Father’s Day is this weekend, and to celebrate Dad we’ve lined up a few cocktails that any father would be happy to toast to. Pick one of the drinks below based on similarities to Dad’s current favourite drinks and you’ll be sure to impress.
For the dad that likes those booze-forward style of cocktails, this offering from Bacardi has a nice hit of sweet and spice.
1.5 oz BACARDÍ Cuatro
0.75 oz Martini & Rossi Rosso
0.25 oz Orange Curacao
1 Bar Spoon Grenadine
Stir all ingredients with plenty of rice until very cold, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
This cocktail comes from the Lobster Bar Sea Grille Miami Beach. The blend of Bourbon and rosemary makes this a herbaceous and refreshing cocktail that dad’s are sure to love.
2 oz Michter’s Bourbon
0.5 oz Rosemary Sage Syrup
Splash Lemon Juice
Finish with 3 drops of Chamomile Bitters
Rosemary Ice Cube
Method: Add all ingredients into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir with bar spoon until chilled, strain into rocks glass over the Rosemary Ice Cube.
The Paper Plane is a deceptively simple cocktail that we absolutely adore. With just a few classic ingredients you can create a cocktail that pretty much anyone can enjoy.
0.75 oz Signal Hill Whisky
0.75 oz Aperol
0.75 oz Amaro
0.75 oz Lemon juice
Method: Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a lemon peel.
Dads like fruity cocktails as well, and this rum backed cocktail provides a nice blend of citrus and fruit that doesn’t overpower. Again, super simple ingredients that you likely have kicking around the house.
1.5 oz HAVANA CLUB Añejo Blanco rum
1.5 oz pineapple juice
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
Barspoon of Maraschino Liqueur
Garnish with pineapple leaf and pineapple wedge
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a pineapple leaf.
Patron Wild Rose Margarita
Don’t say Dad can’t enjoy a pink cocktail, we don’t live in the 1950’s. This is a tasty twist on a classic margarita, which happens to be the most popular drink in America. Break the mold a little, try something different.
1.5 oz Patrón Silver
0.5 oz Patrón Citrónge Orange
10 oz Rosé Vermouth
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
0.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
0.25 oz Bombay Sapphire
2 drops Rose water
Fanned strawberry for garnish
Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a fanned strawberry.
The 10th annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week has officially wrapped, but that doesn’t mean you can’t search out the best beers on offer.
The event was once again a whirlwind of a week. With events all across the city, there was something for everyone. But of course the main affair is the two day festival at the PNE Forum, and with over 300 beers and ciders on tap, it’s getting harder every year to pick the best of the bunch.
That being said, there were a few standout offerings this year, both from veteran breweries and those making their first appearance at the show. Here’s out best of the VCBW festival:
The official beer for this year, and our Beer of the Month. Ten is inspired by historic Belgium classics but brewed with New World hops, creating a very modern tasting beer. Brewed with tangy Sacch Trois yeast to accentuate the tropical, citrus and stone fruit flavours derived from Sabro and Enigma hops, Ten is a refreshing and fruit-forward beer.
House of Funk- Funk Juice Sour Slush
North Vancouver’s newest brewery, House of Funk is already producing some interesting beers, and they were single handedly the largest attraction at this year’s festival. What was drawing the long lines? A raspberry sour slushy of course. While it could be written off as a gimmick, the beer base is actually quite good, so the overall experience was something totally different than all the other tents.
KPU Brew Lab- 50/50 Hefe
Kwantlen is producing the next generation of brewmasters, and if their Hefe is any indication of the skills being learned, then the future of craft brewing is looking bright. This award winning hefeweizen may not be sexy, but it’s a great representation of the classic style and a multi award winner.
Brassneck- You’re Amazing, No You’re Amazing
Collaborations were all the rage this year, and Brassneck chose wisely by partnering with Luppolo to brew this tart wild ale with passion fruit. One of the best tart/sour beers of the show for sure.
