Recipe by Gianluigi Bosco, head bartender at MARKET at the Shangri-la Hotel in Vancouver. Lost Horizon, of course, was the book and movie that introduced the world to the magical land of Shangri-la.
• 1.5 oz O5 Time Traveller tea-infused Sons of Vancouver vodka (see note)
• 1 oz semi-clarified fresh orange juice (see note)
• 0.5 oz Citrus Wine (recipe below)
• 0.5 oz Kopan Masala Syrup (recipe below)
• 5 dashes citric acid (available from gourmet shops)
• 1 egg white
• Angostura bitters, for garnish
The Alchemist’s tasting panel samples B.C. vodkas for a taste of the province’s most crowd-pleasing spirit
Nazdarovya! With the FIFA World Cup kicking off this month in Russia, our thoughts have turned to vodka. (That and Neymar’s incredible comeback, of course.)
Vodka is often described as a “colourless, odourless, flavourless” spirit, but its clean subtlety is sometimes just what we crave. And so we asked our Alchemist tasting panel comprising some of Vancouver’s top bartenders—Olivia Povarchook of Vij’s Restaurant, Katie Ingram of Toptable Group and Josh Pape of Gooseneck Hospitality (Wildebeest, Bells and Whistles, Bufala, Lucky Taco)—to sample eight artisanal B.C. vodkas, share their thoughts and suggest cocktails to make with them.
How Sons of Vancouver is riding the big boom in small spirits
It will be just two short years in February since Sons of Vancouver opened for business—with a 700-litre still repurposed from a dairy pasteurizer. And, like so many of the distilleries around B.C., owners James Lester and Richard Klaus have barely had time to pause for breath.
Take the past few months of 2016 as an example: Sons ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to upgrade to a proper—and much bigger—still, opened a tasting room, and will release a special barrel-aged edition of their signature No. 82 Amaretto in time for the holidays.
FRAGRANCE:Peppers. Red bell and chillies. FLAVOUR:Fire. All chillies all the time. FEEL:Hot. Spicy. FINISH:Lingering heat. BEST ENJOYED:Sipped neat or in a Caesar. THE BOTTOM LINE:A fun one to try if you like it hot. Very hot.—Josh Pape, July 2016
Barrel Aged No. 82 Amaretto
FRAGRANCE:Kalamata olives and vanilla. In a good way. FLAVOUR:Marzipan, vanilla, with a touch of stone fruits. FEEL:Velvety, lingering. FINISH:Lingering heat. BEST ENJOYED:Go old school: Godfather would be cool (with Scotch) — add a lemon twist to balance it. THE BOTTOM LINE:Delicious. More complex than the original version. —Josh Pape, October 2016
No. 82 Amaretto
FRAGRANCE:Way more apricot jam than the more traditional apricot pits. FLAVOUR:More dried apricot flavour, raisin, caramelized fruit and honey. FEEL:Sweet and sticky. FINISH:Honey on toast. BEST ENJOYED:On ice or over ice cream. Seriously: Enjoy this. THE BOTTOM LINE:Not your typical amaretto and better for it. Delicious.—Trevor Kallies, October 2017