Monday 25 June 2012

Bittered Sling Extracts: Danielle Tatarin at The Keefer

To kick off the local originals we are heading to Vancouver's Chinatown and visiting The Keefer. Bar manager - and President of the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association - Dani Tatarin runs a unique program here that ties modern 'mixology' techniques of infusing spirits and syrups and making bitters in-house with Chinese apothecary medicine. So, at The Keefer, the syrup you get in your gin or whiskey sour variation won't just be a typical fruit or spice, it's likely to be astragalus, ginseng, or another root you probably haven't heard of with health benefits you probably didn't realize. The new cocktail menu (which just kicked off last week) features a little glossary at the back describing each of these herbs and roots and their medicinal uses, so the experience is full of fun and learning. It's one of the coolest-looking bars you'll see, and while the cocktail list is full of outlandish and exciting things you'll want to try, everyone there is talented and can just as easily make you a perfect classic cocktail.
You can see an old review of The Keefer here, along with their contribution to Fernet February.

Dani is one of the handful of bartenders not only working with the Bittered Sling Extracts but also with a cocktail using them on her menu. Today she shares with us the recipe for the "Haokan," a gin sour with some depth and bitterness, and a ton of herbal flavours. The simple syrup is infused with pomelo rose tea (pomelo being a south/south-east Asian citrus fruit similar to grapefruit), not only adding subtle flavours but also a big list of proposed health benefits - as is Dani's way. Kale & Nori's health-forward bitters fit perfectly.


2 oz Hendricks Gin
1/2 oz Aperol
1/2 oz Pomelo Rose Tea Syrup
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 egg white
3 dashes Bittered Sling Crabapple & Cardamom Bitters
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. 
As with any egg white drink (and as I've discussed numerous times before!), add the egg white to your tin first so you don't accidentally get shells or yolks into your booze, and dry-shake without ice first to help the egg emulsify, then add ice and shake again. 

Take a trip to The Keefer and give their new menu a try, and while you're at it, drop by Legacy Liquor and pick up a bottle of the Crabapple & Cardamom extract from Bittered Sling to try something similar at home!

See the Bittered Sling introduction here
See Justin Taylor from Yew mix up some infused and barrel-aged spirits here
See Evelyn Chick from Uva Wine Bar create some twisted classics here

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