Morning Ritual

Jeff Savage’s Morning Ritual. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe by Jeff Savage, Head Bartender of Botanist Bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, for the Punch Brunch 2020. 

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, Featherweight Punch Royale, A Bit Curious and Flapjack Punch.

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La Chispa

Bodega on Main’s La Chispa cocktail. Origami Social photo

• 1.5 oz Old Forester Bourbon
• 0.75 oz Pacharán
• 0.3 oz Mia Amata Amaro
• 0.3 oz Lustau East India Solera
• 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
• Ardbeg Mist
• Orange Oils, Star Anise

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Coconut Milk Punch

Adam Domet’s Coconut Milk Punch. Chris Giannakos photo

The tropical vibes of this updated classic come from Adam Domet of Pourhouse.

• 1.5 oz coconut milk
• 1 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
• 1 oz Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum
• 2 tsp simple syrup (see note)
• 1 drop vanilla extract 

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Lust

Hail Mary’s photo

A divine take on one of the seven deadly sins at Hail Mary’s.

• 2 oz bourbon
• 0.75 oz simple syrup
• Splash of peach schnapps
• 2 oz fresh lime juice
• 1 egg white
• Dash of Angostura bitters

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Vancouver Island alt-whisky takes its place in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible

 It’s back to the future with de Vine’s Ancient Grains

De Vine’s Ancient Grains recently scored a 91.5 in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. Tulle & Tweed Commercial Photography

It’s been a minute since we’ve had to worry about those pesky little things called grades, but for distillers like Saanichton’s de Vine Wines & Spirits, report card day still comes around each year with the release of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and the reviews and scores therein.

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Bourbon and beyond

In conversation with Buffalo Trace master blender Drew Mayville

Buffalo Trace master blender Drew Mayville loves experimenting with bourbon and whisky. Supplied photo

It’s rare to find someone who describes their job as “fun,” and even less so if they’ve been in the same business for more than 38 years. But then not everyone has Drew Mayville’s job.

Mayville is the master blender at Buffalo Trace, the world’s most award-winning distillery. He was in Vancouver recently to chat about all things whisky and bourbon.

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Stone Fence

The Stone Fence cocktail, an historic drink given new life by bartender Jim Meehan in his new book Meehan’s Bartender Manual.

Here’s an old school classic getting a new life thanks to Jim Meehan. Cocktail historian David Wondrich traces it back to 1775 when it was “a savage mixture” of New England rum and hard cider. Nearly a century later, he notes, it had evolved into a “suave and smooth” bourbon cooler. Today, Meehan makes the most of the resurgence of craft cider and adds maple syrup for depth of flavour. And, he says, if you want to add a dash or two of Angostura bitters, by all means go ahead.

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Golden Oldie

The name may sound dated, but the Old Fashioned remains a classic for a reason. The Alchemist asked Sabrine Dhaliwal, Bar Manager at Uva, to let us in on its secrets.

Sabrine Dhaliwal stirs up a classic. Dan Toulgoet photo.

The Old Fashioned is amazing — simple and complex at the same time. On paper it is minimal — spirit, bitters, sugar and water (via the dilution of ice) — but what is critical for an Old Fashioned is getting that balance right. You get the balance right, you have a beautiful cocktail, but if you don’t, there’s nowhere to hide. The fewer the ingredients in a cocktail, the more skill needed to make it.

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