Beat the Chill
IMAGES BY JOERN ROHDE
Chilled out? It’s time to warm up with a toasty winter sipper. From classic mulled wine to an avant-garde variation on hot buttered rum, these smoking hot cocktails from Whistler’s best bars will defrost your toes after a long day on the slopes.
604-932-3433 | bearfootbistro.com
Smoking in the Theatre
A glass case sitting on the edge of the bar fills with thick, white smoke. As wispy tendrils escape through the bottom, the scent of smouldering cinnamon sticks permeates the air. It looks like a snow globe in a blizzard, or a crystal-ball re-enactment of that time you got socked in by fog on the Upper Peak-to-Creek ski run. After the vapour slowly dissipates, the ghostly silhouette of a creamy cocktail emerges.
“It’s a play on hot buttered rum,” says bartender Aasha Sinha. “But way cooler!” Bar Manager Scott Barber exclaims.
The voluptuously viscous, sinfully sweet showpiece is layered with spiced chocolate-stout syrup that has been blended with clarified butter, dark rum, warm water and banana-cinnamon foam.
Theatrical cocktails are part of the dramatic dining experience for which the fine-dining Bearfoot Bistro is well known. But this smoking hot number really takes the cake — or ginger snap cookies, which are served on the side as garnish.
604-962-4540 | baroso.ca
The Canadian Kid
Sleekly clad in stained oak and marbled onyx, this Spanish tapas bar is about as classy as they come. That makes it somewhat ironic that Bar Manager Jason Redmond has named his sophisticated winter warmer in homage to ice-hockey commentator Don Cherry — one of Canada’s most brash personalities and garish dressers.
“‘He’s a good, ol’ Canadian kid!’ That’s something Don always says,”
Booze forward and well balanced, this all-star player is an original spin on a classic Boulevardier. Built on cedar-infused Canadian rye, it’s stirred over ice with bittersweet Amaro and herbaceous Cynar. Los Siete Misterios Mezcal adds a back-throat hit of campfire smokiness, while Fernet Branca keeps the flavour profile tight with a bracing dash of menthol.
“The Fernet Branca reminds me of the eucalyptus steamer at Scandinave Spa,” says Redmond, finishing his smooth re-fueller with natural oils from a flamed orange peel. “If you take a deep breath, it really reaches down into your lungs.”
Cure Lounge and Patio at Nita Lake Lodge
604-966-5700 | nitalakelodge.com
Twisted Apple Cider
Mirror, mirror on the wall, which drink is the tastiest of them all? Good cocktails, much like classic fairy tales and iconic design, stand the test of time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t all be improved with fresh tellings, contemporary accents or unexpected twists.
To celebrate the fresh look of Whistler’s snazziest lakeside lounge — one that has modernized the rugged cabin setting with a soft-white airiness and bold red splashes — Cure Lounge’s “Story Time” menu puts a new spin on libations inspired by The Brothers Grimm.
Poison Apple, mixed with Fort Berens Late Harvest Riesling, is to die for. And Mad Tea Party, a steaming blend of bourbon, muddled blueberries and Earl Grey tea, is crazy good.
But the Twisted Apple Cider, warmed with darkly delicious winter-spice syrup, full-bodied Lemon Hart rum and a spicy dash of cayenne, offers a very happy ending that will thaw your frozen heart (and fingers) from the inside out.
Sidecut Bar at the Four Seasons Resort &
604-966-5280 | sidecutwhistler.com
The Black Bear
Brrr! The stacked-stone Sidecut Bar makes a cozy den for shaking off the snow, curling up into a leather lounger and hibernating next to the fireplace.
Mama and papa bears alike will warm to this espresso-based pick-me-up blended with butter syrup, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Sortilège maple-whisky liqueur and a top layer of steamed milk. Equal parts frothy and boozy, it kind of tastes like a creamy macchiato spiked with spicy sailor’s breath.
But what about baby bears? It just so happens that Après Hour at the Four Seasons’ Bar is a family-friendly affair with a toasty s’mores bar on the outdoor terrace and a winter warmer mocktail list. So, when mom and dad are indulging in their hot buttered Black Bears, the cubs can wet their whistles on mulled cranberry cocktail and hazelnut creams with honey syrup.
Mmm! Or as Goldilocks might say, it tastes “just right.”
Basalt Wine + Salumeria
604-962-9011 | basaltwhistler.com
Mulled wine, glühwein, vin brulé, glögg — whatever you want to call it, nothing beats a steaming glass of spicy red wine for a revitalizing whiff of holiday cheer.
It also makes the perfect winter warmer for this casual Italian wine bar that has recently introduced a vino-centric cocktail menu to pair with all those delicious cured meats and cheeses.
For this sophisticated version, Bar Manager Jamie Lynch uses a blend of B.C. merlot and gamay noir so the drink still has a tannic dryness, but isn’t too heavy after being reduced by the heat. He adds honey (in place of sugar), fragrant cloves and star anise, dehydrated orange slices (which release aromatic oils from the zest) and a shot of brandy.
“The wines will change throughout the season, but we’ll try to keep it low-alcohol,” Lynch says of the smooth sipper, which goes down all too easy. “We don’t want people to get too wasted and then go back up the hill.”