 

Oil from the orange peel fans the flames of a German Burnt Punch. Lou Lou Childs photo

I was just thinking of a Flaming Rum Punch,” says Clarence Odbody, the 293-year-old guardian angel in Frank Capra’s 1946 masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life. But in this post-war dive bar all that’s on offer is “hard drinks… for men who want to get drunk fast.”

Back when Clarence was just a cherub, though, punches were all the rage. A concoction of spirits with something sweet, something sour, something weak and something spicy, punch was a communal beverage, enjoyed at social gatherings. It was often served hot, typically heated by inserting a molten hot poker into a jug, bowl or pitcher of liquor. There were, at times, flames.

Since then, flamed drinks have gone in and out of fashion like a Blue Blazer in a fickle breeze.

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Cool Yule

Warm up with these festive cocktails

Lou Lou Childs photo

Whether it’s a glass of eggnog, a hot buttered rum, or a mug of spicy mulled wine, the winter season is loaded with tasty cocktails. What makes them ideal for the home bartender is their reliance on easily sourced pantry ingredients: spices (cinnamon, clove and nutmeg), fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and sage), and fruits (mandarins, cranberries and pomegranates). Here are my family recipes for iconic winter cocktails—and a twist or two designed to take your holiday gathering to the next level.

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Hot Buttered Rum

Justin Taylor’s hot Buttered Rum. Lou Lou Childs photo

Making the compound butter in advance will improve the finished drink. You could also package it for a seasonal gift.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tsp compound butter*
6 oz. boiling water
1-2 oz. dark rum to taste
cinnamon stick

METHOD:
Combine compound butter and boiling water in your serving mug and stir to dissolve. Add rum and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

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Cranberry Collins

Justin Taylor’s Cranberry Collins. Lou Lou Childs photo

A perfect welcome cocktail to any holiday party and one that can also be served alcohol-free.

INGREDIENTS:
2 oz. gin
1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz. pure cranberry juice
1 oz. rosemary and sage syrup*
3 oz. soda water
rosemary sprigs

METHOD:
To a tall glass, add gin, juices and syrup. Add ice and top with soda. Garnish with rosemary.

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Home Made Eggnog

Justin Taylor’s Home Made Eggnog. Lou Lou Childs photo

Best made a few days in advance to allow the flavours to develop.

INGREDIENTS:
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground allspice
12 oz bourbon or rum
3 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 whole nutmegs (for garnish)

METHOD:
Measure all your ingredients. Add the eggs to a blender running on lowest setting. After 20 seconds slowly pour in sugar and allspice. Increase speed to medium and slowly add bourbon, followed by milk and cream, and blend for one minute. Refrigerate immediately in an airtight container. Stir before serving. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Makes 8-10 servings.

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Mulled Wine

Justin Taylor’s Mulled Wine. Lou Lou Childs photo

Turn the heat on under this cocktail an hour before your guests arrive and your home will be filled with wonderful holiday aromas.

INGREDIENTS:
750ml bottle red wine
2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, pulp removed
0.5 cup granulated sugar
0.5 cup brandy or Cognac
2 tsp whole cloves
3 unpeeled mandarins, washed and cut into quarters
2 apples cored and quartered
1 cup frozen cranberries
4 cinnamon sticks
3 sprigs of rosemary

METHOD:
Add wine, orange juice and sugar into a large pot over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Stud mandarins with cloves and add, along with remaining ingredients, to pot. Cook gently for two hours (take care not to boil off the alcohol). Remove from heat and allow to cool, then strain through a sieve, pressing down to extract the juices from the cranberries and mandarins. Store up to one week in fridge. To serve, heat in a crockpot on low, or in a pan over low heat. Do not boil. Garnish with mandarin segments, apple slices, cinnamon sticks and cranberries. Makes 12, five oz. servings.

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Tales with a twist

Chambar’s Philippe Grandbois weaves new tales for classic cocktails

Jennifer Gauthier photo

For more than a decade, Chambar has been known as not only a destination restaurant famous for its Belgian and North African-influenced cuisine, but also as a cocktail haven that has attracted and nurtured some of the city’s top talent. Now, the restaurant has taken its cocktail program one step further, hiring Philippe Grandbois as Creative Director of Mixology — a new position in the company.

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Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai

Donn Beach—a.k.a. Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt, a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber—reportedly invented his version of the drink in 1933, when it was called a Mai Tai Swizzle.

• 1 oz gold rum
• 1.5 oz dark rum
• 1 oz (30 mL) grapefruit juice
• 0.75 oz lime juice
• 0.5 oz Cointreau or triple sec
• 0.25 oz falernum
• 6 drops Pernod
• Dash of Angostura bitters
• Mint sprig to garnish

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