You probably haven’t heard of it yet, but the recently opened Bella Gelateria in Yaletown offers an exciting new twist on the gelato formula; it’s called Gelatini (gelato+martini) and you definitely want one.
At first thought, a gelato martini doesn’t make a lot of sense, but if anyone can pull it off it’s master gelato maker James Coleridge. It’s a creative concoction reminiscent of the milk and cookie shooters or the devilish cronut, and one that I’m confident is going to be a hit. And why wouldn’t it be? They are mixing James’ incredible gelato with alcohol; that’s a winning combination right there. Make no mistake, this isn’t a scoop of gelato with a dash of alcohol, these are full martinis made to pair with specific gelato flavours. They will also run you anywhere from $12 to $14, so probably not the type of drink you’ll be downing all night.
That being said, just look at the different offerings and tell me that one of these doesn’t interest you:
- EGT Negroni – A traditional negroni made with gin, Campari and Italian vermouth paired with creamy Earl Grey Tea gelato and caramelized orange peel oils. $13
- Black Sesame Chai – A creative mix of chai spiced infused bourbon with black sesame gelato. $13
- Wild Evita Gelatini – Salted Caramel gelato made by slowly cooking caramel for two days in the Argentinian tradition, the sea salt gives a delicate boost to the creamy dark caramel which balances perfectly with Auchentoshan scotch and just a pinch of powdered espresso beans. $14
- Lemon Pimm’s Isola – Bracing refreshment straight from England, this Gelatini has a float of our bright lemon sorbetto in a chilled blend of Pimm’s Number 1 Cup and ginger liqueur furiously stirred with cucumber and mint then topped with a measure of Fentiman’s Ginger Beer. $14
- Matcha Smash – Matcha powder is paired with vodka and a touch of herbal Chartreuse to create a very unique Japanese style cocktail. $13
- Saffron Persia – Bella’s signature Akbar Mashti gelato (saffron, rosewater and pistachio) is paired with gin and apricot liqueur and garnished with more saffron in syrup. $14
- Texas Grind – The award winning pecan, vanilla and sour cherry gelato is paired with vodka, Grand Marnier, a pinch of coffee grounds, spicy urfa chili and a real Tahitian vanilla bean. $14
- Buko Bird – Buko Pandan gelato (flavoured with coconut and exotic screw pine leaves) paired with chili infused vodka, ginger liqueuer, fresh lime juice, cilantro and a kaffir lime leaf. This one has a bit of spice to it! $14
- Cherry Bomb – Amarena cherry gelato is carefully blended with Jameson Irish whiskey and Disaronno Amaretto with just a touch of Dubonnet and balsamic vinegar. This is added to a float of salted hazelnut gelato and topped with a kirsh-soaked cherry. $14
- Raspberry Manhattan Isola – A traditional Manhattan made with whiskey and Italian vermouth. Raspberry sorbet infused with dark chocolate and dark chocolate bitters is added to the mix along with a kirsch-soaked cherry. $12
- Orange Fashioned Isola – Take a traditional old fashioned recepie and spice it up with a scoop of orange/vanilla gelato and a dash of phosphate (used traditionally to add tart flavouring before citrus was easily available) $14
- Raspberry Clover Isola – A unique twist on the Clover Club cocktail, raspberry sorbet is paried with gin and fresh lemon juice. A light touch of cracked black pepper adds a bit of kick to the end. $12
As for how they taste: The raspberry Manhattan is a nice combination of a tart martini with a sweet sorbet, while the orange fashioned is a softer version of a old fashioned with a nice smooth lemon finish. The wild evita tastes like a premium version of Bailey’s (perfect comfort drink) while I found the Buko Bird a little too creamy.
The big winners were the EGT Negroni which has a nice balance between alcohol and gelato and the Black Sesame Chai and Matcha Smash, both a creative mixture that incorporates unique flavours profiles from both the alcohol and the gelato.
Bella Gelateria Yaletown
Address: 1089 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver