Category Archives: Booze

Chef Trevor Bird Competes Again…This Time For The Title of Best Scotch Egg

Six Canadian Chefs Compete in the Scotch Egg Club Competition

On January 24 and 25, six chefs from across Canada are coming together at Tommy Dewar’s Kitchen (Door Three at the corner of King Street and Bathurst Street) to participate in the Scotch Egg Club competition. Fable’s Chef Trevor Bird is among them and we hear he can make a mean scotch egg (we’ll have the recipe soon). We’ll be cheering our Vancouver chef on from the west coast!

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Held in honour of Robbie Burns Day, this international competition brings the country’s best together as chefs are tested to come up with the most innovative recipe for the scotch egg. Judged by acclaimed Scottish chef, James Forrest, and sponsored by Dewar’s, the scotch egg will see variations yet unseen and a winner will be crowned for showcasing their creativity and skills in the kitchen!

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Serving a scotch egg at home may seem like a daunting task but there is no better time to try it than a Scottish holiday. The folks at Dewar’s recommend pairing it with a Penicillin.

Dewar’s 12 Penicillin

Scotch Egg Club Cocktail Penicillin below!

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PENICILLIN

1.5 oz. Dewar’s 12 Blended Scotch Whisky
.75 oz. Lemon juice
.75 oz. Honey/Ginger syrup
Aromatize with Smoky Isla Whisky
Garnish with Candied ginger
Shake and strain
Glass/ice – rocks/cold draft

 

Hand Crafted Spirits on Talk 1410 – Healthy Cocktails at The Keefer

Amber Bruce Mixes Up Some Magic In Chinatown at The Keefer

If you been following the Hand Crafted Spirits Show, you may have caught a few segments where Joe Leary and I search for tasty cocktails on TSN1410.  Since it was the New Year, and health is usually one of the resolutions many make, this week I was looking for cocktails that not only contain alcohol but also had a healthy component to them too!

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We checked into the cocktail program at The Keefer, where bartender Amber Bruce crafts her drinks with medicinal ingredients, many of them found in the bar’s Chinatown Neighbourhood. She made us the Dragonfly, a tasty combination of gin and sake, with the health benefits of dragonfruit, ginger, lemon and magnolia bark tincture.

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Catch the audio above.

The Keefer Bar

Dragonfly 

1oz dragonfruit infused gin
1oz nigori sake
0.5oz ginger syrup
0.5oz lemon juice
3-4 dashes magnolia bark tincture.

Shake on ice. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear fan.

This drink is absolutely delicious. So well balance, with a nice zip of ginger. I’d say this could just be the solution to the common cold, or it will at least make the sniffles a little more tolerable. Looking forward to working my way through a few more of these healthful drinks on the list at The Keefer. Here’s to a healthy 2017!

Holiday Sips From Near and Far

What to Sip this Holiday Season? Some Bubble, Grenache, Syrah or Nero D’Avola perhaps?

We lined up and tasted a few more wines over the last little while and thought we’d share a few of our thoughts on these beauties because we are so very generous and you should have these on your to taste list too!

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Narrative XC Method from Okanagan Crush Pad $25

Tis definitely the season for bubble and this is one that stands out from the crowd. It’s a blend of traditional champagne grapes, 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay; the secondary fermentation took place in the wineries unique charmat tanks; designed to lie on their sides in contact with lees for 90 days, hence the XC in the name. Love sipping on this one around the fire (fake or real) or serving it up as guests arrive. It’s nice and crisp, with green apple, citrus and toast aromas and flavours and a nice length. Quite dry with just a touch of sweetness on the finish.

 

99986Vaporetta – Prosecco Brut No 8 – $17.50

Venturing over to Italy we find this rather fruity and floral bubble with some orchard fruit and honeysuckle aftertastes. A marvelous wine with light seafood dishes and sushi!

 

 

 

 

 

 

645655 0Rasteau – Cave de Rasteau du la Domeliere $21.99

Hailing from the Côtes du Rhône, this GSM blend comes from older vines and has some nice black cherry and licorice aromas along with some cherry and plum notes and a fairly lengthy palate with silky tanins. Great with pulled pork sliders I say!

 

 

 

 

 

144923Sicilia Nero d’Avola – Feudo Maccari SALE $16.50

This is a very flexible wine, one for after yoga perhaps, but what I really mean is that it could pair with a number of dishes and flavours that appear on the table at this time of year. A fuller bodied wine with dark cherry and blackberry flavours and a noticeable minerality on the finish. I am thinking about roast pork here, or perhaps a wine for that turkey dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

Laughinglaughing stock Stock Syrah $33.99

Syrah grows well in the Okanagan and this wine proves it. 2014 was a warm vintage and this Syrah benefited. Partly fermented in French oak puncheons and tanks, smothing out any rough edges, this wine is full of blueberry, blackbery, plum and spice and would be perfect with lamb.

