The Martini

The murky past of a clear favourite

Martini. istockphoto.com

Plenty a tall tale has crossed the polished oak; after all, bartenders like to dish out lively anecdotes along with the gin and spiced nuts. But when it comes to boozy myths, legends, outright lies and wholesale whoppers, “more cling to the Martini than any other cocktail.”

So writes Robert Simonson in his IACP-nominated book The Martini Cocktail (Ten Speed Press). He is fascinated by the outsize role the Martini has played in popular culture ever since its invention in 1849, or maybe it was the 1880s, or possibly 1906, who knows?

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The Allure

The Allure, an apple-based cocktail created by Jo Last, senior bartender at London’s Beaufort Bar. Photo courtest of Beaufort Bar at the Savoy

Cocktail created by Beaufort Bar senior bartender Jo Last, who says: “Few fruits are featured more in magic than the apple. From Greek mythology with Aphrodite through the Garden of Eden with Eve and all the way to folklore with Snow White, the humble apple unites stories of power, envy and temptation.”

• 1 oz Grey Goose vodka
• 0.5 oz apple blossom-infused Martini Ambrato
• 0.25 oz 30&40 aperitif (a blend of calvados, pommeau and rum)
• 0.75 oz apple cordial
• 1 oz malic solution

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A Bit Curious

Sabrine Dhaliwal’s A Bit Curious. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Sabrine Dhaliwal, bar manager of Juke Fried Chicken in Vancouver.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, Featherweight Punch Royale, Flapjack Punch and Morning Ritual.

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Limoncello

Justin Taylor’s Limoncello. Dan Toulgoet photo

This simple liqueur from Justin Taylor is a great after-dinner sipper, but also makes a thoughtful host gift.

• 1 cup oleo saccharum
• 1 cup vodka

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Schwing

David Wolowidnyk’s Schwing pairs perfectly with any summer party.

This floral bubbly drink created by David Wolowidnyk is ideal as a reception cocktail for any of your spring flings.

• 1 oz gin or vodka
• 1 oz Aperol
• 0.5 oz lemon juice
• Dash orange flower water
• 2 oz sparkling wine

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Joey Watermelon Drink

Joey Watermelon Drink. Photo courtesy of Joey Restaurants

This perfect patio cocktail recipe is from Joey Restaurants.

• 8 (1-inch) cubes of fresh watermelon
• 8 to 10 fresh mint leaves
• 1.5 oz Absolut vodka
• 0.25 oz agave syrup
• 0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

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The Caesar

Canada’s cocktail hits the big five-oh

The Caesar turns 50 in 2019. Istockphoto.com photo

This year Canada’s favourite cocktail turned 50. And like many a middle-aged bon vivant, it has been undergoing something of a makeover.

The Caesar was famously invented in 1969 by a Calgary bartender named Walter Chell, who was tasked with creating a drink to celebrate the opening of a new Italian restaurant at The Calgary Inn (now The Westin). Inspired by the popularity of the Bloody Mary and the umami-rich flavours of spaghetti alle vongole, he mixed together vodka, tomato juice, clam nectar and spices and created Canadian cocktail history.

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Donnelly Caesar

Photo courtesy of Donnelly Group

With a few aromatic tweaks, the Donnelly Group’s Trevor Kallies has updated the classic cocktail created by Walter Chell in 1969. If you prefer it zero proof, he suggests substituting Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit for the vodka.

• 2 oz Absolut vodka OR Seedlip Garden 108
• 1 dash Tabasco hot sauce
• 1 dash Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
• Top with Walter Caesar Mix

Garnish:
• Celery salt rim
• Skewer of Castelvetrano olive, pickled onion and cucumber spear
• 1 lime wedge
• Sprig of rosemary and thyme

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