With B.C.’s most iconic landmarks as my inspiration, I’ve taken three classic cocktails and given them a local twist by incorporating some of our province’s vast bounty of ingredients — from craft spirits distilled right here in B.C., to homegrown artisanal cocktail bitters.
Try your hand at these fun, easy and hyper-local cocktail recipes below, or come visit me at my bar and let me shake one up for you.
This fun variation on the classic Mai Tai is named after the legendary sea serpent of Lake Okanagan, the Ogopogo. This cocktail features a beautiful cherry liqueur produced in the Okanagan Valley.
- 1.5 oz Gosling’s Rum
- 0.5 oz Jagermeister
- 0.25 oz Okanagan Spirits Maraschino
- 0.5 oz Orgeat
- 0.5 oz Simple Syrup
- 1.0 oz Lime
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker.
- Add ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
- Strain over ice in a highball or Collins glass and garnish with preserved cherries.
Steam Clockwork Orange
The Harvey Wall-banger is back in a whole new concoction. This simple cocktail from the mid 1980s gets a much needed makeover with Gillespie’s Gastown Shine Vodka, and Bittered Sling’s Kensington Bitters. These local ingredients combine to make the perfect brunch cocktail.
- 1.5 oz Gillespie’s Gastown Shine Vodka
- 1.0 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
- 0.5 oz Galliano
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Kensington Bitters
- 2 oz Cava, or Sparkling Wine
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker except for Cava.
- Add ice and shake for 10 seconds.
- Pour into a chilled cocktail glass, top with Cava and garnish with an orange twist.
One of the most famous and and picturesque highways in all of Canada, the Coquihalla is a riff on one of the world’s most famous cocktails, the Negroni. This variation uses an uncommon spirit called Aquavit from my friends at Okanagan Spirits in Vernon.
- 1 oz Okanagan Spirits Aquavitus
- 1 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- 1 oz Campari
- Combine ingredients in a mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir for 15 seconds.
- Pour over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned Glass and garnish with an orange twist.