June 24, 2017
It’s been 150 years since Canada’s Confederation, and a notable reason to celebrate our great country.
In Alberta, we have businesses producing locally made products of incomparable quality that may be included in your festivities.
The “Micro Distillery” trend is growing in Canada. While there are several in Alberta, one of the recent additions, with a Rocky Mountain profile, is the “Park Distillery” in Banff. They are producing some interesting spirits including “Park Classic vodka” using Alberta made ingredients including high altitude grains from family farms, and mountain water (of course). The mystique and appeal of these boutique operations includes hand- milling, mashing, and distilling in smaller batches.
While premium brand Vodkas are getting attention these days, “Alberta Distillers” is a larger scale producer making vodka to international acclaim in Calgary. The unpretentious “Alberta Pure Vodka” was recognized at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition with a Double Gold Award in 2016. It is an ultra-clean, prairie grain spirit that is triple-distilled.
There are many Vodka concoctions (e.g. Cosmopolitan, White Russian, Sea Breeze, Screwdriver) but my favorites are quite simple:
The Purist, one or two ounces, served “neat” (no ice or mix) poured right out of the freezer (yes you can leave the bottle in the freezer).
The Classic mixed version is the vodka martini
Four ounces of your favorite vodka
One ounce of dry vermouth
Poured over ice cubes into a cocktail mixer and shaken until cold
Served in a martini glass with lemon peel for subtle citrus flavour
The Caesar, did you know this recipe was created in Alberta, (and is the Clamato juice version of a Bloody Mary).
Few dashes each of hot sauce and Worcestershire (adjust to preference)
Three ounces of Clamato juice
One ounce of your favorite vodka
Pour ingredients into a glass of crushed ice, in the order of the list above
Mix slightly with a stem of celery
There are variations served in glasses with salted rims, a bit of horseradish, and celery substituted with a stem of picked asparagus or green beans … all of these variations belong on a plate with Alberta Beef, but that’s just my opinion.
A wide selection of Vodka’s, including the “Park” brand, are available at Calgary Coop Wine Sprits and Beer locations.
- Joe Black
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