It’s back to the future with de Vine’s Ancient Grains
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.
It might be called EAT! Vancouver, but we’re here for the drinks.
Which is why we were thrilled to discover that the annual foodie festival is returning to Vancouver Nov. 5-10 with more than 37 acclaimed chefs and 18 events, including a luxurious all-new cognac event.
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.
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.
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.
INGREDIENTS: • 2 oz Buffalo Trace bourbon • 1 tsp granulated sugar • 2 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington Aromatic Bitters • Orange twist and brandied cherry for garnish
METHOD: Add the sugar to an Old Fashioned glass, wet with bitters and (if using a sugar cube) muddle to dissolve. Add bourbon and a single large ice cube, stir for eight to 10 seconds and garnish with an orange twist and a brandied cherry.
The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar’s David Warren combines several trends in this drink, including updated vintage cocktails and culinary techniques – this was inspired by Chef Jeff Pat’s sticky toffee pudding on the dessert menu.
2 oz (60 mL) Bulleit bourbon
¾ oz (22 mL) date syrup (see note)
Dash Fee Brothers black walnut bitters
Dash Angostura bitters
Sash Regan’s Orange bitters
INGREDIENTS: 4 oz bourbon 4 oz amaro 12 oz fresh pressed cider 2 dashes Scrappy’s Firewater bitters Cinnamon and lemon zest (for garnish)
METHOD: Pour ingredients (except garnish) into a small saucepan and bring to a temperature of no more than 80 degrees Celsius (use a thermometer, otherwise you could boil off all the alcohol). Remove from heat, divide evenly between four mugs and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and lemon zest. Serves 4.