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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Royal Flush

Central City’s newly-released gin pays homage to its B.C. roots

Central City’s Queensborough Gin. Supplied photo

It’s not often the new kid on the block walks away with a major international award the very week of its launch, but that’s exactly what Surrey-based Central City Brewers and Distillers’ newest offering accomplished earlier this year; their Queensborough Gin garnered a gold medal at the Spirits International Prestige (SIP) Awards.

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The Cosmopolitan

Our man at the bar, John Burns, on the seductive power of nomenclature

Illustration by Roxana Bikadoroff.

Names are my downfall. I’m just a sucker for them. For fanciful origin stories and tales of whimsy. The music of language spellbinds me, which is why I fall so often and so hard for the poetry of the label.

Take Bénédictine, that herbal liqueur purportedly invented by Norman monks. A cabal of French brothers whose order was founded by a Merovingian count in 658 AD created a secret recipe 500 years ago, then mislaid it when they fled the French Revolution. Come 1863, the industrialist Alexandre Le Grand — whose granddaughter Simone Beck would go on to co-author Mastering the Art of French Cooking — rediscovered (or made up) this proprietary mix of 27 botanicals and bottled it, sealing it with the gilded letters DOM: Deo Optimo Maximo, or “To God Most Good, Most Great.” Who could hear such an improbable yarn and stand unmoved?

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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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