It’s okay if you missed it. It’s okay if you’ve never even heard of it. World Cocktail Day, which took place May 13, has only been going since 2006 and celebrates the first definition of a cocktail back in 1806.
In other words, World Cocktail Day was about the start of something fun. Scott Barber is more interested in keeping the party going.
The bar manager of Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler recently introduced an original creation, “The Whistler” to patrons. Here’s how it’s described:
Evoking the laid-back culture of the West Coast with elements of the earth, nature and fresh flavor, even down to its white-caps, as illustrated by egg whites. A light and refreshing taste, just like the breeze coming through Whistler’s mountains and valley
And here’s how you make it:
- 1.5oz Wyborowa Wodka
- .5oz potato schnapps
- .25oz absinthe
- 2oz chamomile tea
- .75oz fresh lemon juice
- .75oz honey syrup
- 1 egg white
Dry shake followed by iced hard shake. Served up in a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
“It’s a vodka salad basically that everyone can go for,”
Barber says. “Using a potato schnapp and absinthe and the chamomile tea . . . I don’t really know how that all came about. When I was making it, during the process, I was just having everybody around me sample it. I’d ask what was missing and they gave me honest feedback.”
Barber says that while developing a great drink is simply a matter of creating the right flavour combination around the alcohol, it helps when the alcohol is of premium quality.
“Wyborowa is very traditional — it’s nice and clean and you can go anywhere you want with it,” he says. “It’s an easy product to work with.”
The other key is having a place to make the tasting experience memorable. That’s why, back in 2008, the Bearfoot Bistro took what had been a cigar room and turned it into what, at -29 degrees C, is one of the coldest vodka tasting rooms in the world.
“The cold temperature takes the burn away and really lets you feel the vodka,” he says.
Accommodating up to 20 guests and two bartenders, Barber says those brave enough to don a Canada Goose jacket and step inside are starting to come from all sorts of backgrounds.
“A stag party might want just all flavoured (vodka cocktails) for easy drinking, but we’re also seeing connoisseurs who want to learn something — like the differences between a rye grain or barley or potato blend. We’re able to educate them in a really cool atmosphere.”
Did you get the double entendre with “cool” just now? Ah, don’t worry about it. Just have another cocktail.