Tag Archives: Drink of the Week

Drink of the Week: Martinez cocktail

I am not a big fan of martinis. I find them too boozy and too dry, and for those with just a “splash” of vermouth, too Christmas tree-forward (translation: juniper-y). I do, however, like Manhattans, so just imagine if there was a gin Manhattan! Well, there is — sort of. It’s called a Martinez and this classic cocktail actually predates the traditional gin martini.

The Martinez is rather like a sweet Manhattan, with gin and a touch of maraschino liqueur.

The Martinez is rather like a sweet Manhattan, but with gin and a touch of maraschino liqueur. I tried this one at a “Three Martini Lunch” at the Yellow Door Bistro.

The Martinez is basically a martini made with sweet vermouth, a couple dashes of bitters and a splash of maraschino liqueur (a delicious, fairly dry liqueur made from sour Marasca cherries). Peter Hunt from Victoria Spirits on Vancouver Island made me one using his aged Oaken Gin at a “Three Martini Lunch” event during the Art of the Cocktail festival in Calgary. I was smitten.

As a bonus, this drink hits on three of the cocktail trends I wrote about last weekend for the Calgary Herald: gin is still in, vermouth is the latest rage, and everything is better with some bitters. A Martinez might also be just the thing to sip with your chocolate eggs on Easter morning.


  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1/4 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

Stir ingredients with ice in a Boston glass and then fine-strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

— Recipe courtesy Peter Hunt, Victoria Spirits

Drink of the Week: Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart Spritz

Over the past couple of years honey has come into its own. I’ve used it to sweeten tea, salad dressings and now cocktails by making a honey syrup. But why stop there? Spirits makers have started using it to flavour booze. First there was Jack Daniels with Tennessee Honey, then came honey-flavoured beer and Bols Honey Liqueur. Finally vodka — not wanting to miss a single opportunity to try on a new flavour (pickle-flavoured vodka, anyone?) — has raided the hive.

Stolichnaya recently unveiled its Stoli Sticki honey vodka and sent me a bottle so I could sample it. As you may recall, I am not a fan of flavoured vodkas. I do, however, absolutely  love Dawa cocktails, a Kenyan refreshment made with vodka, limes and honey, so I figured at the very least a bottle of Stoli Sticki would come in handy with the Dawa.

Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart Spritz

Stoli Sticki + Cointreau + lime juice + soda water = a refreshing Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart Spritz.

But I also like to try new recipes, so I set about looking for something that would mix well with honey vodka. First I made the Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart (honey vodka, Cointreau, lime juice), but even with this drink’s 1:1:1: ratio I found the Stoli Sticki’s honey taste too overpowering and a tad artificial. So I remedied the recipe by adding soda water to create a spritz and a more palatable cocktail. Behold: the Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart Spritz! Best for: long summer afternoons on a hot patio (or failing that, long winter evenings stuck inside with the children). Enjoy!

Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart Spritz

Much better with soda water. Tart, fizzy and goes down a tad too quickly.

Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart Spritz

  • 1 oz Stoli Sticky
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • Top soda water
  • Orange wheel garnish

Add Stoli Sticki, Cointreau and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake, then strain into an ice-filled rocks glass and top with soda water. Garnish with an orange wheel.

— Recipe adapted from the Stoli Sticki Sweet & Tart

Drink of the Week: Michelada

A nice, cold beer is a beautiful thing when bowling your way to a sad 125 at the newly-opened bowling alley at National on 10th in Calgary. But I have to say that a tequila-spiked, Mexican beer cocktail called the Michelada does a far better job of numbing the sour taste of bowling defeat.

Mexico's favourite hangover cure, the Michelada, also comes in handy when drowning bowling sorrows.

Mexico’s favourite hangover cure, the Michelada, also comes in handy when drowning bowling sorrows.

The drink is but one Mexican-themed cocktail featured on the bowling alley menu. There’s also a margarita, a paloma (like a grapefruit margarita, but with fizz), and two cocktails made with mezcal, another agave spirit with a smoky flavour. Bartender Stephen Phipps took some liberties with the menu and created a couple of fun sips like the fan favourite Jesus Quintana (like a pisco sour, with chili bitters) and Orale! (rum, Mexican cola, lime and mole bitters). The drinks complement the Mexican street food eats and are priced to match ($10 to $12).

We spent a fun evening throwing balls down one of eight lanes inside the eagerly-anticipated space located in the basement of the National on 10th beer hall, opened back in April. I’ve always found bowling alleys to be somewhat dreary and creepy places, so it’s refreshing to hang out in a hip one that features fare beyond hot dogs, greasy fries and mass market suds.

Sadly, I was only able to sample a handful of the drinks at the opening party, but I’ll be back to try the rest… and to work on my bowling game (I’m gunning for a 300, baby!).

Bowling in the basement at National on 10th is a fun way to spend an evening.

Bowling in the basement at National on 10th is a fun way to spend an evening.


  • 1 oz El Jimador tequila
  • 2 oz Grizzly Paw grapefruit soda
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 1 drop Maggi liquid seasoning (like “Worcestershire on steroids,” according to the bartender)
  • 3 drops Cholula hot sauce
  • Top Phillips Analogue 78 Kolsch beer

Shake all ingredients together with ice except beer. Strain into a chilled pint glass and top with Phillips Analogue 78 Kolsch.

— Recipe courtesy Colton Hogg, National on 10th