Whisky in the jar

After five long years, Shelter Point’s single malt has come of age

Head distiller James Marinus at work. Supplied photo

“Ready for the tour?” Patrick Evans asks with a chuckle. I climb into the 4×4 expecting a leisurely ride through Shelter Point Distillery’s expansive property.

I am mistaken: Evans hits the gas and we’re off-roading into the bush faster than I can say, “I’ll take a wee dram.”

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Local Negroni

Rob Scope’s Local Negroni uses four distillled-in-BC products. Lou Lou Child photo

• 0.25oz Sheringham Seaside Gin
• 0.5oz Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth
• 0.5oz deVine Moderna Vermouth
• 0.75oz The Woods Amaro

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Beyond the scope

Whether you prefer your cocktails classic or bespoke, The Cascade Room’s Rob Scope has a drink for you

Rob Scope. Lou Lou Childs photo

Rob Scope knows his way around a bar. After being introduced to the trade in England, Scope has had a hand in creating some of Vancouver’s most sought-after cocktails at establishments such as Campagnolo, ReFuel, Calabash, Cassis Bistro and now, as bar manager, at The Cascade Room on Main.

“Our cocktail list is pretty aggressive,” he says of the 60-drink strong menu of classics he oversees. “Working with this back bar is a dream come true.”

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Shake it off

At Royal Dinette, Kaitlyn Stewart makes drinks that dance

Supplied photo

It’s immediately obvious that Kaitlyn Stewart, bar manager at Vancouver’s Royal Dinette, likes to bartend to a strong beat: all of her cocktails have names inspired by music — from lyrics and songs to musicians and festivals (Upside Down; Smoke on the Walters).

Her proudest pop moniker? The Cream Sh-Boogie Bop. “It’s an ode to Prince,” she laughs, breaking into song. “Cream, don’t you stop. Cream, sh-boogie bop!”

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Cherry Bomb

Heering’s classic liqueur continues to inspire the world’s top mixologists

For close to 200 years, Heering Cherry Liqueur has been a staple behind the bar in any respectable drinking establishment. The original Cherry Brandy, created in 1818 by Danish purveyor Peter F. Heering, the liqueur has gained a global reputation for its delicious, refined taste. The backbone of classic cocktails such as the Singapore Sling, the Copenhagen, and the Blood and Sand, Cherry Heering is sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Earlier this year, the iconic brand launched the 2016 Heering Classic Challenge, seeking to inspire the world’s greatest bartenders to take classic cocktails and reimagine them with Cherry Heering.

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Hey! Big Spender

Does a blank cheque guarantee a better cocktail?

An ounce of Remy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac will cost you $800 at Hawksworth. Lou Lou Childs photo

When the Hôtel Ritz Paris’s legendary barman Colin Field introduced the $1,700 Ritz Sidecar in 2001, it was considered the most expensive cocktail in the world. Since then, a multitude of bartenders have created their own lavishly priced drinks made with everything from truffles, gold dust and precious gems, to vintage spirits recovered from famous shipwrecks.

But are these ultra-premium cocktails worth their ultra-premium prices? Well, it depends — and not just on how much credit you have left on your flexible friend.

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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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