Smokey Robinson, Strange Attraction, Endless Summer, John Daly, Trophy Wife and Up the Creek: with the creativity that runs rampant through this mountain town it was just a matter of time before cocktail menus started to read like a “texts from last weekend”.
Not so long ago, gal pals were introduced to the world of cocktails by that fabulous foursome aka Carrie Bradshaw and BFFs. Their drinks were often sickly sweet, pretty and pink – the stereotypical “girlie” drink. Today – thank you, mad man Don Draper – cocktails have been raised to a whole new level of coolness, no longer just for the ladies.
Two Whistler mix-masters who approach their craft with the same flair and attention to ingredients as their colleagues in the kitchen are mixologists Hailey Pasemko of Nita Lake Lodge’s Cure Lounge and Scot “Skinny Arms” Curry at the new Alta Bistro. Drawing inspiration from their surroundings and with a focus on fresh, you won’t find any powdered juices or canned syrups at their workstations. What you will find is house-made bitters and infusions, ingredients freshly harvested from rooftop gardens, and fruit that is muddled, squeezed and crushed to order.
I took on this research assignment with great seriousness, and I can attest that our local cocktail creators are definitely raising the bar! In summertime when the living is easy, grab your friends, find your perfect people-watching patio perch (Araxi or The Mix anyone?) and quench your thirst.
Below are just three of the cocktails listed above – I will leave it to your own sense of adventure to discover the others and identify your own signature summer sipper.
Smokey Robinson is a BBQ-inspired cocktail created by Pasemko, whose official title is Commander & Chief of Beverage at Cure Lounge at Nita Lake Lodge. You can’t get any more summer than this! Jack Daniels, caramelized orange, brown sugar, chipotle, smoked salt & horseradish rim – the aroma makes me hungry and thirsty all at once.
Wrapping up a round of 18 and want to boast about your score or drown your sorrows? Scot Curry, Alta Bistro’s Cocktail Technician has the cure. I’d say the John Daly is the pairing you are looking for. Peppercorn-infused bourbon, apricot Giffard, fresh lime, vanilla, and black iced tea built on the rocks in a Mason jar.
Up the Creek from the bar at Araxi is like a slice of the outdoors mixed up in your glass. A dreamy chaser to follow a sunny afternoon of hiking the trails around Whistler, made of cedar-infused Forty Creek rye, green Chartreuse, lime, organic apple, maple syrup.
So why not take an adventure this summer and see where a masterfully mixed cocktail takes your tastebuds?