Category Archives: Booze

Hand Crafted Spirits on TSN1410 – Cafe Medina and The Fez

Marc Slingsby-Jones Mixes Up The ‘Fez’ Cocktail at Cafe Medina

Joe Leary and I have been testing out those cocktails again and stumbled upon a rather tasty one (pardon the overused pun) at Cafe Medina for the latest Hand Crafted Spirits Show on TSN1410. Known for their brunch, Cafe Medina serves up a lot more than your regular eggs benny, and drinks are equally complex.  I’m thinking this one would go very well with their Salmon Fume, a Fried Egg, Smoked Wild Salmon Cream Cheese, Avocado, Organic Greens, and pepper and artichoke salad on Grilled Ciabatta. Thanks to bar manager Marc Slingsy-Jones for teaching us just how well Kombucha and gin pair!

Listen in for the audio and recipe below.

 

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The Fez

Ingredients:

1 ½  oz Long Table Cucumber Gin
¾ oz Salted ginger syrup
½ oz Fresh lemon juice
Beet + Orange Kombucha (Marc uses Culture Craft Kombucha)
Rosemary and Orange Wedge (for garnishing)

Method:

  1. In a tall glass, add gin, syrup and lemon juice and stir the mixture with a cocktail spoon.
  2. Fill the glass with ice, then top with kombucha.
  3. Before serving, rub the rim of the glass with rosemary and garnish with an orange wedge.Marc Slingsby-Jones

MARC SLINGSBY-JONES | Bar Manager
While he was born and raised in New Zealand, this transplanted Kiwi has found a new home in Vancouver, where he has taken up residency behind the pine as Café Medina’s Bar Manager to curate the restaurant’s eclectic drink menu.

While pursuing his university degree, Marc first began plying his trade as a bartender in the rural outback of Australia and quickly embraced the role. He moved on to tend the bar at various cafes and restaurants in his native Auckland before heading to the West Coast in 2013, where he worked as a bartender in Kitsilano before joining the Café Medina family in 2014.

An avid traveller, foodie and host, Marc relishes rubbing elbows and trading stories with Café Medina’s regulars and visitors alike, while bringing a decidedly local-forward direction to the bar by spotlighting an array of local craft breweries, distilleries and wineries and incorporating fresh, seasonal ingredients that reflect the restaurant’s signature brand of rustic comfort cuisine.

Raise A Glass of Jameson for St. Patrick’s Day

Jameson 2017 St. Patrick’s Day Limited Edition

Pick up a bottle of the Limited Edition Jameson Irish Whisky and you’ll find it contains the same premium, internationally-adored classic Jameson Irish whiskey, but with a truly original label with a very cool story behind it. The label design illustrates the traditional Jameson family motto, Sine Metu; to live without fear – providing a way to encourage people to openly embrace new experiences, as well as steer away from the well-trodden paths in life in favour of forging your own. The Jameson St. Patrick’s Day limited edition bottle is available at BC Liquor this March.

JamesonThe Jameson Irish Whiskey Limited Edition Bottle is designed by Steve McCarthy, a Dublin based designer. The label design illustrated the Sine Metu spirit in a very Irish expression: to “chance your arm”.

This story goes that in 1492, in Dublin, Ireland, ‘Black James’ Butler and his men found themselves barricaded with heavily armed soldiers outside. On the other side of the door was Gearóid Fitzgerald who, tired of the constant fighting between the clans, decided it was time to make peace.

Fitzgerald ordered his men to cut a hole in the door before extending his hand through the gap as a token of friendship. Rather than cut his arm off with a sword, Black James shook it and the long standing feud came to an end, giving Dublin one of its most famous sayings – ‘to chance your arm’. 

Juniper Bartender, Luke Tynan has created a deliciously simple Jameson cocktail to mark the occasion. Inspired by his childhood St. Paddy’s celebrations in Ireland, his memories consisted of cans of coke, packets of Tayto crisps and watching Dublin’s parade from the vantage point of his Dad’s shoulders. Having moved away from Ireland and chancing his arm as a cocktail bartender for the past two years in Vancouver, Luke was inspired by these past experiences to create the Dublin cocktail.  This slightly dry and herbaceous Manhattan-style drink is a nod to his beloved hometown of Dublin and the thriving cocktail culture in his new home in Vancouver.

Whip it up at home throughout St. Patrick’s Day weekend and beyond.

The Dublin

50 ml Jameson
10 ml Akavit
25 ml Sweet Vermouth
5 ml Cynar
3 ml simple syrup
2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled nick and nora or coupe glass. Garnish with a slapped mint leaf clipped to the glass.

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!

penicillin

 

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