Well-crafted stories and expert culinary insights

Oct 2009

Sipping Olympic History

Having had a fabulous trip to Vancouver, BC earlier this year, which included a cocktail or two (plus an amazing dinner) at Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel, it grabbed my attention to read about the Olympics-themed cocktails recently unveiled for the restaurant. The Games will be starting in 127 days, and yes, there are a lot of people counting down (not the least, official timekeeper Omega watches at this link). I found myself mentally doing so as we passed through US customs at Blaine a couple of weeks ago, noting the new expanded crossing gates that aren’t yet open.

But back to those cocktails. Yew’s master mixologist Justin Taylor put together three concoctions that celebrate Vancouver’s hosting of the Games, tipping his hat, too, to two past Canada host cities.

The Bronze cocktail is Montreal-inspired (1976 hosts), with Canadian rye whiskey that’s infused with Quebec maple syrup and Granny Smith apple.

The Silver honors Calgary’s 1988 hosting of the Games, with buffalo jerky-infused vodka, housemade Clamato juice, chile peppers and horseradish.*

And the Gold is saved, of course, for the 2010 host Vancouver. The  commemorative  cocktail melds cucumber- and dill-infused BC gin (wonder if it’s Victoria Gin?), fresh citrus and egg white, with a garnish of candied smoked salmon.

I had no intention of trying to slip back up to Vancouver before the Games begin, but now I’m thinking twice. With luck, Canada will not only capture some gold medals in the competitions, but perhaps Yew will consider holding the Gold cocktail on their menu for a while.


* The press release noted this cocktail as a twist on the Caesar. Nothing salad-related, the Caesar is a Canadian cocktail of note that one of my go-to cocktail resources said they think is more flavorful than the similar Bloody Mary. What they share is vodka, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt; where they differ is the Bloody Mary using classic tomato juice, the Caesar has always been made with clam liquor-enhanced tomato juice. According to Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century, the Caesar was first served a good two years before Clamato juice was developed down in California. I’ve never had a Caesar but will surely seek one out soon.

2 Comments for this entry

October 15th, 2009 on 1:02 pm

Hi Cynthia,

Yes, the Gold IS Victoria Gin and we’ve got the recipe here if you want to try it:

Really enjoy your blog!


    October 29th, 2009 on 1:07 pm

    I figured as much!! Enjoying sipping my Victoria Gin brought home from the recent trip. Delish.