Cocktail bitters are a bartender’s salt and pepper. Here’s our guide to B.C.’s best
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.
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.
Some of Vancouver’s top bartenders give their thoughts on what’ll be hot next year
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.
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.
“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.”
1.5 oz single malt Scotch whisky
0.5 oz dry vermouth
1 oz white chocolate syrup*
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
3 dashes Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters
candied cocoa nibs
Pre-chill an Old Fashioned glass. Add ice and all liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for 15 seconds. Strain over crushed ice into your glass. Garnish with candied cocoa nibs.
*White chocolate syrup: Boil 2 cups heavy cream and pour over 6 oz white chocolate chips, stirring to dissolve. Reserve in a sealable jar or bottle and refrigerate until needed.