604-962-4540 | baroso.ca
SMOKED ROSEMARY SOUR Prohibition-era bootlegging is a legendary
chapter in Canadian history. But the best-known stories revolve around whisky,
Eastern Canada and the Bronfman brothers of Seagram Distillers, who made
their fortune smuggling billions of dollars of booze across the American border.
So when Jason Redmond, bar manager at Bar Oso, read about the Smuggler’s
Moon on the back label of the rosemary-flavoured Black Moon Gin, a B.C. craft
spirit from Legend Distilling, he was captivated by the tale:
“Legend has it … backwoods distillers of B.C. would covertly work under the
moon, and through the night, to concoct their handmade gin using mountain
juniper and other nearby herbs and botanicals. One dark evening, a branch of
wild rosemary smouldering from the fires of the still found its way into the gin …
its distinct character became sought after at speakeasies throughout the central
interior and western Pacific coastline.”
Is it true? “I don’t know,” Redmond laughs. “When people go drinking, they don’t
necessarily want to know the truth, but they do enjoy a good story.”
The aromatic spirit was a perfect fit for Redmond’s gin-forward bar. This creamy
yet refreshing sour is shaken with fresh lemon juice, house-made lavender syrup
and egg white. Garnished with a hand-torched sprig of rosemary, it’s smokin’ hot.
604-932-3433 | bearfootbistro.com
THE STALLION The rebirth of Canadian rye whisky has been one of the most
welcome spirit revivals of the past decade. Historically, Canadian whisky was
made with fermented rye in place of, or in addition to, corn, barley and wheat. In
modern practice, however, most brands only contain a small fraction because of
lax regulations. (In the U.S., rye whiskey — it’s spelled with an “e” south of the
border — must be distilled from at least 51 per cent rye mash). Until recently,
many premium Canadian ryes weren’t even available here.
There have, however, been exceptions. Alberta Premium, sold only in Canada,
has always been made 100 per cent rye grain. And the distiller’s super-premium
Dark Horse, a barrel-aged blend of six- and 12-year-old ryes, is a robustly oaky
standout with rich notes of vanilla and caramel.
“And it’s slightly over-proof,” enthuses Scott Barber, bar manager at the Bearfoot
Bistro. He lassoes the dark-golden beauty into a Manhattan-style cocktail with
Sortilège (a maple-syrup whisky made in Quebec), Wayward Order Depth
Charge (an espresso-and-cacao-bean liqueur made in B.C.) and a dash of black
Stirred with ice, a squeeze of orange zest and a grating of toasted cinnamon, it’s
a smooth and boozy sipper that makes you want to kick off your leather slippers
à la Mad Men’s Don Draper — or perhaps his French-Canadian father-in-law.