The Last Word: The Third Half

A great patio does not always mean a great cocktail—except on these dandy decks.

Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio • D/6 Bar and Lounge at Parq Vancouver • Earls Ambleside Beach • Gotham Steakhouse and Bar • H2 Rotisserie and Bar at The Westin Bayshore • Homer Street Café • Keefer Bar • Reflections: The Garden Terrace at Rosewood Hotel Georgia • Vij’s Restaurant

The Third Half cocktail, created by Nicolo Tognon. Dan Toulgoet photo
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Nacho Medicine

Nacho Medicine, created by Philipp Karatsyupa, bar manager, Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio. Dan Toulgoet photo

A down south cure to whatever ails you

• 1.5oz Viejo Indecente Espadin mezcal
• 0.75oz amontillado sherry
• 0.5oz ginger shrub (1:1 on sherry vinegar)
• dash Ms. Betters Smoke and Oak bitters
• spray of smoky mezcal of choice

Stir all ingredients and strain into a double Old Fashioned glass with a large ice cube or sphere. Garnish with candied ginger.

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Smoke and spirits

Mexico’s top bartender makes us fall in love with the smouldering complexity of mezcal


Mica Rousseau, head bartender at Four Seasons Mexico City and winner of Best Bartender at the 2016 World Class Mexico competition, pours out samples at a mezcal master class at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler during Cornucopia 2017. He is also hosting Mezcal y Maize, a series of “après” parties. Cornucopia continues to Nov. 19 in Whistler, Hannes van der Merwe photo

“Twenty years ago in Mexico, mezcal was for poor people. Fifty years ago it was for poor people in the villages,” says Mica Rousseau. “Now it’s a super trendy spirit in the big food and cocktail cities. Now we are producing mezcal not for the Mexican market, but for the rest of the world.”

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Naked and Famous

Mica Rousseau, head bartender at Four Seasons Mexico City, serves a Naked and Famous cocktail to attendees at a mezcal master class at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler during Cornucopia 2017. He is also hosting Mezcal y Maize, a series of “après” parties. Cornucopia continues to Nov. 19 in Whistler, Hannes van der Merwe photo

For his mezcal master class at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, Mexico’s Mica Rousseau demonstrated this classic cocktail created by Joaquín Símo at Death & Co. in New York.

1 oz (30 mL) mezcal
1 oz (30 mL) Aperol
1 oz (30 mL) yellow Chartreuse
1 oz (30 mL) fresh lemon juice

Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and fine-strain into a cocktail coupe. If you like, garnish with an ice cube. Serves 1.

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A Cornucopia of cocktails in Whistler

Savour the art of the shaken and stirred at the ski resort’s annual food and drink fest

Cocktails are served! This year’s Whistler Cornucopia event takes place Nov. 9-19. Darby Magill photo

If you think Whistler Cornucopia is just about wine, think again. Sure, there’s no shortage of Chardonnay, but the annual food-and-drink festival is also about beer, whisky and, above all, cocktails.

In fact, Whistler has generally become a great destination for cocktail lovers. As Mary Zinck, the manager of travel media for Tourism Whistler, says, “I don’t think there is a place that you can go where you can’t get a good drink.”

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Mezcal Mule

Jim Meehan’s Mezcal Mule. Doron Gild/Ten Speed Press photo

3 cucumber slices (plus 1 for garnish)
0.5 oz (15 mL) agave syrup
1.5 oz (45 mL) mezcal, preferably Del Maguey Vida
1 oz (30 mL) ginger beer
0.75 oz (22 mL) lime juice
0.75 oz (22 mL) passion fruit purée
Garnish: Candied ginger, pinch of ground chili

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber slices and agave syrup, then add the remaining ingredients. Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with the candied ginger skewered to the cucumber slice, and a pinch of ground chili.

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Mexican Firing Squad

The Mexican Firing Squad by Ryley Zucca. Dan Toulgoet photo.

Take aim at some great grenadine flavours

2 oz blanco tequila (or mezcal)
¾ oz grenadine*
¾ oz fresh lime juice
3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 dash lime bitters
Splash of soda
Lime wheel, for garnish


Shake all the ingredients except soda with ice. Strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with a lime wheel. Serves 1.

*La Mezcaleria’s grenadine: Place 1 cup pomegranate juice (fresh is best, but bottled 100-per-cent pomegranate juice will also work) in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes. To preserve the bright, fresh flavour, do not boil or reduce the juice. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup sugar and a couple of dashes of orange flower water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. This will keep, refrigerated, in a clean glass jar for up to a week.

—by Ryley Zucca

Read more about the inspiration behind this cocktail. 


Not Yo’ Granny’s Cobbler

The Not Yo’ Granny’s Cobbler cocktail by Keith Hoffman. Rebecca Wellman photo.

“A riff on Portugal’s national drink of choice — White Port and Tonic— that combines the flavours with those of Mexico in a housemade cordial.”

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Spicy Oaxaca Old Fashioned

The Spicy Oaxaca Old Fashioned by Justin Taylor. Danika Sea photo.

2 oz mezcal
0.5 oz cocoa nib syrup*
2 dashes Scrappy’s Fire Water
1 dash Angostura bitters
orange zest for garnish

Pre-chill an Old Fashioned glass. Add all liquid ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir for 20 seconds. Strain cocktail into the glass, over fresh ice. Garnish with orange zest.

*Cocoa nib syrup: Add 1 cup cocoa nibs, 1 cup raw sugar and 1.5 cups water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir, and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow syrup to cool and strain into a sealable bottle or mason jar and refrigerate (it will keep for about four weeks). Dry the nibs on parchment paper to use as garnish.

—by Justin Taylor


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