a whole new view
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.