A MAKEOVER for Dive-Bar Classics
Remember Sex on the Beach? How about White Russians and Long Island Iced Tea? Maybe the crazy ’ 80s were too much of a blur — or perhaps you were too young to remember what your parents were drinking. Believe it or not, all those dive-bar drinks and cheesy cocktails popularized by Tom Cruise are now receiving modern craft- cocktail makeovers with fresh juices, house-made syrups, premium spirits, proper techniques and previously missing ingredients that elevate them to the next level. Everything old is new again, but this time the drinks taste so much better.
1. Bar Oso 604-962-4540, baroso.ca OSO SOUR
The sour might be a timeless classic cocktail that is easy to love, but it can be just as easily ruined when mixed in the wrong proportions, defiled with nasty liqueurs or bastardized with commercial juices. Jason Redmond’s bacon-flavoured sour pushes the edges of complexity with two parts bourbon (plus a dash of herbal chartreuse), two parts freshly squeezed lemon juice and one part maple syrup. Yet his precise techniques — which include two shakes (dry and wet) for the egg whites — bring all the elements back into balanced harmony coated in thick, cascading froth. A delectable garnish of chewy bacon (candied by the bar manager himself with maple syrup, sugar, sherry vinegar and black pepper) elevates jerky — another dive-bar standard — to new heights of ski-resort sophistication.
2. FireRock Lounge at The Westin Resort & Spa 604-935-4345, gibbonswhistler.com /firerock-lounge
CHILI CHOCOLATE OLD FASHIONED The Old Fashioned is a classic, pre-Prohibition whisky cocktail that tastes divine when made properly, but is really easy to muck up. “Some places will mash the orange instead of muddling the sugar,” says Assistant General Manager Azza Fleming. “That’s what often makes it divey.” There is none of that bitter murkiness here, even though the FireRock’s signature drink takes many liberties with the original recipe by adding chocolate bitters and chili-infused simple syrup to Knob Creek bourbon. Pale golden in colour with an intense chocolateorange nose, the first fiery sip quickly subsides into a richly rounded, boozy cocoa finish. It’s no wonder the bar whips up hundreds of these easysippers every week.