B.C.’s oldest craft distillery has made an international impact.
At the grand old age of 11, Okanagan Spirits is the oldest craft distillery in the province. That may make it a relative newbie on the international scene, but it hasn’t stopped the world from paying it serious attention.
Since its inception in 2004, the family-owned and operated Okanagan business has twice been named Distillery of the Year at the annual World Spirits Awards, and two years ago became the first and only one of its kind in North America to be given a “world class” rating.
Yacine Sylla brings a splash of European flair to a Vancouver favourite.
Cocktails have always been serious business at Chambar. The trend-setting French/North African restaurant burst onto the Vancouver scene just over a decade ago, and has been leading the pack ever since.
Talented bartenders have put Vancouver’s cocktail scene on the world map.
In the mood for a Sazerac? How about a Negroni punch bowl mixed with local gin and vermouth, or a playful spin on Arctic Ungava with a dash of citric acid and spritz of Laphroaig perfume? Whatever your poison, it can be found in Vancouver, home to one of the most vibrant cocktail scenes in North America.
1.5 oz Gillespie’s Sin Gin 0.5 oz Green Chartreuse 0.5 oz wildflower honey water (1:1 ratio) 0.75 oz fresh lime juice 3 dashes Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech Bitters 1 pinch Vancouver Island Sea Salt Mist of Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe
METHOD: Combine all ingredients (minus Taboo Absinthe) in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 15 seconds and fine strain to a half-rimmed Vancouver Island Sea Salt cocktail glass. Using an atomizer or mister, spray a fine amount of absinthe over the glass for aromatics. Garnish with a lime twist.
All the ingredients and tools you need to begin serious bartending in the comfort of your own home
Ice: Ice is key to both the temperature and dilution of a drink. Use large, fresh cubes directly from the icebox when shaking or stirring. Ice that’s been out for too long—that is glossy and wet—will over-dilute your drinks, and fast! Invest in a few different shapes and sizes of ice moulds: over-sized, square, or even spherical moulds are great for spirits on the rocks.
Raise a glass to the resurrection of the Vancouver Cocktail
Gin, sweet vermouth, Bénédictine and orange bitters. It sounds simple, but so do many of the world’s legendary cocktails. And the Vancouver Cocktail deserves to be recognized among the classics.
What’s that, you say? Never heard of YVR’s hometown cocktail? You’re not alone. The Vancouver Cocktail joins a legion of forgotten drinks that have recently been rediscovered by dogged cocktail historians. In this case, that historian was bartender-turned-consultant Steve Da Cruz.
The Sylvia Hotel’s signature cocktail was created in 1954.
1.5 oz London Dry style gin such as Victoria Gin or Long Table Gin 0.75 oz sweet vermouth such as Punte E Mes or Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth 0.25 oz or “a good splash” of Benedictine liqueur 2 dashes of orange bitters
METHOD: Place all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.