If you love cocktails and you live in or near Vancouver and you haven’t bought your tickets to Tales of the Cocktail on Tour yet, what the heck are you waiting for? The fab New Orleans cocktail fest is coming to Vancouver March 13 to 15 and will feature parties, seminars, demonstrations, celebrity bartenders, a bar crawl and more cocktails than you can shake a Hawthorn strainer at. Tickets are only $155 for everything – that’s an amazing bargain. Go learn more at the Tales of the Cocktail website. And see you for the opening round at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on March 13!
Archive for February, 2011
L’Abattoir‘s bar manager sums up his new barrel-aged Martinez in one, succinct word: “It’s elegant,” says Shaun Layton. It’s also pretty darn delicious. The oak cask where the gin, vermouth, bitters and maraschino have lain for the past few weeks has rounded out all the cocktail’s hard edges. It’s also added a faint hint of vanilla and an even fainter whiff of smoke from the scotch the barrel contained before this. This is one fine cocktail.
Barrel-aging cocktails is the hottest new thing to happen to drink. The trend started in London (as so many boozy trends do), with bartender Tony Conigliaro of 69 Colebrooke Row. The idea is to take a spirits-only cocktail like, say, the Manhattan or the Negroni, and age it in either oak or glass for several weeks to add new depths of flavour. Shawn Soole at Clive’s in Victoria has been doing it for a while, Jacob Sweetapple at the Fairmont Pacific Rim has some cocktails in bottles and Layton has just uncorked his first batch at L’Abattoir.
He’s working on some other drinks – I for one will be back for the barrel-aged Hanky Panky – but in the meantime you should head down there and get your aged Martinez before they’re all gone. With only 200 drinks at $15 a pop, they won’t last long.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun . . . and most of them involve liquor of some sort. Man, the folks up here in the Yukon can sure put it back, and I can see why.
In the winter, there’s about three minutes of daylight, plus freezing cold temperatures, and all the activities are the sorts of things that seem like a better idea after a few beverages, like ice fishing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, running marathons in minus-30-degree weather, that sort of thing. Then in summer, there’s almost no night, so it’s a 24-hour party. Woo-hoo!
Whitehorse and Dawson City are wild. They’re filled with the kinds of joints that have lists of 101 shooters with such dubious names as Kitty Litter (don’t ask) and more variations on special coffee than wines by the glass. Plus, of course, there’s the legendary Sour Toe Cocktail served at the Jack London bar in Dawson’s Downtown Hotel, a slug of booze garnished with a human toe. Yes, a real one. Rumour has it the toe tastes much nicer since they started preserving it in rock salt rather than formaldehyde, but of course, you’re not supposed to actually ingest the toe, just let it kiss your lips. In any case, ew.
The folks up here play hard and work hard; they’re tough and fun and funny, really great company. But the best thing about them is their great hospitality. Everyone seems super friendly and generous, and don’t be surprised if they buy you a round of Fireballs or B-52s.
If you want more info about travel to the Yukon, visit the Tourism Yukon site here.