Beere Brewing- Party Platter
Another collaboration beer, this time with…Brassneck again! Beere Brewing already makes some of the best beers on the North Shore, add in Brassneck and you get a double dry hopped multigrain IPA that is simply divine.
Backcountry Brewing- Trail is Guava
Backcountry Brewing was pouring some solid options, but the best had to be the “staff pick”, a combination of their new guava tart and the traditional trail breaker pale ale. Honestly great, and quite possibly the best beer of the show.
Melvin Brewing- Cloudy 5000
There was around a dozen or so breweries from our neighbours to the south, but one of the best had to be San Diego based Melvin Brewing’s NE IPA. It was juicy without being overly powerful and still had some nice hop aroma.
Coal Harbour gets an honourable mention for some of the best marketing of the show. Not only did they have a huge chalk board pointing towards “candy beer” they were also handing out real dino candies with the beer, or tiny umbrellas to go with their Tiny Umbrella DIPA. Everyone we bumped into wanted to know where the little umbrellas came from. Simple marketing goes a long way.
That’s a wrap on the VCBW’s 10th anniversary. Did we miss any beers that you thought were truly outstanding? Let us know in the comments.
Gin is a wonderful spirit, it can be both elegant and complex, light but flavourful. One of the best aspects of gin is just how versatile of a spirit it is, not only being used in a wild variety of cocktails but also how different distilleries can produce such completely different gins based on their own combination of botanicals.
For this year’s World Gin Day (June 8) we wanted to highlight some exceptional gins worth trying. These are all uniquely different and exceptional in their own rights, and of course vary in price point and availability depending on your location.
Sipsmith London Dry Gin
Sipsmith is an excellent example of small batch gin making. The London based distillers are definitely honing their craft, and focus primarily on gin at the moment. This London Dry is heavy on the juniper berries giving it a very floral, summery nose. On the palate there are notes of dry juniper, lemon and orange marmalade with just a touch of spice at the end.
Sheringham Seaside Gin
For those living on the West Coast, the outstanding quality of Sheringham’s gin has been known for a while now. But the world has just woken up to it as well. Seaside Gin walked away with the prestigious “Best Contemporary Gin” from the World Gin Awards in London this year, meaning there’s going to be a lot more well deserved demand for the product. What makes this gin different? It has a spicy, floral and citrus aroma with a hint of white pepper and anise on the palate. There’s also notes of olive, candied fennel seed and mildly herbal.
Dingle Original Gin
Speaking of award winners, Dingle’s Original out of Ireland happened to be crowned king at this year’s awards, walking away with the best London Dry Gin award. There’s lots of interesting notes going on, both on the nose and the palate. Even a little bit of toffee and caramel too, which is both intriguing and unexpected. It has a little bit of everything, but it’s all nicely balanced.
Underground Spirits Gin
This is a pricey gin, but it comes from Australia and has a very unique distillation process. First off, the gin features 10 botanicals, including a core of traditional botanicals alongside poppy seeds, basil and native Australian botanicals such as Tasmanian pepperberry and river mint. But the real magic comes from their patented filtration method using very cold temperatures and very fine filters to eliminates impurities and produce a pure, clean spirit. It has soft citrus and spicy tones underpinning the assertive, herbaceous gin flavours with a citrus edge and freshness from the native river mint.
Ten is inspired by historic Belgium classics but brewed with New World hops, creating a very modern tasting beer. Brewed with tangy Sacch Trois yeast to accentuate the tropical, citrus and stone fruit flavours derived from Sabro and Enigma hops, Ten is a refreshing and fruit-forward beer.
The illustration of the number 10 featured on the beer can commemorates Vancouver Craft Beer Week’s 10th anniversary and was created by the eclectic and prolific Canadian artist Luke Ramsey. He was invited to capture the past 10 years of Vancouver Craft Beer Week by connecting a few standout stories in a Rube Goldberg fashion.
