On the town: Science of Cocktails 2016

Science of Cocktails raised over $185,000 for Science World’s Class field trip program and saw B.C.’s best bartenders mix up special cocktails for the event.

 

Mike Shum, bartender at Fairmont Pacific Rim, won the cocktail competition with his CO2 Cool For School.
The Mackenzie Room’s Arthur Wynne was one of several bartenders who played with dry ice.
Now back on the wood—at Boulevard Restaurant & Bar—bartender extraordinaire JS Dupuis atomizes Ardbeg.
On the main stage, Cam Brown, of Kelowna’s Bacaro, explains the chemistry of his cocktail.

Spring sings

Seasonally-inspired cocktails at Chambar

Running the ever-busy bar at Chambar isn’t an easy job, but it’s one that bar manager Yacine Sylla and team embrace with enthusiasm. Constantly re-inventing the menu and updating old favourites, Sylla aligns himself with the restaurant’s focus on local, seasonal and high-quality ingredients.

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Summer lovin’

Berries are a great addition to the home bar

Master the art of making a shrub and your home bar cocktails will be transformed. Alexa Mazzarello photo

Summer in British Columbia brings with it berries bursting with flavour. They also contain citric acid and sugar, two key elements needed in crafting a cocktail. So why not add freshness and to your home bar by blending berries into your summer drinks?

The easiest way is to simply muddle them, extracting their natural juices and dyes. A simple sour recipe offers a base from which you can build countless variations.

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Fruitful endeavour

Family-owned distillery crafts world-class spirits from homegrown harvests

With its extended growing seasons and miles of fruitful orchards and rolling vineyards, B.C.’s Okanagan Valley is known best as Canada’s wine country. The site of many a weekend winery tour and the occasional fruit stand pit stop, one can hardly say “Okanagan” without also uttering “wine.” A lesser thought of connection? Distilled spirits.

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The heat is on

Cool treats for the summer season

Put a scoop in it: Bella Gelateria mixes their award-winning gelato with classic and new cocktails. Supplied photo

The sun’s out, you’re feeling mellow. What better way to cool down without taking the chill off, than by enjoying a sweet, boozy treat?

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2016 Deighton Cup Cocktail Jockey Competition

Twelve of B.C.’s top bartenders took on the Deighton Cup Cocktail Jockey competition at Hastings Racecourse in July, using Bulleit Bourbon as the base for their race day creations

Jayce Kadyshuk won the Fastest Bartender award for Victoria’s Clive’s Classic Lounge.

L’Abbatoir’s Katie Ingram dressed the part and raced to an Honourable Mention with her Match Point.
Royal Dinette’s Kaitlyn Stewart took home the cup with her Bojack Horseman.

Justin Taylor (The Cascade Room) shook his Horse Play to the tune of the Lone Ranger to win an Honourable Mention.

The winning cocktail by Kaitlyn Stewart combined Bulleit Bourbon with a house-made Okanagan cherry shrub and Stewart’s own Milk Liqueur.

 

Tropical thunder

Kristi-Leigh Akister expands The Union’s bold, exotic repertoire

In Vancouver, you’re more likely to inherit an incredible cocktail program and back bar these days than have to build one from scratch. That said, there’s always room to improve.

Take Union bar manager Kristi-Leigh Akister. The vibrant young bartender stepped into the role established by Cascade bar manager Nick Devine and 17-year industry veteran Arthur Wynne just over a year ago, and has since established an innovative new cocktail menu and rotating draft list to pair with the restaurant’s Pan-Asian bibimbaps and bahn mis.

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Enter the dragon

Is Baijiu the new tequila?

Baijiu is beginning to make its mark on western cocktail menus. Lou Lou Childs photo

As unlikely as it sounds, the infamous Chinese firewater baijiu—a pungent brew capable of bringing tears to eyes and setting throats ablaze—could be the hot new ingredient for bartenders.

Clear, potent (50 per cent-plus alcohol by volume) and often compost-pile fetid, the centuries-old spirit distilled from sorghum and other grains is also the world’s most consumed liquor.

Never heard of it? You’re not alone.

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Ginapalooza 2016

The second annual Canadian celebration of all things gin, Ginapalooza, hit bars across Vancouver in June, with a public vote on the best bespoke beverages served. 

Tearing up the city’s cocktail scene right now, Royal Dinette’s Kaitlyn Stewart took first place with Rock, which included lavender honey mead and Concord grape vinegar.

Tied for the runner-up spot was Justin Taylor’s Cascade Room entry, Bear Essentials.

The other runner-up was Yew Restaurant’s Firefighter, created by Phil Srigley.

Shaun Layton’s craft Juniper G&T came in third.