Monday 13 August 2012

Bittered Sling Extracts: David Wolowidnyk at West

Our final Bittered Sling contribution takes us to South Granville where we visit both a restaurant of great renown and a bar program run by one of Canada's most recognized bartenders, and thanks to the cocktail being shared today, he's now recognized world-wide. West, or Ouest as it was originally known, has been consistently viewed as one of Vancouver's best food options since it opened in 2000, with its delicious West Coast style cuisine, and delicate and regional-inspired desserts. With an award-winning staff from the kitchen to the bar and sommellier to management and service, West has it covered from every angle. The bar sports a huge array of spirits, and a full wall of temperature-controlled wine selections, including thirty offered by the glass. It is definitely one of my favourite places to both eat and drink in the city.
Bar manager David Wolowidnyk has resided at West for eight years now, racking up awards from magazines like Urban Diner and GQ, festivals like Art of the Cocktail, and world-wide spirit competitions from national brands. Most recently, David represented Canada in Morocco for the "World's Most Imaginative Bartender" competition presented by Bombay Sapphire, where his original cocktail, "Beldi," won him the competition. Thousands of competitors contributed from all over the world, but it was David's combination of flavours inspired by his experience in Marrakech that proved to be the best.
Combining botanical flavours from the Bombay gin with others from the region, "Beldi" brings strong and complex spice elements to a very basic cocktail structure (essentially a Martini), creating a light and refreshing drink that piques curiosity with each sip. An ingredient list will give an idea of this drink's depth: saffron, ginseng, mint and mint tea, cinnamon, cassia, coriander, almond, lemon, liquorice, juniper, orris root, angelica, cubeb, grains of paradise, plus the wealth of herbs and spices in the Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech bitters.


45ml Bombay Sapphire Gin infused with Moroccan Saffron and Ginseng
20ml Martini Bianco infused with Moroccan Mint Tea and mint leaves
15ml Cinnamon & Cassia Syrup
2 dashes Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech Extract
Toasted Moroccan coriander tincture

Combine gin, vermouth, syrup, and extract with ice and stir in a mixing glass.
Mist a chilled cocktail glass with the toasted coriander tincture.
Strain the mixture into the glass and garnish with a lemon zest.
Mist the tincture again over the surface of the drink.

(Instructions for making the infusions, syrup, and tincture are at the bottom of this page)

West's cocktail menu is equally filled with well-chosen classics and some fantastic originals. The mix of both classic bartending and modern "mixology" hits a perfect balance here. A dealer's choice is always an exciting choice as well, so make your way down soon and supplement your "Beldi" with another of David's creations. Stay for dinner too.

See the Bittered Sling introduction here
See Dani Tatarin from The Keefer mix something up in her Chinese apothecary-style here
See Justin Taylor from Yew mix up some infused and barrel-aged spirits here
See Evelyn Chick from Uva Wine Bar make some fresh-fruit seasonal cocktails here 
See Jay Jones from Market by JG in the Shangri-La Hotel mix a spirit-forward classic-stye drink here
See Grant Sceney use his barrel-aged Cointreau here

Infused Gin
1.75L bottle of Bombay Sapphire
8 x pieces of dried ginseng
1/8 tsp saffron
Combine & let sit for 24 hours then strain off solids

Infused Vermouth
Cold-steep 1tsp of Moroccan Mint Tea with
6-8 mint leaves
in one bottle of Martini Bianco vermouth
strain off solids and keep refrigerated.

Cinnamon / Cassia Syrup
1 stick of Cinnamon
1 stick of Cassia
1.5L water
Boil Cinnamon & Cassia in 1.5L of water until reduced to 1 litre
Strain solids
Measure 2 parts sugar to 1 part liquid
Simmer until disolved 
Cool before bottling in a sealed container and refrigerate

Toasted Coriander Tincture
500ml Coriander Seed, toasted in a dry pan on medium heat
Crush/Grind toasted seed
500ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
Infuse for 24 hours
Strain out solids through a fine filter
Note: Normally David would use a higher proof alcohol to make a tincture, yet during the competition he had to work only with products on hand or that he was able to acquire in Morocco.

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