wine

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)

Method:

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)

Method:

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

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

 

The Okanagan: Canada's Most Diverse Wine Region

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There’s still plenty of time for another summer adventure! Head up to the Okanagan Valley for a first-class wine tour and see firsthand how diverse this amazing region truly is.

Although the Okanagan only has two official sub-appellations – ‘Golden Mile’ and ‘Okanagan Falls’ – it has a wide range of regions that showcase a variety of terroir and style. We’ve selected a few favourite wines from a few favourite sub-regions to get you started before you hit the road!

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REGION: EAST KELOWNA
• Soils in Kelowna are heavier than elsewhere in the valley, based on sandy loam, clay and limestone.
• The coast mountain range protects vineyards in this region from the Vancouver rain.
• Riesling is one of the top grapes in this northern region due to its similar latitudinal range to Germany.
Try: Cedar Creek Riesling
Bright and focused citrus acidity balances out its sweet stone fruits.
750ml, $23.99


REGION: NARAMATA BENCH (PENTICTON)
• The soils are a mixture of sand, silt, and clay that provide ample nutrients and water retention for easy farming.
• Nestled in the south-east end of Okanagan Lake, Naramata Bench benefits from lake-side breezes, which keep summer temperatures cool and help protect the vines from damaging frosts and molds.
Try: Poplar Grove Merlot
Classically Okanagan with velvety tannins + notes of sage & cherry notes.
750 ml, $33.49

REGION: THE GOLDEN MILE BENCH (OLIVER)
• Sandy soils that cover the bedrock aid in effectively draining water.
• BC’s first official sub-appellation and one of the most southerly growing regions in the province.
• To the north sits basalt faced McIntyre Bluff, which blocks wind, making the region hot and dry.
• Osoyoos lake on the south end moderates the temperature, keeping the vines from scorching in the summer and freezing in the winter.
Try: Tinhorn Creek The Creek
A bordeaux blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon featuring dark berry flavours and a spicy finish.
750ml, $62.99

 
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Cedar Creek Riesling

Bright and focused citrus acidity balances out its sweet stone fruits.
750ml, $23.99

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Poplar Grove Merlot

Classically Okanagan with velvety tannins + notes of sage & cherry notes.
750 ml, $33.49

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Tinhorn Creek The Creek

A bordeaux blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon featuring dark berry flavours and a spicy finish.
750ml, $62.99

 
 
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By:  Ann Brydle, Quadra GM, Certified Sommelier, Certified Sherry Specialist

Meet the Maker: Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards

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Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards  is located at the historic Greata Ranch property, situated between Peachland and Summerland.

 
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Opening its doors in Spring 2018, the 8,000 case boutique winery mainly specializes in traditional method sparkling wine, while also producing still wines on its 40-acre property (chardonnay, ehrenfelser, riesling, rosé, gewürztraminer, pinot blanc, pinot noir and meritage).

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Distinctly Fitzpatrick
Positioned in an unique area by Okanagan Lake and east of Mt. Eneas, the vineyard is set up perfectly for the production of sparkling wine, crisp whites and elegant reds.

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There is no other winery in the Okanagan with these specific set of conditions:
Mt. Eneas: provides direct light and shade at opportune times
Four separate soil types: influences the flavour in the finished wines
Steady wind: keeps vines dry and healthy
The Lake: moderates vineyard temperatures
Vine age: their oldest vines are now entering their third decade, producing quality and mature fruit. 

About the winemaker
Sarah Bain began her path in the wine industry in 2004. She built her career at two leading organic and biodynamic producers in Central Otago, New Zealand. Sarah has since worked vintages across California, Germany and Canada.

Photo: Gordon Fitzpatrick (owner) and Sarah Bain (winemaker)

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Sparkling Culture
The Fitzpatrick family will inspire you to gain an appreciation for the nuances of producing traditional method sparkling wine.  Head to their ‘sparkling bar’ for tastings or join a sparkling wine tour to get an in-depth peek of their definitive culture.

Find Them
659 Highway 97 S, Peachland, BC
Fitzwine.com | #whywaittocelebrate 

 
 
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By: Jeremy Pott, Regional Operations Manager, Certified Sommelier

Meet the Maker: Stillhead Distillery

 
 
 

Cowichan Valley's newest craft distillery
Stillhead Distillery is founded by husband and wife team, Brennan and Erica Colebank, along with parents, Ron and Christal. Opening its doors in October 2017, this Cowichan Valley distillery crafts premium gin and vodka from locally grown grains and botanicals. 

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Meet: Brennan Colebank
After working many years in the tech industry, Brennan Colebank left to pursue his dream of starting a craft distillery in the Cowichan Valley.

Brennan’s true passion in distilling lies in creating new and exciting spirits from BC farm produce. His favourite projects involve aging spirits in wood, and experimenting with different barrels types and distilling techniques to produce fine spirits. When he’s not distilling, Brennan spends most of his free time on the river or ocean. 

Why we love them
Alongside their tasty products, Stillhead Distillery is committed to supporting local habitat restoration and donates to local environment focused charities.

 

 

Our Recommendations:

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Prime 23 Gin

A classic London dry style gin, with a BC botanical twist!

$37.99, 750 ml

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Prime 1 Vodka

A clean and smooth vodka perfect for any cocktail.

$22.49, 375 ml

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Wild Blackberry Vodka

Infused with local, wild Blackberries and no artificial colours or flavours.

$24.99, 375 ml

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By: Ann Brydle, Quadra GM, Certified Sommelier & Sherry Specialist

Summer Adventures: Patio Sippers

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By: Ann Brydle, Quadra GM, Certified Sommelier & Sherry Specialist

Does the summer sun have you running for your best friend's patio? Make sure to grab one of these bottles to quench your thirst and keep you cool.

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Roche Arôme

This wine is an aromatic explosion of honey suckle, tropical fruits and spring blossoms that finishes surprisingly dry. A perfect accompaniment to lounging on a sunny afternoon.

$21.49 (750ml)
Okanagan Valley, BC

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Les Auzines Alaina Rosé

No summer wine list is complete without a peachy-pink rosé, and this one is sure to please. A strawberry and raspberry nose gives way to juicy grapefruit acidity and a long lavender finish.

$23.49 (750ml)
Languedoc, France

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Evel Vinho Branco

There's more than just Port in Portugal! The aromatic blend of flowers, orchard fruit and melons in this wine will complement any summer dish, from seafood to salad.

$18.49 (750ml)
Douro, Portugal

Easter Inspired Wines

easter pairings, red wine, prosecco

By: Ann Brydle, Quadra GM, Certified Sommelier, Certified Sherry Specialist

Whether you're hosting brunch or dinner, or planning for a weekend full of sweets, Ann's got you covered for Easter wine pairings. Enjoy these expert selections paired with your traditional meals!

mionetto, prosecco

Mionetto Prosecco

Bubbles and brunch go hand in hand! Pair this lively and fruity treat with your hot-cross buns, deviled eggs, and quiche to impress all your Easter guests. 

$17.99 (750 ml) Treviso, Italy

marichel estate syrah

Marichel Estate Syrah

Serving a boldly flavoured roast lamb for dinner? Match those big flavours with an equally big wine. This syrah is bursting with dark berries, plum, a leathery, smoky finish and refined tannins.

$39.49 (750 ml) Okanagan Valley, BC

sandeman ruby port

Sandeman Ruby Port

Easter chocolates aren't just for the kids, so go ahead and indulge! Pair those treats with something equally sweet like this fresh and youthful ruby port, packed with cherry, raspberry, cinnamon, and subtle tannins.

$22.99 (750 ml) Douro, Portugal