20th century cocktail

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.
(photo: thealchemistmagazine.ca)


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.
(photo: thealchemistmagazine.ca)


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)


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


Recipe: 20th Century Cocktail

Photo:  Saveur

Photo: Saveur

What you’ll need:

  • 1 1⁄2 oz Ampersand Gin

  • 1⁄2 oz Lillet Blanc

  • 1⁄2 oz White crème de cacao

  • 3⁄4 oz Freshly squeezed lemon juice


Shake all ingredients for 10-15 seconds.
Fine Strain into a chilled coupe cocktail glass.
Add a lemon twist.

*Expert tip – tighten the lemon twist over the drink to squeeze the oils into the glass. Rub the twist on one half of the glass rim to enhance the lemon aromas.