El Mocambo

Justin Taylor’s El Mocambo gives tiki a Canadian twist. Dan Toulgoet photo

Named after the legendary live-music venue in Toronto, this tiki-style cocktail takes on a Canadian twist.

• 1.5 oz Canadian 100 percent rye whisky
• 0.75 oz falernum
• 2 oz coconut water
• 1 oz freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
• 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington bitters

Garnish:

• 5 mint leaves
• 1 mint sprig
• 2 whole almonds

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Bitter is better

Cocktail bitters are a bartender’s salt and pepper. Here’s our guide to B.C.’s best

Victoria Distillers produces the Twisted & Bitter lineup, which ranges from fruity (orange, grapefruit, schizandra) to spicy (pepper, ginger). Victoria Distillers photo

Aficionados of Old Fashioneds are familiar with oversize-label bottles of Angostura, the classic aromatic bitters from Trinidad and Tobago that have made a million cocktails sing. Signature mixes of botanicals, often originally used as medicine, have earned famous bitters brands like Sazerac, Peychaud’s and Amargo Chunchon (for Pisco Sours) a place in the classic-cocktail canon.

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Canadian Coffee

Canadian Coffee. Bittered Sling photo

• 1.5 oz Lot 40 Rye Whisky
• 0.75 oz maple syrup
• 4 oz hot brewed coffee
• 2 dashes Moondog Latin bitters
• Heavy cream, lightly whipped
• Grated cinnamon

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Gins & Roses

Justin Taylor’s Gins & Roses. Jennifer Gauthier photo

This British-inspired cocktail was created in 2017 by Justin Taylor, in Vancouver.

• 1 oz Odd Society Wallflower Gin
• 1 oz sloe gin
• 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
• 0.25 oz honey syrup (see note)
• 0.75 oz pasteurized egg whites
• 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington Bitters
• 3 drops rose water

Chill a coupe glass with ice. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Fine strain cocktail into the chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with dehydrated rose petals. Serves 1.

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From vermouth to high volume: Cocktail trends for 2018

Some of Vancouver’s top bartenders give their thoughts on what’ll be hot next year

Glass straws will be seen more widely as bars strive toward more sustainable practices. The Last Straw Co. photo
Glass straws will be seen more widely as bars strive toward more sustainable practices. The Last Straw Co. photo

Raise your glass to the end of 2017, a year that brought us one disaster after another, from raging wildfires to the near-daily perp walk of sexual predators. Between all that and the inescapability of frosé, it’s a year we’re mostly happy to forget.

And so we look forward to 2018. We checked in with some of the city’s top bartenders to discover what’s shaking for the New Year.

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Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes by Sabrine Dhaliwal.
Bright Eyes by Sabrine Dhaliwal.

This tall, refreshing, low-proof cocktail from UVA’s Sabrine Dhaliwal will ensure you remain bright-eyed throughout the night.

1½ oz (45 mL) fino sherry
¾ oz (22 mL) grapefruit juice
¾ oz (22 mL) peach tea syrup (see note)
¾ oz (22 mL) lemon juice
2 dashes Bittered Sling Cherry Bitters
Ginger beer

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The spirited gift guide for the cocktail lover on your list

Repeat after me: You can never have too many cocktail tools. Or glasses. Or bottles of interesting spirits. Or cocktail books. Or …

Okanagan Spirits’ Ultimate Gift Pack, which includes its sold-out Coldstream Rye along with the Essential and Family Reserve Gin and Vodka and BRBN Bourbon-style Whisky, comes in at $295.
Okanagan Spirits’ Ultimate Gift Pack, which includes its sold-out Coldstream Rye along with the Essential and Family Reserve Gin and Vodka and BRBN Bourbon-style Whisky, comes in at $295.

Well, you get the picture. Wondering what to get the cocktail aficionado on your holiday list? Start right here.

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Vancouver #2

The Vancouver #2, Grant Sceney’s update on the Vancouver classic.

Before the team at Botanist installed the bar top, creative beverage director Grant Sceney “bought a drink for the next generation of bartenders” by embedding a bottled cocktail, a handwritten note and a copy of the first bar menu inside the bar itself. This is the cocktail they left for the future: an updated version of the classic Vancouver cocktail. “We’ve made the Vancouver Cocktail as Vancouver as we can,” says Sceney.

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I Sat By The Ocean

The I Sat By The Ocean Cocktail by Jhol Spindler. Rebecca Wellman photo.

“I decided to embrace the salty, briny taste of this Manzanilla sherry and create a pickle juice Martini on steroids. The salt and pepper rim complements the sherry’s terroir near the ocean, and the peppery punch of the tequila, while the celery bitters and oils from the lemon peel keep it light and crisp.”

 

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Islas Moradas (Purple Island)

The Islas Moradas Cocktail by Keegan Coates. Rebecca Wellman photo.

“I was inspired by the idea of the island of Madeira floating in the sea. I wanted the richness of the Madeira to float on a refreshing, citrus-forward, more tropical cocktail.”

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