Cocktails 101 with Jay Jordan

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What makes a good cocktail? Is it the ingredients, the method or mixologist? The short answer is, all of the above. The concoction should be pleasing to the eye, nose and palate, all while stimulating the mind.

Start with quality ingredients, follow well laid out instructions and you’ll impress your guests at your next dinner party or event. Below are my top three classic cocktails along with their methodologies.

Happy Cocktail Month on behalf of the Cascadia team!

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The Sour: classic cocktail recipe

The Sour’s not just a cocktail, it's an entire family of cocktails. Made with whisky or Amaretto, this classic holds a universe of flavours to the knowledgeable barkeep. Most people are unaware that the Sour may be the most consumed cocktail on the planet due to its various aliases: Gimlet, Bramble, Sidecar, Daiquiri, Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Collins, etc.


A simple, balanced formula: two parts spirit, one sweet, one sour.

2 oz spirit
1 oz simple syrup
1 oz fresh lemon or lime juice

Tips on modifying The Sour:

Swap out the spirits. Add some spice. Use flavoured spirits. Change up the acid. Add a little egg white for texture and foam. This drink is all about the balance. As long as you get that right, the only limit here is your creativity.

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The Waterfall Pour AKA The 3-2-1 Negroni

The Negroni is well-known for being equal parts gin, sweet vermouth and Campari. It sounds great. It’s easy to remember. People love it. Except that fewer and fewer bartenders actually make a Negroni like that anymore. Between new styles of gin and changing consumer palates, the Negroni recipe has morphed into a 3-2-1 configuration that's 3 parts gin, 2 parts vermouth, 1 part Amaro.


I love this adaptation because of its versatility. You can use an array of spirits in place of gin, fortified wine for vermouth or a variety of Amaro. Create your own mixture using this formula.

1 oz spirit
½ oz vermouth
¼ oz amaro

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Fancy as Fig

Islay scotch and Sauternes are luxurious indulgences on their own. This cocktail relies on the rich flavours of peaty scotch and late harvest dessert wine combined with figs and black walnuts. Paired, they’re remarkable. It’s a rich and smoky drink with dried fruit, toasty vanilla and caramel flavours. The perfect way to enjoy a fire and a cool fall evening. These flavours are some of the greatest pleasures of fall.

Try this recipe!

1 ¾ oz Highland Park 12 Year Old Scotch
½ oz Chateau de Armajan Sauternes
1 fig (quartered)
2 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
bar spoon of maple syrup
orange twist to garnish

Place fig quarters in the bottom of a mixing glass and cover with Sauternes and maple syrup. Muddle the mixture until it has a fairly smooth consistency. Fill mixing glass with ice and add Scotch and bitters. Stir until chilled. Strain through a tea strainer into a rocks glass filled with a large ice cube. 

Notes: Sauternes is a late harvest dessert wine made from grapes that have been affected by Noble Rot. Noble rot gives this wine a distinctive ginger, honey and nut flavour. Combined with the wine’s dried apricot flavour and lengthy finish this is a perfect pairing for the light honey and heather peat notes of Highland Park Scotch.

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By: Jay Jordan, Resident Spirit Expert (Langford)


Introducing: Cascadia's first craft beer advent calendar!

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24 specially curated 473ml cans from distinctive craft breweries. Available mid November at a Cascadia store near you. Stay tuned for the official release date!

Jay's Recipe: Tea & Oranges Cocktail

Crafted for: Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal after-party (Nov 17)

“And she feeds you tea and oranges
that come all the way from China”
–Leonard Cohen

Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s track Suzanne, this cocktail is variation of a Bourbon Sidecar. Lapsang Souchong tea lends a nice smokiness to bourbon. Meyer lemons combine the bracing acidity of lemon with the unique flavour of mandarin oranges. Enjoy!

Tea & Oranges

1 ¼ oz Bourbon
¼ oz Cointreau
1 oz Meyer Lemon Juice  
¾ Lapsang Souchong tea syrup 
Orange Bitters 
Orange twist to garnish  

Pour bourbon, Cointreau, meyer lemon juice and tea syrup into a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the cocktail the cocktail is well chilled and mixed. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with orange bitters and garnish with an orange twist. 

Lapsang Souchong Tea Syrup 

1 cup superfine sugar
1 cup Lapsang Souchong Tea 

Make a cup of Lapsang Souchong tea. While the tea is still hot dissolve one cup of sugar into tea. Cool and funnel into a bottle. Syrup will keep up to a month in the refrigerator.

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Created By: Jay Jordan, Resident Spirit Expert, Cascadia Liquor

Nov 2018 Best Buys

All featured prices valid November 1-30, 2018

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Jessie's Harvest Pairings

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October. I love this month. With its bright colours and cool fall air, this cozy season sends us on a quest for comforting food and drinks. Plus, there’s Thanksgiving - the perfect excuse to get family and friends together.

Take advantage of the harvested ingredients this season – I've paired three dishes featuring a bounty of fall flavours for you to enjoy at your next occasion.

Happy Thanksgiving on behalf of Cascadia!

Confit Lemon Brussels Sprouts + Fresh-hopped Beer

 Brussels sprouts photo:  Truffles Catering

Brussels sprouts photo: Truffles Catering

With its bright and flavourful characteristics, brussels sprouts should be paired with a wine or beer that's crisp and dry, ideally leaving your mouth watering for the next bite. I recommend one of the many fresh-hopped beers that are released in the fall.

Try: Spinnakers Fresh Hopped ESB
A twist on the classic English style. Brewed with estate-grown hops from Spinnakers’ farm in the Sooke River Valley on Vancouver Island. Best enjoyed fresh! (Follow us on Instagram for the latest releases.)
$13.99, 4x473 ml

PS. Is your mouth watering yet? We have you covered - check out Truffles Catering’s brussels sprouts recipe!

Savoury Sweet Potato Pie + Medium-bodied, Fruit-forward Wines

 Pie photo:  Tesco Real Food

Pie photo: Tesco Real Food

Savoury pie is becoming a holiday staple, replacing its sweeter version (or at least I think it should). Infused with complex flavours, this scrumptious pie is enriched with medium-bodied and fruit forward wines.

Try: Stag’s Hollow Simply Noir
A blend of Pinot Noir, Merlot and Gamay Noir. The perfect cherry on top.
$20.49, 750 ml

Pear & Mascarpone Crumble + DIY Dessert Cocktails

 Crumble photo:  Bon Appetit

Crumble photo: Bon Appetit

No matter how full you are, there’s always room for dessert. This crumble is light and not too sweet. I've paired it with a gin-based chocolate and lemon cocktail to play off the subtle sweetness of the pear crumble giving you a hint of chocolate that’s a nice end to any meal.

Try: 20th Century Cocktail with Ampersand Gin
Fresh, lemony and chocolatey.  See recipe!
$37.99, 750 ml


By: Jessie Fowler, GM, Eagle CreekISG Level 2 / WSET Level 2


PNW Picks: Fall Flavours

- the best of the pacific north west - 


Brews best paired with fall flannel shirts.

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Category 12 Brewing Side Project Amber Lager

Light amber colour with crisp finish.

$13.49, 4x473 ml
Saanichton, BC

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Hoyne Brewing Finnegans Irish Stout

Rich and robust with coffee and chocolate flavours.

$6.29, 650 ml
Victoria, BC

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Driftwood Brewery Goldynwell Folköl Table Beer

Smooth body with refreshing zest of Citra & Mosaic hops. Low alcohol for those mid-afternoon sessions!

$12.49, 4x473 ml
Victoria, BC


Curated by: Jeremy Pott, Regional Operations Manager, Certified Cicerone®