The Pink Lady, Pisco Sour and Ramos Gin Fizz have at least one thing in common: their frothy, silky top. The luscious foam traditionally comes from shaken egg whites, the flavourless, foamy ingredient lending the drinks a smooth and creamy texture.
Bartenders’ use of albumen is nothing new. Alongside the rise of contemporary cocktail culture, however, has been the growing trend of veganism.
Cocktail bitters are a bartender’s salt and pepper. Here’s our guide to B.C.’s best
Aficionados of Old Fashioneds are familiar with oversize-label bottles of Angostura, the classic aromatic bitters from Trinidad and Tobago that have made a million cocktails sing. Signature mixes of botanicals, often originally used as medicine, have earned famous bitters brands like Sazerac, Peychaud’s and Amargo Chunchon (for Pisco Sours) a place in the classic-cocktail canon.
Raise a glass to the supporting cast of B.C.’s cocktail scene—local craft syrups, sodas, tonics and other mixers
Forget the genie. Professional bartending expertise is captured in each bottle, can and jar of these B.C.-born cocktail mixers, which are often natural and preservative-free, too. To let loose your cocktail creativity, just add craft spirits.
It’s right there in the original description of a cocktail, dating back to 1806: “a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters – it is vulgarly called a bittered sling.”
In other words, bitters are what make a cocktail a cocktail. And that makes bitters an essential part of any home or professional bar.
This Mexican-influenced variation on the classic Last Word cocktail was created by bartender Tarquin Melnyk to highlight the fresh, juicy Ms. Better’s Green Strawberry Mah-Kwan bitters. “It has the biggest wow factor when people are trying bitters for the first time,” he says.
• 1 oz (30 mL) mezcal, preferably Siete Misterios
• 1 oz (30 mL) green Chartreuse
• 1 oz (30 mL) Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
• 1 oz (30 mL) fresh lime juice
• 2 dashes Ms. Better’s Green Strawberry Mah-Kwan bitters