As per usual, partial proceeds of all 2019 VCBW Collaboration Beer sales will be donated to the charity of choice, this year being the BC Hospitality Foundation.
Ten can be found in four pack cans at select liquor stores, and of course will be pouring at the festival this weekend.
Ever heard a craft beer lover talk about their love for Brett? No they aren’t talking about their love of a specific brewers named Brett, but talking about Brettanomyces a specific yeast strain that is mainly responsible for those excellent barrel sours with a tart and funky profile. It’s these types of terms that can leave some newcomers out of the conversation, so we’ve compiled a few of the most common terms so the next time you hear them out in the wild, you know what people are talking about!
This is the industry term for Alcohol By Volume. Essentially ABV is the standard for telling consumers how strong a particular beer is. The higher the ABV, the quicker you’re going to get drunk.
As mentioned above, Brett is short for Brettanomyces, one of the main yeasts in sour beer. The other most popular sour yeast is Lactobacillus, which is more commonly used in kettle sours.
A 22oz bottle of beer. Looks like a large cousin to a normal sized bottle of beer.
A process by which beer is naturally carbonated in the bottle as a result of additional wort or sugar intentionally added to increase fermentation during packaging.
Crowlers are a combination of a growler (see below) and a can. It means a brewer is pouring fresh into a can and sealing it up at the time of purchase, instead of packaging it for a typical shelf life. These tend to be around the 32oz size.
An easy-going, super-drinkable beer. These are generally low alcohol beers with tons of flavour that make you want to go back for more. A crushable beer is something you could drink a lot of and not get sick of it.
If you’re familiar with weed terms, this is exactly what it sounds like. Generally means a beer has a sticky, resin like quality similar to marijuana. A lot of IPAs can be described in this way thanks to the massive amounts of hops.
An off flavour of beer similar to buttery, movie theater popcorn or butterscotch. This results from over-stressed yeast during fermentation, and could mean a bacterial infection has occurred. Note: some beers are meant to have a buttery taste, so check first to make sure that’s not the brewers intention.
The addition of hops late in the brewing process to increase the hop aroma of a finished beer without significantly affecting its bitterness.
You’ll likely have seen these around. They are the larger, mostly glass, containers used to purchase beer directly from a brewery. The typical size is around 64oz, but there are also smaller versions in 32oz (which could also be known as a Boston Round).
International Bitterness Units are another standard set of measurements that inform consumers how bitter a beer is. Typically, but not always, lighter beers like Pilsners will be on the low scale, while IPAs tend to score on the higher end of the bitter scale. It’s not a perfect measurement to understand the profile of a beer, but if you really hate bitter beer, look for something on the low end (40 IBU and under).
A term generally reserved for North Eastern IPAs. Has plenty of fruit like characteristics and a very juice-like mouthfeel.
A result of beer going bad due to increased exposure to oxygen. Tends to smell/taste like wet paper or rotten pineapple.
A beer turned bad. Skunked beer tends to smell skunky and tastes like burnt rubber. Skunked beer occurs when certain compounds in hops react with light; thus why beer stored in clear or green bottles is a big no-no. (Also known as Lightstruck)
An incredibly rare and sought after beer, akin to Ahab’s Mooby Dick. These are the beers worshiped by the craft beer community.
Because the couple who drinks together, stays together.
Let’s face it, sometimes a love of craft beer isn’t always shared by your significant other. There are a few lucky couples out there that share an intense passion for craft beer, and to them we say kudos; but for the rest of us, it takes some convincing.
So to make things a little easier, we consulted spouses to get a little insight into what craft beer really helped move the needle when it came to starting to build a real appreciation for beer. There were some consistent styles that eased non-believers into the craft beer world.
Across the board, this was the type of craft beer that not only peaked early interest but helped sustain an ongoing appreciation for craft beer. Fruit sours are easily approachable, have a wild variety of options and flavours, and are a very easy leap to make between wine and beer.
