Yahoo! The Calgary Stampede is here for the next 10 days. It’s a time of dressing western to day drink on sunny patios or inside hot tents. You could stick with beer, but if you have access to fresh BC blueberries and Parlour Gin from Eau Claire Distillery, this Blueberry Gincident cocktail is just the thing to cool you down while simultaneously firing you up for the rodeo.
The folks from the BC Blueberry Council were in town earlier this week to promote the province’s berry bounty, which is in stores right now. They dropped off a ton of berries, so I juiced some, added local gin, lemon juice and simple syrup, and topped it off with soda water. The resulting cocktail is berry sweet, tart and refreshing. Drink in moderation to avoid a “gincident.” Giddy up!
Cool down during Stampede week with this refreshing gin and blueberry juice cocktail.
- 1.5 oz Parlour Gin
- 1 oz fresh blueberry juice
- 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
- 0.75 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
- Top soda water
- Garnish: Mint sprig
Method: In a shaker combine gin, juices and syrup. Shake, then strain into a tall glass with ice. Top with soda water (about 1-2 oz, no more) and garnish with a mint sprig.
I’ve been enjoying Aperol this summer. It’s a bitter orange Italian aperitif that is best known in the Aperol Spritz (Aperol floated in Prosecco). Since Aperol is a gorgeous red-orange colour, I thought it would be nice in a cocktail on Canada Day.
Last summer Cilantro made the most amazing No. 3 Aperol Sour, which I wrote about for Avenue Magazine. Using that recipe as a guide, I made what I’m calling just an Aperol Sour. It’s light, sweet, tart and slightly bitter, and the most amazing shade of red. Happy Canada Day!
Canada Day calls for a red and white cocktail. The Aperol Sour is perfect!
- 1 oz gin
- 1 oz Aperol
- 3/4 oz lemon-lime juice (fresh lemon and lime juice, combined)
- 1/2 oz simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
- 1/2 oz egg white
- Garnish: 3 dashes Angostura bitters
Method: In a cocktail shaker combine gin, Aperol, citrus, syrup and egg white. Add ice and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe and garnish with Angostura bitters. If you’re a pro, shape them into a maple leaf!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there, old and new. You deserve a great day filled with kind gestures and sweet indulgences. And nothing spoils Mom quite like a brunch cocktail to get her special day off on the right foot.
Cheers to Mom!
I was introduced to the Nelson’s Victory cocktail at Whitehall, which is a new restaurant in Bridgeland that serves British cuisine, re-imagined. Whitehall also serves gin cocktails, re-imagined, and I love this light and fizzy creation that combines gin with Luxardo Maraschino, Cointreau and orange juice, topped off with Prosecco. It’s like a Mimosa on steroids, which sounds about right for Mother’s Day!
- 1 oz Plymouth Gin
- 1/4 oz Luxardo Maraschino
- 1/4 oz Cointreau
- 1/2 oz orange juice
- Top Prosecco
Method: Combine gin, Luxardo Maraschino, Cointreau and orange juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a coup glass and top with Prosecco.
— Recipe courtesy Whitehall
The leaves are just past their peak, hinting at cold weather to come, but this sweet stretch of Indian summer calls for a gin and tonic! I propose this lovely berry twist on the classic, with a handful of mint from your outdoor planter before a killing frost claims it.
The G&T taste of summer transitions to fall with the addition of Creme de Cassis.
Blackberry & Mint G&T
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 5 mint leaves
- 1/2 oz Creme de Cassis
- 2 oz gin
- Top tonic
- Garnish: Two blackberries and a mint sprig
Method: In a tall glass, muddle mint leaves with lime and Creme de Cassis. Add gin, fill the glass with ice, then top with tonic. Stir. Garnish with two blackberries and a mint sprig.
Ever since the bar at Earls switched over to fresh herbs, juices and house made syrups back in 2011, I have been a big fan of their cocktails. Beverage director Cameron Bogue refreshes the list every four months or so, and I had the opportunity to sample a selection of their summer sips at Earls Tin Palace in Mission last week.
The menu includes a great mix of classics such as a margarita, amaretto sour and even a re-imagined pina colada (with fresh watermelon). But it was the light, lemony taste of the Bees Knees, sweetened with honey and Cointreau, that seemed the most apropos for spring. And that glass! Too cute, and its contents are tasty to boot. You might say it’s the bee’s knees (sorry).
I love this spring cocktail. Gin, lemon juice and honey suits the season, plus the Cointreau is a nice touch. And how cute is that glass?
Earls Bees Knees
- 3/4 oz honey syrup
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz Hendricks gin
- 3/4 oz Cointreau
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- Garnish: Lemon zest and a wooden honey dipper
Method: Measure all ingredients (except garnish) into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Top the mixing glass with a stainless steel shaking tin. Shake ingredients vigorously 12 times to mix. Strain the cocktail into a honey bear jar over fresh ice. Garnish with a lemon zest and a wooden honey dipper.
— Recipe courtesy Earls