The Alchemist’s tasting panel revels in the complexities of made-in-B.C. amaros, vermouths and aperitifs
Consider them the supporting actors of the cocktail world: complex, helpful and a little bitter. Vermouths, aperitifs and amaros are typically fortified wines—though some are sweet enough to be considered liqueurs—flavoured with botanicals such as citrus peel, spices, roots and herbs. They typically have a somewhat bitter profile, hence the name “amaro,” which means bitter in Italian.
It takes a sophisticated palate to appreciate a good bitter drink, so not too surprisingly, Vancouver bartenders were eager to sample the best of B.C. amaros. We sat down with Alex Black of Tableau Bar Bistro, Amber Bruce of The Keefer Bar, cocktail consultant Sabrine Dhaliwal, Robyn Gray of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia and The Botanist’s Jeff Savage to get at the bitter truth.
• 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.
• 1.5 oz Odd Society Wallflower Gin • 0.5 oz Sheringham Akvavit • 0.4 oz Martini Bianco Vermouth infused with vanilla (see note) • 0.25 oz Rose Wintergreen syrup • 0.5 oz citric acid • 4 dashes Dillon’s ginseng bitters • Garnish: Lemon zest
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.
A complex, pensive cocktail by Sabrine Dhaliwal inspired by the 1932 film Trouble in Paradise. Dhaliwal imagines that this is the drink the character of Mariette Colet would be drinking as she ponders the whirlwind of events that befall her in the movie.