 

HAND CRAFTED SPIRITS ON TSN1410 – THE EMERALD AND A BRANDY ALEXANDER

Rachel Zottenberg’s Brandy Alexander at The Emerald Supper Club

If you been following the Hand Crafted Spirits Show, you may have caught a few segments where Joe Leary and I search for tasty cocktails on TSN1410.  This week we were off for some house-made Kahlua as we catch up with Rachel Zottenberg at The Emerald Super Club.

Catch the AUDIO in this clip. 

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Here’s The Emerald’s version of a Brandy Alexander

Start in a shaker
1.5 oz brandy
1 oz House made Kahlua liqueur
1 oz whipping cream (*soy milk can be used as a substitution here)

Add ice and shake vigorously.
Fine strain into martini glass or coupe.
Garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

The Emerald’s house-made Kahlua

1 750ml bottle of Absolute Elyx Vodka
2 cups Havana Club Rum Anjeo
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup of instant coffee granules (make sure this is just straight instant coffee – no flavours)
(and yes instant coffee is the choice here, it offers great flavour and smoothness)
1 vanilla bean scraped out
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup dark chocolate cooking chocolate
1 orange peel (no pith only peel)
6 cups of water

Stovetop preparation
Boil water, coffee, sugar, cinnamon and chocolate together; drop to a simmer.
At simmer, add your orange peel and vanilla and stir for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the vodka and rum; allow to cool.

Strain out items or leave them in depending on how long you plan on using the Kahlua. *Keep Kahlua refrigerated.

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About The Emerald

The Emerald Supper Club and Cocktail Lounge, located in Chinatown, features an old school Vegas vibe, complete with vintage décor. Now in its third year of operations, the restaurant has become known for its eclectic events line-up, spirit-forward cocktails and satisfying mix of snacks and heartier dishes.

The drink menu features a variety of cheers-worthy classic and signature cocktails, along with 16 perfectly-curated beers on tap and many bottles to choose from as well. The wine list features great local and international selections.

About The Emerald’s Brand Alexander cocktail
“At The Emerald, we make a small tweak to the classic Brandy Alexander recipe by using our house-made Kahlua liqueur in place of the dark creme de cacao normally used in the drink,” says Rachel Zottenberg, owner. “This small change adds a delicious nutty, coffee element to the classic cocktail.”

Website: http://emeraldsupperclub.com/
Twitter: @theemeraldyvr
Instagram: @emeraldsupperclub
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Emerald-507093619337170/

Bottles of Holiday Bliss – A Few Wines on Sale at the BC Liquor Store

Steals and Deals at the Liquor Store

We were blessed with some decadent wine tasting last week and thought we’d share some of the deals we found on wines that could make great hostess gifts, pair with a holiday meal, be left out for santa, or consumed home alone if you need to drown your holiday sorrows, or merely escape for a night.

mionetto spumante doc treviso 750mlMionetto Treviso +86256 – On sale on Dec 4th $2.00 off at $15.99

Bubble is a nice way to start a party and with this sparkle you can pop a few bottles without blowing your holiday budget. It’s dry with lots of fruity and floral aromas and stone fruit, citrus and a little nuttiness on the palate. Please pour me a glass if you’re having one.

 

 

Santa Rita Secret Reserve – +348870 –  Until Dec 3 $2.00 off$11.49

A blend of cabernet sauvignon with merlot, syrah, petit verdot and carmenère, this fruity, friendly wine is perfect for a lively party, and is such a great value, you can have that party every day.

brotte chateauneuf du pape la fiole du pape 2015

Brotte La Fiole – +194498 – Until Dec 3 Off $2.00 to $15.49

Count on this Cote du Rhone to deliver some plum, pepper, herbaceous and smoky flavours with a descent wack of acidity. A Grenache Noir-Syrah blend, this is a great gift for your brother in law who BBQ’s all winter. Also works with lamb chops should you be serving some.

 

Louis Latour Gamay +822809 – Until Dec 3 Off $2.00 to $20.99

Lots of floral, raspberry, plum and earthy aromas, this nice light fruity wine has soft spice notes and would make a great pairing for the holiday turkey, or perhaps a roast duck.

Villa Antinori  +104885 – Until Dec 3 Off $2.00 to $22.99

Over to Italy for a sassy red with lots of cherry, strawberry and spice aromas, followed by lots of red fruit, hints of vanilla and leather and some soft tannins. Great for a fancy burger night, and over the holidays why not perfect that beef wellington.

