Calgary Herald

a whole new view

- LISA KADANE LKADANE@THE­HERALD.CANWEST.COM

Since we’re go­ing to be shar­ing cock­tails reg­u­larly I’d bet­ter con­fess up front. I’m re­ally more of a beer and wine gal.

My pre­ferred drink is a glass of red; run­nerup would be a cold bot­tle of Fat Tire am­ber ale on a hot day.

But here’s the thing: I’ve al­ways wanted to have a go-to cock­tail. They’re fun, flirty and come in ar­chi­tec­turally in­ter­est­ing glasses with ed­i­ble ac­cou­trements like fruit skew­ers or pick­led as­para­gus spears. But I of­ten find them ei­ther too sweet or too boozy, and a lot of work to boot.

I’ve tried host­ing cock­tail par­ties, but find my­self a slave to the blender (mak­ing what I con­sider to be one drink per­fectly bal­anced be­tween sweet, sour and te­quila — the mar­garita) when I’d rather be so­cial­iz­ing.

So there it is. Full dis­clo­sure.

So, this col­umn will be a jour­ney in search of those elu­sive, pal­ette-pleas­ing cock­tails that are just labour in­ten­sive enough to be worth the ef­fort. We’ll learn about mar­ti­nis, mock­tails and the dif­fer­ence be­tween mix­ing and mud­dling. En route we’ll un­cover some cool new wa­ter­ing holes, and re­dis­cover some of Cal­gary’s best lounge spots.

A good start­ing point: The Cal­gary Tower. There isn’t a bet­ter view of our grow­ing city than the panorama out­side the re­volv­ing win­dows at the Sky 360 Res­tau­rant & Lounge. Ev­ery 40 min­utes your view goes full cir­cle from the Rock­ies to the ris­ing Bow sky­scraper to the Pen­growth Sad­dle­dome. The res­tau­rant’s sig­na­ture drink is the Sky 360 mar­tini, a re­fresh­ing combo of fresh squeezed fruit juices with flavoured vodka and Creme de Cas­sis, served in a mar­tini glass with a sug­ared rim. It’s del­ish.

It seems ev­ery res­tau­rant has a mar­tini menu these days, and rarely is the tra­di­tional mar­tini fea­tured. The fancy mar­tini — Choco­late, Jolly Rancher, Mi­ami Beach — is a trend with no end in sight.

“It’s a bit of a sta­tus thing,” says Josh Jam­roziak, the man­ager cred­ited with in­vent­ing the Sky 360 mar­tini af­ter watch­ing a cook­ing show that fea­tured a glass of orange, le­mon, lime and pink grape­fruit juice. He says it’s more fun to sip from a mar­tini glass than a high­ball, and the def­i­ni­tion of what makes a mar­tini has shifted to in­clude just about any­thing you can think of to pour into said glass.

“The sky’s the limit on mar­ti­nis — any­thing goes. What­ever tastes good will sell.”

Could the Sky 360 be­come my go-to drink? I’ll have to dust off the juicer and get back to you.

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