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Treebeard cocktail
No. 33

A cocktail tasting for two

Looking for the ultimate Covid-19 cocktail experience? Slide onto the plush seating of the enclosed VIP table at the end of Vancouver’s Botanist Bar for a private six-course cocktail tasting menu with food pairings. Avant-garde elixirs by head bartender Jeff Savage (our 2020 Bartender of the Year) might come tinted with algae, spritzed with ocean spray, infused with chamomile, garnished with candied reindeer lichen or aged in clay. In a reversal of customary expectations, cocktails come first and executive chef Hector Laguna creates dishes to complement them. Pairings change frequently and are kept secret, omakase-style, until served. But trust us. We’re still agog over the transformative effects of Jerusalem artichokes on aquavit — they’re outstanding.

—Alexandra Gill


1½ oz rye whiskey
½ oz dry gin
1½ oz birch or maple water
1 oz smoked tea syrup*
1 sprig rosemary (optional)

Combine all liquid ingredients in a shaker over ice and stir until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Garnish with rosemary.


4 g (1 tsp) smoked black tea
2–3 cedar chips (optional)
200 g (1 cup) caster sugar
juice of 1 lemon

Bring 200 ml (¾ cup) water to a boil. Remove from heat, add wood chips (optional) and tea. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a saucepan, add sugar and, over medium heat, stir until dissolved. Stir in lemon juice.Photo credit: Fairmont Pacific Rim

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