Think of sours that incorporate flavours like apricot, mango, strawberry, hibiscus, peach or cherry. The variations will help your spouse start to develop a palate for the type of flavours they like, which can then be interpreted into other beer styles (like a peach sour? perhaps a juicy IPA might be your style…)
Great examples include:
Goose Island Gillian- An amazing combination of sour ale, strawberries, and honey.
pFriem Frambozen- Such an incredible balance of luscious raspberry and complex sourness
Lagers would be an easy answer here, they are inoffensive, easy to drink and as basic as a beer can get. But we opted for the slightly more complex black lager, to add a little more intrigue to the palate.
The nice thing about black lagers is while they drink as light as their regular lager counterparts, they also can provide complex flavours usually found in more robust beers like stouts or porters. They can be an excellent gateway beer, again helping nail down those preferred flavour notes.
Great examples include:
Persephone Brewing Black Lager- A full bodied dark lager. Roasty, clean and chocolatey with a graham cracker finish.
New Belgium 1554- Starts with notes of bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits but finishes much drier.
We’re including both the American pale wheat style and the more traditional German hefeweizen in this category. Both styles offer different benefits, and lend themselves nicely to fruit infusions as well. Traditional notes of clove, banana and bread open up new areas to explore when it comes to preferences, and the ability to actually taste the yeast profiles here help instil a appreciation for the ingredients put into making good beer.
Great examples include:
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier- This is the German hefe, an ultimate expression of the classic style.
Allagash White- A perfect example of the American style. Notes of pepper, clove, and lemon fill the nose.
A lot of female drinkers are looking for something light, not only in taste but also in alcohol content, thus why gose plays nicely. Not only do we get a slightly sour, lemony characteristic with notes of coriander and salt, but most gose are well under 5% ABV, which makes it a great option for patio sipping.
Great examples include:
Collective Arts Prophets & Nomads- The addition of Himalayan sea salt brings a nice dryness and sharpness to this beer. Plus the can is stunning.
Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei Bayerischer Bahnhof Leipziger Gose- Yes that’s a mouthful, but this is a traditional gose and brings the style all the way back to its roots.
To really start seeding the idea of a more complex, boozy beer, Belgian Dubbels are the way to go. They have a malty sweetness and can have cocoa and caramel aromas and flavours, but aren’t so big in alcohol content that they will scare away newcomers. Great entry way into experimenting with other Belgian styles.
Great examples include:
St. Bernardus Pater 6- Some deep flavours of specialty malt with the lively fruitiness of ripe tree fruits.
Westmalle Trappist Dubbel- Deeply malty, this beer has a gentle, dry finish that hints at tropical fruit.
Every year, we look at the total awards count of the Canadian Beer Awards and list out the top 10 breweries in the country. This year, we have some interesting developments based on the latest 2019 awards, of which you can find a recap here.
Here’s the funny thing about judging based solely on these awards, sometimes you get weird results. Like having Moosehead win three awards this year and end up on the top 10 list. Howe Sound also sneaks onto the list for the first time, while Steamworks has seen a significant drop from #6 in 2017 to barely hanging on in the top 10.
9. PEI Brewing (13 Awards Total)
PEI brewing has one at least one award, if not more, every single year. That consistency is what helps keep them on the list, and will likely continue to do so for years to come. This year they can thank the raspberry sour for their award win.
8-7-6. TIE- Central City/Parallel 49/ Great Lakes Brewing (14 Awards Total)
There was a time when Great Lakes Brewing had been in the top three; that was back in 2017, which coincidently was the last time they won an award. They’ve been steadily falling off this list since.
Meanwhile, both Parallel 49 and Central City have been steadily moving up. They win enough to earn incremental movement up the list, and are likely to sit comfortably in the middle unless something dramatically changes.
