Cocktail culture may be thriving in North America, but you could say Italy invented it with the aperitivo. Drawn from the Latin aperire, meaning “to open,” the term implies much more than a drink to whet the appetite; it’s a ritual of gathering with friends and unwinding after work over drinks and small bites and opening up conversation.
Here in Vancouver, several Italian hot spots are serving aperitivo-inspired cocktails, putting their own spin on la bella vita.
Halloween is the most spooktacular night of the year for a party; it’s just too bad Halloween cocktails are almost universally frightful. Weird colours, creepy garnishes, far too much dry ice, dubious vessels—you might as well stick to the classic Zombies and Bloody Marys, right?
Not if Wyeth Maiers has his say. The bar manager at UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar has created a Halloween cocktail that is both clever and complicated and, most importantly, delicious.
Created by Wyeth Maiers, bar manager at UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar.
Meringue: • 3 egg whites
• 1 oz crème de cassis
Cocktail: • 0.75 oz Evan Williams bourbon
• 0.25 oz Fernet Branca
• 2 tsp Laphroaig 10 Year Old single malt whisky
• 0.75 oz lemon juice
• 0.5 oz maple syrup
• 1 dash Angostura bitters
• 1 egg yolk
• Garnish: Grated chocolate, granulated sugar, (optional) brandied cherries
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.
Some of Vancouver’s top bartenders give their thoughts on what’ll be hot next year
Raise your glass to the end of 2017, a year that brought us one disaster after another, from raging wildfires to the near-daily perp walk of sexual predators. Between all that and the inescapability of frosé, it’s a year we’re mostly happy to forget.
And so we look forward to 2018. We checked in with some of the city’s top bartenders to discover what’s shaking for the New Year.