A spirited selection at the BC Distilled 2019 Audience Favourites Awards

Odd Society’s Prospector Rye Whisky was voted the audience-favourite whisky at BC Distilled. Gail Nugent photo

They came, they sipped, they chose their favourites, ranging from a delicately herbal absinthe to a boldly spiced rye whisky.

Some 600 people descended on the Croatian Cultural Centre on April 6 for the sixth annual BC Distilled festival, highlighting the best of the province’s artisan spirits. Some 180 spirits from 39 distilleries were poured over two tastings, and at the end of it all, the audience voted for their favourites in 13 categories.

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Chuzzlewit’s Pear

Justin Taylor’s Chuzzlewit’s Pear. Dan Toulgoet photo

• ¼ Anjou pear
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 0.75 oz blended scotch whisky
• 0.75 oz amontillado sherry
• 0.5 oz Sons of Vancouver amaretto
• 3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

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Apple-etto Fizz

The Apple-etto Fizz by Justin Taylor. Danika Sea photo.

INGREDIENTS:
1 whole Honey Crisp apple, core removed*
Egg white separated from 1 large egg
1 oz amaretto
1 oz calvados
1 oz lemon juice
2 oz soda water
4  1-inch ice cubes
apple fan (for garnish)

METHOD:
Place first five ingredients plus ice into a blender and blend on a low setting, gradually increasing speed until the ice has dissolved. Put soda water into a tall glass, then add the blender contents slowly to mix through the soda—done right, a frothy head that rises above the rim of the glass should form. Garnish with an apple fan.

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Madame Colet

Madame Colet by Sabrine Dhaliwal. Dan Toulgoet photo

A complex, pensive cocktail by Sabrine Dhaliwal inspired by the 1932 film Trouble in Paradise. Dhaliwal imagines that this is the drink the character of Mariette Colet would be drinking as she ponders the whirlwind of events that befall her in the movie.

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Bourbon Sour

Sons of Vancouver’s Bourbon Sour. Dan Toulgoet photo

“This is one of my favourite cocktails to make,” says James Lester, co-owner of the Sons of Vancouver Distillery in North Vancouver. His method of shaking the egg white with a single ice cube makes the froth impressively thick and rich.

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Sons of Vancouver’s amaretto earns global amore

North Van distillery wins worldwide attention thanks to Kaitlyn Stewart — but many have already fallen in love with its nutty liqueur

Sons of Vancouver’s James Lester with the No. 82 amaretto. Dan Toulgoet photo

What might just be Vancouver’s coolest cocktail lounge isn’t in a fancy hotel or a downtown hipster hangout. Heck, it isn’t even in Vancouver and it isn’t, for that matter, actually a bar.

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Vancouver’s Brooklyn

Vancouver’s Brooklyn. Lucy-kate Armstrong photo

A take on the defunct classic cocktail, The Brooklyn, and an homage to the relationship between North Vancouver and the big city over the bridge.

• 1.5 oz. rye whisky
• 0.3 oz. amaretto
• 0.3 oz. Cocchi Americano
• 0.3 oz. maraschino liqueur
• 3 dashes of bitters
• 1 maraschino cherry

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Prodigal sons

How Sons of Vancouver is riding the big boom in small spirits

James Lester (L) and Richard Klaus bring a clear point-of-view to Sons of Vancouver. Lucy-kate Armstrong photo

It will be just two short years in February since Sons of Vancouver opened for business—with a 700-litre still repurposed from a dairy pasteurizer. And, like so many of the distilleries around B.C., owners James Lester and Richard Klaus have barely had time to pause for breath.

Take the past few months of 2016 as an example: Sons ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to upgrade to a proper—and much bigger—still, opened a tasting room, and will release a special barrel-aged edition of their signature No. 82 Amaretto in time for the holidays.

It wasn’t meant to happen this fast.

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