by Shaun Layton | This is the twelth in a series of posts on building a home bar, five bottles and one drink at a time. I’ve listed bottles 56-60 below (see also 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30, 31-35, 36-40, 41-45, 46-50, 51-55). Depending on how much you drink at home, or how many deadbeat roommates you have, a home bar can either take a long time to build or be done in a few trips to the liquor store. The bottles I choose aren’t necessarily the best in their respective categories, I’m just trying to use unique, readily available, and cost efficient brands. If you want to share thoughts or photos or ask any questions, fire away via Twitter (@shaunlayton).
56. Sheringham Seaside Gin | The hooch coming from this Vancouver Island distillery – conveniently located on Seaside Drive in Shirley – is phenomenal. The secret to this bright, fragrant gin is wait for it…. winged kelp! Surfers say it helps cut through the chop of the waves, making for a smooth ride. It also smooths out the gin, and lends it a slightly savoury note. Not your gin for a Martini. Mix it into cocktails. Mine is a G&T with some fresh local berries and a Mediterranean tonic. Find at the distillery or at specialty stores for $34-$40.
57. Pimm’s No. 1 | We profiled this gin-based English liqueur a few years back. Pimm’s on a patio or at a BBQ, weather permitting of course, is the cocktail world’s cherry blossom, a symbol of Spring. Fill a glass with ice, add Pimm’s and ginger ale, some fruit, and that’s it! Find at any liquor store for $25.
58. Sazerac 6yr Rye | For $53.99, this 6 year old American rye from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky is great value. I have profiled other bigger and bolder ryes here before, but the 6 year for me is on the more elegant side. Sip it neat, mix in a dry Manhattan, or beside an east coast style IPA. For a real treat pick up a bottle of the 18 yr, but good luck finding it!
59. Rootside Tonic Syrup | A local tonic syrup has arrived that I can get with…finally! On account of my love for the Spanish style G&T, I am always looking for new types of the quinine-laced soda. Many artisanal syrups have hit the market in recent years, though most are too sweet or are a murky brown colour that spoils the crystal beauty of a good G&T. These fellas use a secret blend of aromatics with sea salt and lavender from Vancouver Island, which gives it a coral pink hue. Find its availability through their website or at some specialty stores. At $16 for a 750 ml, it’s not a bad price considering it’s handcrafted and only half to a full ounce is needed per recipe.
60. Parallel 49 Tricycle Grapefruit Radler | It’s back! We mentioned this fruit bomb of a radler in this DIY-RTD cocktail article. The day the Blue Jays threw the first pitch of the season, I opened my first can. Keep an eye out at your local tasting room, as seasonal radlers will be popping up all over the province. Not only for beer drinkers, radlers are sublime in cocktail form. Take any bubbly or citrus-forward classic cocktail, make it long, add ice and top with radler! This works 90% of the time, thank me later. Pick it up at liquor stores for $10.99
Cocktail | Pink Derby
A take on the famed Brown Derby cocktail from the namesake restaurant in LA
45 ml Sazerac rye
10 ml fresh lime juice
1 bar spoon honey
Parallel 49 Grapefruit Radler
Method – Add ingredients (except radler) to a shaker, add ice, shake for 15 seconds, strain into an ice filled collins glass. Top with COLD radler, stir, enjoy, top up again, repeat!