Cure Lounge and Patio at Nita Lake Lodge
604-966-5700 | nitalakelodge.com
REFRESH Strawberries, with their sweet and juicy scarlet flesh, are one
of the world’s favourite berries. They are grown in every province of Canada,
where a wild variety holds an important place in First Nations’ creation
stories, having been brought to earth by Sky Woman, who used them as
medicine. They are also the first fruit to ripen in spring — not just on farms,
but also on the rooftop garden at Nita Lake Lodge.
To celebrate her in-house, sky-high crop, Cure Lounge Bar Manager
Rhiannon Csordas muddles them with basil in this supremely quenching
version of a summer-time iced tea mixed with Oaken Gin (from Victoria
Spirits on Vancouver Island), fresh-brewed green tea, freshly squeezed
lemon juice, simple syrup and a crack of black pepper. It’s one of several
earthy elixirs on her rotating “From the Garden” summer menu.
Although the bar will also feature a selection of Canadian cocktails — and
a whisky flight — this season, she predicts this chunky, fruity patio sipper
(served in a big garden pot of ice) will be the biggest seller. “It’s dangerous,”
she explains. “You don’t even taste the booze. Then all of a sudden it hits you
with a warm, fuzzy glow.”
Sidecut Bar at Four Seasons Resort & Residences Whistler
604-966-5280 | sidecutwhistler.com
THE LEFT HOOK This liquid tour of Canadian cocktail history wouldn’t
be complete without an ode to the Chinese labourers who built the Canadian
Pacific Railway and were often delegated to the most dangerous jobs. More
than 17,000 Chinese workers came to Canada from 1881 through 1884. And
without them, there would be no transport of corn, rye and barley — without
which, Canadian whisky would never have been possible.
The Left Hook, named after a local ski run (as is the bar), is mixed with
Forty Creek Canadian Rye Whisky and maple syrup infused with lapsang
souchong (a Chinese black tea). It’s been a favourite on the Sidecut Bar
menu for several years, created by a bartender who is long gone. Lead
Bartender Oliver Scott Knight isn’t sure if his predecessor had the Chinese
railway workers in mind when he came up with the recipe. But it’s a good
yarn, one befitting such an intriguing drink.
The mild smokiness of the tea-infused maple syrup and smooth heat of the
whisky is balanced with a few sharply spicy dashes of house-made allspice
peppercorn, steeped in Knob Creek bourbon. Served on a big chunk of ice
with two brandy-soaked cherries and orange zest, it will keep you chugging
along until the next stop.