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Quintessentially Canadian Cocktails

Victoria Walsh and Scott McCallum traveled Canada from coast-to-coast in search of our country's definitive cocktails.

While the Caesar is an easy answer to the quintessential Canadian cocktail, Victoria Walsh and Scott McCallum wanted to delve deeper into our nation's cocktail culture.

For more than three years, Walsh and McCallum travelled coast-to-coast in search of the best of what Canadian bartenders have to offer.

The highlights of their legwork is compiled in A field Guide to Canadian Cocktails, a collection of more than 100 recipes from sea to shining sea.

“We dedicated our hearts, souls and livers to this book,” Walsh said.

“There is so much talent in Canada to showcase and we just are excited to say that we featured many of Canada’s leading bartenders.”

Alongside recipes, the book offers suggestions on building the ultimate Canadian bar, tricks for hosting at home, tips from the nation’s top bartenders and travel advice on where to sip the best cocktails.

Although their research did not reveal what defines a drink as Canadian, the husband and wife team discovered cocktails are becoming a focus of the dining experience. And like chefs, bartenders strive to offer ingredients gathered from their surrounding communities.

“We see the most differentiation from region to region within the types of ingredients being used,” Walsh said.

“Canadian bartenders are proud of homegrown ingredients.”

Alongside their research, Walsh and McCallum recruited the assistance of photographer Juan Luna and prop stylist Virginie Martocq to illustrate the Canadian beverages.

We were committed to creating a beautiful look and feel,” Walsh said. “We like to say ‘no drinks were harmed in the making of this book’.”

Canada’s 100 Best asked the authors to select three cocktails from their field guide. They responded with The Canadian, the Arctic Martinez and Hot Buttered Rum.

The Canadian
the canadian whiskey cocktail
Hot Buttered Rum
hot buttered rum
Arctic Martinez
arctic martinez cocktail
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