Bar C comes out with a fun warm-weather cocktail list every spring, and this year the theme is drinks “inspired by candy.” There’s a Snickers Old Fashioned with caramel and chocolate bitters, a Pink Parts with Luxardo Cherry and Fireball, and the delicious Chimango, which is like a margarita, but with mango juice and a tamarind-flavoured drinking vinegar called Tamarind Pok Pok. There’s even a tamarind fruit skin garnish for dessert!
I once had a tamarind margarita in Mexico, and this drink channels that one, with the added bonus of tasting like tart mango and carrying a lovely smoky essence thanks to the hit of mezcal. Be careful, though — the Chimango is easy to drink and, like its tagline promises, it will “take you right back to the time you can’t remember in Mexico…”
The Chimango, a tequila cocktail from Bar C, promises to “take you right back to the time you can’t remember in Mexico…”
- 1 oz Cazadores Reposado
- 1/2 oz Grand Marnier
- 1/4 oz Los Danzantes Mezcal
- 1 oz lemon mango juice
- 1/2 oz Tamarind Pok Pok (available at Vine Arts)
- 1/3 Chamoy (available at Mexican markets/grocers)
- Garnish: lime wheel and tamarind fruit skin
Method: Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard, then double strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime wheel and tamarind fruit skin.
— Recipe courtesy Bar C
Bar C in Calgary makes great cocktails and this week they’re shaking them for charity. Since Tuesday, the 17th Avenue eatery and cocktail lounge has been donating the proceeds from sales of a daily featured cocktail to a local charity chosen by the customer from six options: Making Changes, The Mustard Seed, Inn from the Cold, Calgary Humane Society, CUPS, and Big Brothers & Big Sisters Calgary.
Why the generous heart? It’s Bar C’s second anniversary and the restaurant wants to thank Calgarians for their patronage while at the same time giving back to the community. Cocktails for Charity is the result.
Today’s featured cocktail is a French 68, a bubbly sip rendered delicious by the mingling of sweet blood orange syrup with bitter Campari and savoury Hendricks Gin. Three dashes of lavender bitters finish the drink with a floral flourish. Enjoy, and remember to savour this one as you toast the weekend and — if you’re imbibing at Bar C — the charity of your choice.
Today’s Cocktails for Charity featured drink at Bar C is the bubbly French 68.
- 100 mL prosecco
- 1 oz blood orange syrup*
- 1/2 oz Campari
- 1 oz Hendricks Gin
- 3 dashes Scrappy’s lavender bitters
Method: Chill martini glass. Pour syrup, Campari, and Hendricks gin into shaker over ice. Shake and strain into glass. Top with prosecco. Finish with Scrappy’s bitters. Garnish with a lemon twist.
*Blood Orange Syrup
- 1/3 L of blood orange purée
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 1-1/4 cups water
- 8 sprigs rosemary
Method: Remove rosemary leaves from stalk and chop finely. Bring sugar and water to a boil. Add rosemary. Simmer until sugar well dissolved. Remove from heat and add blood orange purée.
— Recipes courtesy Bar C
The Cherry Sour from Candela Lounge is bold, slightly sweet and, most importantly for Feb. 14, red.
With Valentine’s Day taking place next week, some couples will be looking to get into the spirit with something strong and celabratory. May I recommend painting the town red with these valentine-hued cocktails at Calgary lounges:
The Cherry Sour from Candela Lounge is so strong you’ll feel a flush of heat after the first sip. The Maker’s Mark bourbon is offset with a hint of sour morello cherries and a couple dashes of black walnut bitters. Trust me: you’ll want to take things slowly.
Bar C, the city’s latest eat- and drink-ery from Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts, has a fantastic cocktail menu that includes one of the best tequila cocktails I’ve chugged in awhile: the Cherry Blanco. Made with smoked cherry juice, two ounces of tequila and topped with Steam Whistle, this drink will quench your desire for something tall and strong.
Much like a nervous date, here is a drink that will turn you off at first but then grow on you as the evening progresses and the booze enters your bloodstream. A Negroni (equal parts Campari, gin and sweet vermouth) is bitter from the Campari, an Italian liqueur, but as the ice melts and mellows it you’ll be screaming for a-more (sorry). Try one at Teatro.
Couples looking for something bubbly should head to the Raw Bar at Hotel Arts and order a Courtly Love. This featured Feb. 14 cocktail combines champagne with gin and is topped with lemon-raspberry foam.
If you’d rather DIY your drinks on heart day, check out my Spirited Calgary cocktail column in the Calgary Herald on Feb. 9. Happy cupid cocktailing!