5. A La Fut (15 Awards Total)
This was a GOOD year for A La Fut. Winning four awards not only meant they were one of the single biggest medal earners at this year’s show, but it also catapults them from a tie at number 10 to a solid middle ground at five. Another showing like this next year and A La Fut will move easily into the top three.
4. Great Western Brewing (16 Awards Total)
No award wins for Great Western this year, but they’ve had so much time over the course of the last several years that they’ve earned a high enough medal count to really see no impact on their movement in this list. But, if they continue to not win much/any awards, there are others ready to take their place.
3. Nickel Brook Brewing (17 Awards Total)
Nickel Brook Brewing makes an upward move this year, earning at least one more award to allow them to break their previous tie with Great Western. Again we’re talking about a brewery that has a long medal count history that works in their favour despite only winning one this year.
2. Four Winds Brewing (19 Awards Total)
Despite earning themselves two awards this year, Four Winds just couldn’t keep up with the resurgence of Amsterdam brewing. Nevertheless, Four Winds continues to earn some very respectable awards, including having won five years in a row for their signature beer Nectarous.
1. Amsterdam Brewing (20 Awards Total)
After a relatively poor year last year, Amsterdam Brewing came back strong with three awards this year, their best showing since 2016. It was enough to put them back on top, proving there’s still life in these old bones.
Assorted musings for 2019:
Someone needs to start making competitive gluten free beer. I mentioned this year’s ago but still Glutenberg just does not have any competition year-over-year.
Breweries like Tooth and Nail, Off the Rail, Townsite, Moon Under Water, Powell Street and Beau’s have a real shot at coming in next year’s list and bumping off some of the historical place holders.
Something must have changed inside Big Rig Brewery. Between 2013-2018 they earned a total of one medal; this year they won three. Good for them!
That goes for Clifford Brewing as well, taking home four awards, double their previous total medal count. They also won Brewery of the Year.
I still can’t get over Moosehead winning three medals. Seriously, that’s a strange outcome with a competition this fierce. Do I need to reconsider Moosehead now??
You may not have heard of it, but this cousin to Tequila is about to start popping up everywhere.
Sotol is a spirit that traditionally can be found in regions of northern Mexico, as the plant itself, commonly known as Desert Spoon only grows in the north, New Mexico, west Texas and areas of the Texas Hill Country. It’s known as the state drink of Chihuahua, Durango and Coahuila, and could possibly be dated as far back as 7000 b.c.e.
The Chihuahuan indigenous Rarámuri fermented Sotol juice into a beer-like alcoholic beverage as early as 800 years ago. Then in the 16th century, Spanish colonists introduced European distillation techniques to produce a complete Sotol spirit. However, even with that much history behind it, there are currently only a few commercial examples out on the market right now.
It’s surprising that Sotol hasn’t made more of a name for itself yet. It’s produced in a manner similar to the more common artisanal mezcals of central Mexico. Much like Tequila, the Desert Spoon takes approximately 15 years to mature and yields only one bottle of Sotol per plant making Sotol distilling a very artisanal process. Over the course of its life, the Desert Spoon also takes on some of the characteristics of its surroundings, so forest-grown Sotols can be pinier, with notes of mint and eucalyptus, while desert ones have mineral, leather and earthy notes.
There are a wild variety of Sotol curados as well, which are typically flavoured with raisins, cinnamon, pecans or other herbs and spices and are generally sipped like an apertif after dinner.
With all this variety it’s odd that Sotol hasn’t captured the hearts of drinkers as of yet, but things are changing. For one, the unique flavours is enticing bartenders to find ways of adding Sotol into creative cocktails. It also appeals to drinkers who care about organic products; since the plant is wild harvested, they are completely organic and grown without fertilizers or pesticides.
If you’re interested in Sotol, there’s a company called Desert Door making some effort in widening the market. Should you get your hands on a bottle, try this cocktail out:
2 oz Desert Door Original Sotol
0.75 oz Lemon Juice
0.5 oz Honey
Method: Shake all ingredients over ice. Strain into a coupe glass. Optional lemon garnish.
