The South Okanagan is a fruitful playground for distillers to innovate and collaborate
“Smile, there’s gin,” says the chalked sign. Perched on the Naramata Bench, with a sleek tasting room and sunny patio overlooking Okanagan Lake, Legend Distilling could be mistaken for a hip winery. But a taste of its Doctors Orders gin puts me firmly in the spirit world as I begin my quest to discover what unites the South Okanagan Distillery Trail, a handful of stops mapped on a passport-style stamp card.
• 1.5 oz Queensborough Gin
• 0.5 oz dry vermouth
• 0.5 oz maple syrup
• 2 dashes aromatic bitters
• 5 fresh blueberries
• 3 lime wedges
• 1 mint sprig
• Tonic water
Add bitters, blueberries and limes into the glass and muddle them. Add Queensborough gin and dry vermouth and stir. Add ice cubes and top up with tonic. Add some crushed ice to the top of the glass and garnish with some blueberries and mint.
Millennial pink. Tumblr pink. Scandi pink. Candy pink. Pale dogwood. Blush. Rose gold. Rose quartz. Rosé. Frosé. Call it what you will, the soft, sweet, nearly-neutral hue of a generation is all around and here to stay. We prefer it in a cocktail. How about you?
Made with Vancouver Craft Beer Week’s 2018 Collaboration Beer, Sea To Sky Double Dry-Hopped Pilsner, by bartender Shaun Layton of Backcountry Brewing.
If you’ve been following the burgeoning cocktail scene in Vancouver over the past decade, there’s a good chance you’ve come across bartender Shaun Layton and his spirited creations. Having managed the bar programs at hotspots like George, L’Abattoir and Juniper, Layton has a well-earned reputation as one of the West Coast’s top cocktailiers. He’s been named Vancouver’s Bartender of the Year by Vancouver Magazine, Westender, Western Living and Georgia Straight, and coming this fall, he’ll be opening his own Spanish-themed bar in Mount Pleasant, Como Taperia.
The Alchemist’s tasting panel searches for the best B.C. gin to enjoy with your tonic
Now that spring has finally sprung, we’re craving lighter sprits and fresher flavours. In other words, we’re craving gin, especially when it’s mixed with tonic water.
Our tasting panel comprising some of Vancouver’s top bartenders—Max Borrowman of Juniper Kitchen & Bar; Amber Bruce of The Keefer Bar; J-S Dupuis of Wentworth Hospitality (Tableau Bar Bistro, Homer St. Café); and Josh Pape of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bells and Whistles, Bufala, Lucky Taco)—sampled nine B.C. artisanal gins, suggested the best cocktails to make with them, and then mixed them with tonic water to determine which worked best.
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.