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Tomaresca Trentangeli – +675843 – Until Dec 3 Off $2.50 to $16.99

Another super deal from our Italian friends, this wine has some darker fruit aromas, an earthiness and a hint of spice. There’s some pretty cool layers as you sip this one with some thought and you’ll find ripe fruit and a jammyness that just sings it’s time for a celebration. Now you know Puglia, and this blend of 70% Aglianico, 20% Cabernet and 10% Syrah.

 

 

Hand Crafted Spirits on TSN1410 – The Cascade Room and The Burrard Gimlet

Bartender Justin Taylor at The Cascade Room – Burrard Gimlet

If you been following the Hand Crafted Spirits Show, you may have caught a few segments where Joe Leary and I search for tasty cocktails on TSN1410.  This week we were off for a quick lunch and cocktail sampling in East Van.

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Main Street’s Cascade Room is now home to Justin Taylor, who’s been a fixture behind the bar at places such at the Four Seasons, and recently Boulevard at The Sutton Place Hotel. He impressed us with his Burrard Gimlet and let us in on what the Cascade Room’s been up to this fall.

To catch the AUDIO in this clip

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BURRARD GIMLET

RECIPE

GLASSWARE – Coupe

  • 1.5 oz Gillespie’s Sin Gin
  • 0.5 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 0.5 oz chamomile cordial*
  • 0.75 oz lime juice
  • 3 dashes Bittered Sling Lem Marrakesh
  • 1 pinch Vancouver Island Sea Salt

METHOD

  • Rim half glass with sea salt
  • Combine all ingredients including pinch of sea salt to a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice and shake for 15 seconds
  • Double strain to a half rimmed coupe glass

GARNISH

  • Lime twist
  • Taboo Absinthe mist

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Mission – Hand Crafted Spirits TSN1410 with Joe Leary

Hand Crafted Spirits Radio Show Checks Out Barteneder Marc Smolenski at Mission in Kitsilano

We’re doing some radio again thanks to Joe Leary and TSN1410 on a new show called Hand Crafted Spirits. My segment will involve checking in with a local craft-spirit using bartender along with Joe to find out what’s been shaken and poured in our favourite spots.

Hand Crafted Spirits

The first week we visited Marc Smolenski at Mission Restaurant in Kitsilano, a spot Michael and I recently headed to for date night. Smolenski’s cocktails were so great that night, we had him choose a few more seasonal drinks for this segment and he whipped up a blueberry-based and raspberry-based drinks made with Sid’s Vodka. Such well-balanced drinks with just the right amount of boozy-ness to fruit. I preferred the Blueberry and Joe the Raspberry-version; that worked out well!

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Here is the audio of the show below.

20160719 163523 Everyday Sunshine #2

15ml / .5oz Blueberry Puree (Fresh Richmond BC Blueberries Blended and strained through a sieve)
15ml / .5oz Appletons White Jamaican Rum
15ml / .5oz Aperol
5ml / 1tsp Elderflower infused SIDS Vodka
15ml / .5oz fresh pressed citrus
.5g citric acid
15ml / .5oz 2:1 / 2oz simple syrup

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
Top with 60ml Cava or other sparkling wine
Garnish with fresh blueberry and sorrel on a cocktail pick

Everyday Sunshine #3 

15ml / .5oz Raspberry Puree (Fresh BC Raspberries Blended and strained through a sieve)
15ml / .5oz SIDS Vodka
15ml / .5oz Aperol
5ml / 1tsp Giffard Creme de Peche Liqueur
15ml / .5oz fresh pressed citrus
.5g citric acid
15ml / .5oz 2:1 / 2oz simple syrup

Shake and double strain into a coupe glass.
Top with 60ml Cava or other sparkling wine
Garnish with fresh raspberry on a cocktail pick

Father’s Day Last Minute Gift – Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz with Bison Carpaccio

Father’s Day Pairings – Pick Up some Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz and Whip Up Bison Carpaccio

Whether he’s a wine or scotch lover –(or, the perfect gift if he loves both!) – pick up a bottle of the new and innovative Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz and wow Dad this Father’s Day.

jacob's creek shiraz

Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz is the first of its kind to undergo a unique aged scotch whiskey barrel finish. The outcome? Additional layers of complexity and smoothness, which combine beautifully with the rich plum, sweet red fruit and dark chocolate notes of Barossa Shiraz.

Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz is a full-bodied wine that offers bold, smoky flavours with an elegant finish, and pairs beautifully with meat-focused, bold BBQ dishes AND this carpaccio

Pair your gift of Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel Shiraz with an equally delicious and bold dish, recipe courtesy of Vancouver’s-own Chef Dan Tigchelaar from The Bottleneck restaurant:

Bison Carpaccio
1 Bison eye of round
¼ cup coriander seed
¼ cup black peppercorn

Pickled Beet
2 Medium sized Beets
2 cups Rice Wine Vinegar
1 cup water
1 Tbsp black peppercorn
1 Tbsp fennel seed
½ cup sugar

Truffle Aioli:
1 cup Aioli or store bought mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Truffle paste

For Garnishing Final Product
1 cup of croutons
¼ cup chiffonade Italian parsley
Pinch of smoked salt

Method:

  • Toast spices for the carpaccio and then coarsely grind
  • Roll Bison eye of round in the ground spice mix until completely covered
  • Season with salt and sear the outside of the eye of round in a very hot pan
  • After searing the outside place in the fridge and cool completely
  • After bison is chilled through wrap tightly with saran wrap and place in freezer overnight
  • While still frozen slice the bison as thin as possible and place overlapping on desired platter

For the Pickle:

  • Slice beets on a mandolin and place in container
  • Bring spices, vinegar, water and sugar to a boil and pour over the beets
  • Place in fridge and leave until completely cool
  • Once cool beets can be used to garnish carpaccio along with the truffle aioli and brioche croutons

 

Mixing Caesars Walter’s Way – Walter Caesar Mix

National Caesar Day is May 19th Pick Up Some Stoli and Get a Bonus of Walter Caesar Mix Until June 3!

When the urge strikes you to whip up Canada’s official cocktail, leave the MSG, corn syrup and artificial colour on the shelf and reach instead for the all-natural craft Caeser mix by Walter.

Walter’s made in Canada with top notch vine-ripened tomatoes, spices, grated horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire and real clam juice. Select from the Well Spiced version, for those who like a kick in their glass or Mildly Spice for those with more delicate palates.

A Walter Craft Caesar ‘expert’ will be on site at the BCLDB on
Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 6 pm at BC Liquor Store, 39th & Cambie demonstrating how to make the perfect Caesar, using Stolichnaya Premium Original Vodka.

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May 19 The special day pays homage to the cocktail that was first made by Walter Chell in the late 60s at the Calgary Inn. Join in the celebration, Stolichnaya Premium Original Vodka and Walter Craft Caesar Mix have teamed up on a gift-with-purchase available at 50 BC Liquor stores throughout the month of May, until June 3rd. With every purchase of a 750 mL bottle of Stolichnaya Premium Original – THE vodka of summer – consumers will receive a complimentary 945 mL bottle of Walter Craft Caesar Mix.

Available at Choices, Meinhardt’s, Whole Foods, Edible Canada and beyond and also served in BC’s finest restaurants. Find here.

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At Good Life Vancouver’s headquarters, aka home, we like to throw in some smoked salmon or bacon vodka and serve it up with a corresponding smoked salmon or candied bacon garnish and some pickled asparagus.

What will or won’t be in your glass this summer? Go natural with Walter!

Cocktail Science

Cocktails are Mad Science

The Science of Cocktails will transform Science World at TELUS World of Science into Vancouver’s largest cocktail laboratory. Vancouverites can mix and mingle all in the name of fundraising for Science World’s Class Field Trip Program.

You’ll enjoy uniquely crafted libations from local, award-winning bartenders, along with mouth-watering food pairings, thoughtfully prepared by Railtown Catering.
FEBRUARY 4, 2016 Thursday 7 pm – 12 midnight
TELUS World of Science $145 general / $250 VIP

Previews included;

Chocolate Rum Old Fashioned
Presented by mixologist Tarquin Melnyk

Science twist: Guests can taste the difference in the flavour difference in the rapid infusion technique using a vacuum chamber versus nitrous oxide chargers. 
What’s in it? 
Infused Rum (2g shaved chocolate per 500ml Rum) Dash bitters Orange peel (garnish)

Smoked Pineapple Martini
Presented by mixologist Grant Sceney

Science twist: The cocktail is made using a contraption that shakes the drink.  Highly interactive, guests can compete in a shake-off to make the best martini.
What’s in it?  Vodka Chunks of smoked pineapple Chamomile syrup

Highlights
• The event is OPEN BAR, with 25 different bar stations serving cocktails especially crafted by award-winning bartenders
• Ticket also includes APPETIZERS throughout the night, prepared by Railtown Catering
• PRIZES include a Tesla Motors package, where the winner gets to drive a Tesla for an evening; a weekend stay at Fairmont Pacific Rim for 2 people plus breakfast at ORU (valued at $780); a SmartyPantz Group Escape Experience for 8 people; and more.
• BARTENDER SHOWDOWN: Vancouver’s top bartenders will be competing to win the evening’s Cocktail Competition, awarded by a panel of industry judges. Guests can also vote for their favourite cocktails through their drink passports; the winning bartender will be given The People’s Choice award.