World Whisky Day (May 18) is upon us, and if you haven’t had a chance to really get into the spirit, here’s a great start to finding out what types of whisky you’ll begin to appreciate.
There isn’t just one “type” of whisky. Unlike vodka, where there isn’t a lot of variation to the final form, whisky can vary based on a myriad of factors and the final products can be completely different from one bottle to the next.
Auchentoshan is a great whisky for any beginner. The distillery triple distils this product, meaning you’re going to get a much smoother character from the whisky; in layman’s terms that means it’s not going to pack as much of a bite as some other whisky. The whisky also has notes of vanilla and almond, so a much smoother, softer whisky overall.
Something with Character
Arberlour is a fantastic distillery, and as you get deeper into whisky, if you find you like spicier notes then Arberlour will be your best friend. Aberlour uses ex-sherry casks to give their whisky the rich spicy tones of dried fruits and nuts. Overall, the price point and complexity make it an excellent example of Speyside varieties.
This is a good option to let you experiment with smoke and peat without being overwhelmed right away. Bowmore is matured in an combination of both bourbon and sherry casks, with the final three years spent in the coveted Oloroso sherry casks giving it a final mix of toffee, fruit and peat.
Glen Grant 10
Glen Grant is one of the world’s best-selling single malts due to its very approachable nature. It also happens to have been named one of the best whisky’s under 10 years of age. Drinkers will get notes of lemon, orange, cream and toffee so there’s lots of flavour without any hint of smoke.
Today (May 13) is World Cocktail Day and with that in mind, there’s no better time to start learning how to make some of the most iconic drinks to ever fill a glass.
The truth of the matter is, the absolute classic cocktails are about simplicity, good ingredients and practice. You don’t need speciality liquors, fancy techniques or rare additives. All you really need is an interest and some time.
The Whiskey Sour is one of the most popular cocktails in the world. There are two ways of doing a Whiskey Sour: one with egg whites, and one without. The egg white helps mellow out the sourness of the cocktail, but some prefer not to have it, and some are even allergic so always ask first.
1.5 oz bourbon or rye whiskey
1.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
0.75 oz simple syrup
1 egg white (optional)
Method: Mix all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker. If using egg whites, add now and shake, really shake hard, for a good 30 seconds, this is critical to the froth from the egg. Add ice and shake (shake again with ice, if egg white version). Strain into a chilled glass. Add a garnish maraschino cherry as an option.
Everyone should know how to make a decent margarita. And we’re not talking about the awful ice slush versions. The key in making a good margarita is the quality of the tequila, a cheaper variety will make your drink harsh, so don’t skimp on the brand.
2oz blanco tequila
1oz triple sec
0.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Method: Combine tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake for around 15-20 seconds. Rim half of the glass with salt (giving the option of salt or no salt while sipping) and strain mixture into glass. Garnish with lime wheel for additional lime notes.
Negroni’s are perfectly simple, and yet complex in the taste. It’s a balance of sweet, sour and bitter. Fortunately, a basic negroni is easy to remember as well, as it is the sum of all it’s equal parts.
1oz sweet vermouth
Method: Mix all ingredients together in a rocks glass, add ice and stir. Simple, yet effective. For some variation, play with the balance of spirits to suit your particular taste, or pre-mix and toss into a cocktail barrel for some extra wood/smoke notes to the drink.
A sign of a good bartender is when they can make a great daiquiri. It’s easy on the surface, but it all comes down to preparation and understanding the balance of flavours involved. If a bartender can make you a good daiquiri, you can trust them with anything.
2 oz of white rum (a true daiquiri uses white rum and nothing else)
0.75 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp of organic cane sugar
Method: Add lime juice and sugar to a cocktail shaker and stir to dissolve. Add rum and ice, shake vigorously and pour into a chilled coupe glass, you want the daiquiri to be cold.