If the spirit moves you

Celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 by buying or drinking a woman-made spirit, such as these global brands that have women master blenders, distillers and more.

At Ron Zapaca in Guatemala, master blender Lorena Vasquez is credited for pioneering the a “solera” aging method in rum. Photo courtesy of Ron Zacapa

American whisky

Down in Tullahoma, Tennessee, master distiller Nicole Austin is shaking up the nearly 150-year-old George Dickel whiskey brand. One state north in Kentucky, although legendary Michter’s master distiller Pamela Heilmann retired in 2019, she passed the torch to master of maturation Andrea Wilson. At Woodford Reserve, Elizabeth McCall is the assistant master distiller, at Old Forester Jackie Zykan is master taster and Eboni Major is the master blender at Bulleit.

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Sangria

The classic Sangria at Bodega on Main. Supplied photo

The classic—and sessionable—red wine punch from Bodega on Main

• 1 lemon
• 1 orange
• 1/2 apple
• Handful blackberries
• 1 bottle (750 mL) Spanish red wine
• 1.5 oz Triple Sec or Grand Marnier
• 1.5 oz brandy
• 2 oz lemonade
• 2 oz orange juice
• 6 to 8 oz soda water or 7Up

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Spiced Apricot Sour

Key Party's Spiced Apricot Sour
Key Party photo

This cocktail from Key Party is sweetly spicy and just sophisticated enough.

• 1.5 oz chai-spiced rye (see note)
• 0.5 oz apricot brandy
• 1 oz egg white
• 2 oz lemon juice
• Generous bar spoon of apricot preserve
• 0.5 oz simple syrup (see note)
• 2 dashes orange bitters (available at Gourmet Warehouse, Welks or Modern Bartender)

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Scorpion

Beware of the Scorpion’s lethal sting. Joanne Sasvari photo

Originally a blender drink from Beachbum Berry, and traditionally served as a bowl for six with a gardenia garnish at Trader Vic’s, the Scorpion makes a terrific single-serving shaken drink, too. Just beware of its lethal sting.

• 2 oz light rum
• 1 oz brandy
• 1.5 oz orange juice
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• 0.75 oz orgeat

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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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Post Opium Daiquiri

Post Opium Daiquiri. Andrew Kong photo

The base:
• 1.5 oz Havana Club 3-year-old rum
• 1 oz Ms. Better’s passionfruit purée
• 0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
• 0.5 oz Ms. Better’s demerara syrup
• 1 dash Ms. Better’s Lime Leaf Bitters

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Trëve De Noël

Julien Normand’s Trëve De Noël. Byron Smith photo

• 1 oz Brandy
• 1 oz Glühwein
• 0.5oz Grand Marnier
• 0.5oz Blandy’s Madeira
• 0.5oz Orange Juice
• 0.5oz Lemon Juice
• Dash Angostura Bitters

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Sangria Rosé

Justin Taylor’s Sangria Rosé. Dan Toulgoet photo

Mix up this rosé-based sangria recipe ahead of your next outdoor gathering. 

• 3 cups dry rosé wine
• 0.5 cup brandy
• 0.5 cup Okanagan Spirits rhubarb liqueur
• 2 cups white cranberry juice
• 2 cups sliced strawberries
• 1 mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
• 2 cups soda water

In a large container such as a gallon-sized glass jar, combine all ingredients except soda water. Seal container and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight. Remove fruit, place in ice moulds or freezer bags and freeze.

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Stillhead Distillery

Stillhead Distillery photo

Owned by the Colebank family—Brennan and Erica, and his parents Ron and Christal—this craft distillery in the Cowichan Valley ferments and distills all their products from B.C.-grown fruits and grains.

105-5301 Chaster Road, Duncan
250-748-6874
Stillhead.ca


PRODUCTS

• Vodka
• London Dry Gin
• Wild Blackberry Infused Vodka
• Kirsch
• Aged Apple Brandy