Sunday 25 September 2011

Mixology Monday: Local Colors

The first Mixology Monday of fall is hosted by Lindsay of Alcohol Alchemy.  Lindsay has chosen the theme of local flavor.  An opportunity for everyone to showcase the great locals spirits being made in our own backyards.

Pull out your favorite “local” craft spirit (for those of you not in the US, what hidden gem from your neck of the woods do you want to give some cocktail press?), tell us a little bit about it and why you love it, and let it shine in whichever way (or ways!) you see fit! 
Here in Victoria we are pretty spoiled for local selection: gin, tea, coffee and the combined total of nearly a dozen brewpubs and breweries makes for no shortage of libations.  Monthly festivals celebrating food and drink of all variety help to solidify the presents of the great local product available in Victoria.  My cocktail for this Mixology Monday will utilize products from three of my favorite local companies.

Located in Canada's oldest china town is Silk Road.  Known in Victoria for their massive selection of organic tea.  From classics like lapsang sochoug to creative blends like my personal favorite ruby pagoda, a blend of: roobios, hibiscus flower, rosehip, rose petal, citrus peel and pink peppercorn.  A favorite flavoring ingredient of mine in syrups is tea.  By brewing a pot of tea and using it in place of water for simple syrup will yield wonderful results.

Host to the annual Great Canadian Beer Festival, it is no wonder that Victoria has such a vibrant beer culture.  Craft beer has been a part of Victoria's community since 1984 when Vancouver Island Brewery began brewing beer with 100% local products.  27 years later, Victoria is now home to three other beloved breweries; Lighthouse, Driftwood and Philips.  Phillips is to the beer world as Willy Wonka is to the candy world.  Quirky and unique seasonal releases ensure that a flux of Philips beer is ever flowing through the local liquor stores.  Including Philips' summer release of its raspberry wheat ale.  A luscious wheat beer with a fresh raspberry taste and color, a perfect match for our next local product.

Last on the list of Victoria's very own artisan companies is Victoria Spirits.  Home to Canada's first premium gin -Victoria Gin-  Victoria Spirits crafts a multitude of spirits including: gin, barrel aged gin, orange bitters, whisky (currently a work in progress) and a variety of eau de vie.  Victoria Gin is a small batch product with a lovely floral nose and a strong citric backbone.  Although juniper is noticeably present, it is not over powering.  While a consistent product is attempted to be maintained with Victoria Gin, every batch has some small characteristic twists.  To read more about the wonderful work being put into motion at Victoria Spirits read this blog post I did a few months back highlighting this local craft distillery.  Victoria Spirits Tour

The Last Rose
- 2 oz Victoria Gin
- 1 oz Phillips Raspberry Wheat Ale
- 0.75 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.5 oz Ruby Pagoda Tea Syrup
- 2 Dashes Victoria Orange Bitters

- Add all ingredients excluding beer to cocktail shaker
- Add ice and shake
- Double Strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Top with Phillips Raspberry Wheat Ale
- Garnish with rose pedal

Thanks to Lindsay of Alcohol Alchemy for hosting this month's Mixology Monday, as well as all participants that make every MxMo an enjoyable time.

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