Taste the best of the season and make it bloom with a flower-infused summer sipper. Pull up a seat at the bar to discover the magic that happens when Whistler’s finest bartenders use creative techniques to imbue their concoctions with bright, seasonal flavours. From petal-infused simple syrups to muddled herbs and house-made tinctures and bitters, say cheers to garden-fresh and fruity-floral flavours with these cocktails.
604-932-3433 | bearfootbistro.com
MY FRIEND SPRUCE
It may be scorching in the sun but it’s always cool at the Bearfoot Bistro, with a dusting of fairy light-lit shaved ice keeping glasses chilled at the well-stocked bar. Inspiration for Bartender Joe Casson’s summer-season cocktail comes from the spirit of the Sea to Sky and the ethos that “what grows together, goes together.” A petal-infused gin is the base for this fresh, floral (but not at all sweet) and beautifully balanced cocktail with cherry blossoms giving way to Alpine wildflowers as the season progresses.
Amaro Montenegro adds a gently sweet herbaceous note; Wayward Distilling’s Krupnik spiced honey liqueur brings an extra depth of sweetness, and the link between flowers and bees, instead of using citrus, is balanced out by a house-made, locally foraged, spruce-tip champagne vinegar shrub. “It’s delicate but it’s strong, and spirit-forward. We’ve decided to call it ‘My Friend Spruce,’” Casson says. “The name breaks the mould for those kitschy, flower-foraged cocktails like Bushwalker Flowerman! It just changes things up.”
604-932-4442 | ilcaminetto.ca
Slip away from the hustle of the Village to find a quiet spot amidst the happy buzz of contented diners at Il Caminetto to indulge in Bar Manager Peter Johanson’s latest creation, inspired by the plight of the honey bees. “Bees are slowly dying out, especially in places like China,” Johanson says. “So I wanted to do something Asian-influenced around honey and flowers.”
To create the Honeysuckle Sour, Johanson infuses Japanese whisky with beeswax by coating the inside of a glass bottle with wax, adding the alcohol and letting nature slowly take its course to give the whisky a lush, velvety mouthfeel. Add local wildflower honey, yuzu juice and egg whites and you have a mouth-watering, creamy, foamy floral drink with a honeyed finish that looks set to become an instant classic this summer. “The lighter style of Japanese whisky really lets the beeswax flourish and lets those aromatics and floral notes to come through,” says Johanson. “It’s perfect for newbie whisky drinkers!”
BASALT WINE + SALUMERIA
604-962-9011 | basaltwhistler.com
“I try to be as zero waste as possible,” explains Bar Manager Alex Muir as he whips up his new creation, Dante’s Cooler. “I use dehydrated pulp from the juice in the drink, mixed with ginger skin for the rim; that way all the prep goes straight back into the drink.” An eco-ethos runs through the Basalt bar: After each shift ends, any spare fruit is dehydrated for garnishes, and the straws (which are only available on request) are compostable.
A vivid red thanks to homemade red pepper juice spiked with ginger, lime and salt, Dante’s Cooler is a funky, fresh cocktail that could just be your new favourite late-brunch beverage of choice. “It’s got a Pisco base; it’s a Peruvian grape brandy which maybe people don’t know so much, but I’m trying to introduce them to it as it’s got a unique flavour profile and just pairs so well with Aperol.”
It really does. Bright, fresh and dangerously crushable, if Muir’s starting a Pisco trend … we’re in!
MALLARD LOUNGE at Fairmont Chateau Whistler
604-938-8000 | fairmont.com/whistler
BOTANIST INFUSED WITH BERRY GARDEN TEA
With its sun-trap patio, stunning mountain views and cozy couches, the Mallard Lounge and Terrace is a favourite spot for people watching and sipping creative cocktails. On the drinks menu, a whole raft of creative concoctions from the talented team is designed to amuse and amaze with house-made infusions, foraged-ingredient syrups and local distillery spirits.
Inspired by the balloon-glass Gin Tonics of Barcelona, Bar Manager Maxime Lambert’s latest creation uses an infusion tower that drips Botanist gin at a drop per second through Fairmont’s Lot 35 Berry Garden tea to create a gloriously fruity scarlet gin flavoured with the tea blend’s hibiscus-flower and cornflower-petal aromatics. Add ice cubes, sun-ripened berries, Fever Tree tonic and lemon for the aromatics and here’s an instant splash of summer in a glass.
“When summer fresh fruits are in season, thanks to Whistler’s wild nature, we can go and pick blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to add to the drink to make it authentically local,” says Lambert. “It’s such a fun drink — the colour of the gin, the big balloon glass. It’s a patio sipper in the sunshine with a real wow factor!”
THE RAVEN ROOM
604-962-0311 | theravenroom.ca
LAVENDER EMPRESS SOUR
Tucked away in the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre hotel, this Whistler insiders’ secret spot is all set for its first summer season. “We are so excited,” says Jason Redmond, co-owner and bartender. “We get the last of the day’s sun on our 40-seat patio and you can sit there amongst the herbs and flowers and have a delicious cocktail.”
And what better drink to pair with a floral oasis than an indigo-coloured Lavender Empress Sour, made with butterfly pea blossom-infused 1908 Empress Gin from Vancouver Island’s Victoria Distillers and a house-made lavender syrup to enhance those fragrant floral notes of the gin.
As is usual with a sour, this is made with fresh lemon juice and egg white, but vegans needn’t feel left out. “We just substitute the egg white with aqua faba to make a vegan sour,” Redmond says. “It doesn’t affect the flavour at all and it’s becoming really popular.”