With only a few days left of summer, many of us are looking ahead to fall — my favourite time of year in Vancouver for cocktail inspiration. The changing colours of our tree-lined streets, the aromas of the ocean, the falling walnuts and the bountiful harvest from the Fraser Valley and the Okanagan give a cocktail creator so many tools to work with.
Try your hand at mixing up these easy-to-make cocktails inspired by Vancouver’s fall finest. And don’t forget to take some time to enjoy everything the season has to offer.
1. Reifel and Feather
Inspired by the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, located just south of us in Delta, B.C., this cocktail is the perfect companion for fall’s hearty roasts and stews.
- 1.5 oz Wild Turkey Bourbon
- 0.25 oz Okanagan Spirits Cherry Liqueur
- 0.5 oz Cynar
- 0.25 oz Venturi-Schulze Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Denman Bitters
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, and pour over fresh ice in a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with sliced pear and cinnamon.
2. Black Walnut Manhattan
Nothing beats a well-made Manhattan, but with the addition of Nocino, a black walnut liqueur, this nutty twist is perhaps the perfect way to wind down after a hard day’s work. I recommend finding a nice fireplace to cozy up to with this cocktail in hand. Vancouver may not be as sophisticated as Manhattan (yet), but hey, we can pretend right?
- 1.75 oz McLoughlin & Steele Canadian Rye Whisky
- 0.75 oz Russo Nocino Black Walnut Liqueur
- 0.5 oz Cinzano Rosso Sweet Vermouth
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters
Stir ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with candied walnuts and preserved cherries.
3. Burrard Gimlet
This is a fresh and inspired take on a traditional gimlet. Capturing the essence and aroma of the ocean rolling up on our shores is a tough task for a cocktail, but this comes pretty close.
- 1.5 oz Gillespie’s Sin Gin
- 0.5 oz Green Chartreuse
- 0.5 oz Chamomile, Lime and Ginger Cordial*
- 0.75 oz Fresh Lime Juice
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Lem Marrakech Bitters
- 1 pinch Vancouver Island Salt Co. Canadian Sea Salt
- Okanagan Spirits Taboo Absinthe
*Chamomile, Lime and Ginger Cordial
Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in 2 bags of Tealeaves Chamomile Tea, the zest of 2 limes, 2 oz. grated ginger, and 2 cups of organic wildflower honey. Once boiling again, reduce the temperature and simmer while stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Bottle and store in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Fill a glass with crushed ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine ingredients and shake thoroughly. Strain over the crushed ice, and garnish with lime zest and a few granules of sea salt. Mist the absinthe over the top of cocktail.