How To Build A Strong Home Bar, One Drink And Five Bottles At A Time (Part 7)


by Shaun Layton | This is the eigth in a series of posts on building a home bar, five bottles and one drink at a time. I’ve listed bottles 31-35 below (see also 1-56-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30). 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).

31. Son’s of Vancouver Amaretto – Previously profiled on Scout here, we love this stuff. A great alternative to the syrupy sweet Amaretto that Mom used to put in her Blueberry tea. Made from of apricot kernels, vanilla beans, demerara, and with an unusual addition of blackberry, well worth the $40 price tag. It seams pricey, but half an ounce goes a real long way. Head to the North Van distillery to buy or pick a bottle up at Legacy.

32. Ricard Pastis de Marseille – This is the thing to drink in the south of France: ice, water, and pastis — don’t knock it until you try it! A dark horse addition to many cocktails that need that ‘lil somethin’ extra. For those who don’t like liquorice or anise flavours, it may take some time. Try it in a Mojito! Find at any liquor store $26.99, a steal!

33. Pierre Ferrand Cognac – Designed with the help of cocktail historian David Wondrich, this Cognac was built with classic cocktails in mind. Think Brandy Crusta, Sidecar, and perhaps even a Julep. It punches a bit higher at 45%, and sadly also at a heftier price tag. But if you’re buying a Cadillac, you may as well buy one with GPS. $72.00 at specialty liquor stores.

34. Gin Mare – I’ve documented the gin craze in Barcelona in the past. Mare is so versatile; it sings in a G & T, and it inspired the popular Avocado Gimlet at L’Abattoir (one of those “Why did I put this on the menu?” cocktails) Legacy or 16th street should have you covered. $52.99.

35. Pisco Encanto – Finally a Peruvian Pisco on the market in BC! It’s the passion project of a bartender, distiller, and sommelier from San Francisco, and it’s on the shelf at your local LDB for $43.99. Pisco Sours will never be the same if you haven’t had one outside BC.

Cocktail | Damn-aretto Sour


30 ml Pisco Encanto
30 ml S.O.V. Amaretto
15 ml fresh lemon juice
15 ml fresh lime juice
5 ml simple syrup
1 egg white

Method – Add Ingredients to a cocktail shaker. “Dry shake” without ice. Add ice, shake hard for 20-25 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail coupe. Gently drop Peruvian or Angostura bitters on top of the foam.


IMG_6220Shaun Layton has helped maintain YVR’s bar scene for ten years. He was the opening Bar Manager at L’Abattoir, and is now the beverage director at Chinatown’s Juniper. He runs his own consulting company, designing bar programs and training staff here and as far away as St.John’s. Layton has competed and travelled throughout the USA and Europe, touring distilleries, breweries and bars. In 2012, he was recognized in as the Bartender of The Year by Vancouver Magazine.


There are 2 comments

  1. Correction: the amaretto is from “Sons of Vancouver.” Sons of Anarchy is a television show about biker gang.

Picking Grapes with Jayton Paul

We put our Picking Grapes questions to the Wine Director for Boxset Collective (Published on Main, Bar Susu, Novella, Twin Sails).

Picking Grapes with Ryan Mellor

One look at the extensive Gotham wine list - broken down by region, sub-region, appellation, varietal, rating and more - left us with no doubts that the restaurant's Wine Director was the perfect person to field our Picking Grapes questions...

Bring On Spring: Celebrate Better Weather with These Eight Cocktails

Here's a bunch of spring cocktails available around town, perfect for raising a glass to freedom from rain and puffy jackets.

Picking Grapes with Ashwan Luckheenarain

This time around we hear from the Restaurant Manager and Wine Buyer at Main Street's beloved Spanish tapas spot, ¿CóMO? Tapería...