Cure Lounge and Patio at Nita Lake Lodge 604-966-5700 | nitalakelodge.com
Strawberries, with their sweet and juicy scarlet flesh, are one of the world’s favourite berries. They are grown in every province of Canada, where a wild variety holds an important place in First Nations’ creation stories, having been brought to earth by Sky Woman, who used them as medicine. They are also the first fruit to ripen in spring — not just on farms, but also on the rooftop garden at Nita Lake Lodge.
To celebrate her in-house, sky-high crop, Cure Lounge Bar Manager Rhiannon Csordas muddles them with basil in this supremely quenching version of a summer-time iced tea mixed with Oaken Gin (from Victoria Spirits on Vancouver Island), fresh-brewed green tea, freshly squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup and a crack of black pepper. It’s one of several earthy elixirs on her rotating “From the Garden” summer menu.
Although the bar will also feature a selection of Canadian cocktails — and a whisky flight — this season, she predicts this chunky, fruity patio sipper (served in a big garden pot of ice) will be the biggest seller. “It’s dangerous,” she explains. “You don’t even taste the booze. Then all of a sudden it hits you with a warm, fuzzy glow.”