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5 Bartenders Shake Up Canadian Cocktails

For Canada 150, we invited the country’s top bartenders to remote Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, to help us create Canada’s Next Great Cocktail. Watch as they show us how to make their original cocktail recipes.

Air Canada & Lot No. 40 presents

Kate Boushel, Montreal

“The idea behind this cocktail was magic hour, that time of the day just before sunset when you’re out enjoying life with friends,” Kate says. She wanted her cocktail – named Canada’s Next Great Cocktail by our panel of bartenders – to be easily recreated at home, which is why she used staples that most people already have in their pantry. Customize the drink with your favourite hard apple cider, dark fruit jam and fresh herb for a savoury note.

Kate’s Cocktail

3 slices of ginger
½ oz lemon juice
Pinch of salt
½ oz Meaghers cherry brandy
2 oz Lot No. 40 rye whisky
1 tbsp blackcurrant jam
3 oz sparkling apple cider
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Muddle ginger in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, lemon juice, salt, cherry brandy, whisky, jam, and a sprig of rosemary. Shake. Strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with cider. Garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.

Shane Beehan, Halifax

Shane combined Lot No. 40 Canadian rye whisky with lemon, mulled wine and ginger – a nod to the beloved Canadian cocktail rye and ginger. In the winter, you can replace the ginger ale with hot water to create a warming, hot-toddy-inspired drink. In three words, Shane describes his drink as “fresh, lively and invigorating,” like taking the first breath of fresh air on a sunny spring day.

Shane's Cocktail

2 oz Lot No. 40 rye whisky
1 oz mulled wine
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz ginger syrup
Ginger ale
Orange peel

In a Mason jar, combine whisky, mulled wine, lemon juice and ginger syrup. Add ice, seal with lid and shake for five seconds. Top with ginger ale, more ice and stir. Grate nutmeg and garnish with orange peel.

Samantha Casuga, Calgary

Samantha was born and raised in Calgary, moved to Montreal when she was 18 and then moved to Victoria, where she got her first job as a bartender. “The entire country is so different and so diverse, yet it still feels like home no matter where you go,” she says. Serve this drink hot by adding ingredients into a pre-warmed mug and topping with hot water. Garnish with grated cinnamon.

Samantha's Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Lot No. 40 rye whisky
1/2 oz amaretto
1/2 oz honey syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
2 dashes apple cider vinegar
2 dashes Bittered Sling Zingiber Crabapple bitters
Dash Angostura bitters
Soda water
Cinnamon stick

In a shaker, combine all ingredients except soda water. Add ice, cover and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a Collins glass and add ice to fill. Stir in soda water and grate cinnamon to garnish.

Gord Hannah, Toronto

Having grown up in a neighbourhood where “everyone’s parents had an accent and every house smelled of different cooking,” Gord wanted his drink to reflect our country’s diversity. Lot No. 40 Canadian rye whisky is a nod to Canada, Glenlivet 12-year-old Scotch whisky is an homage to his Scottish heritage and Bénédictine honours the French who helped found our nation.

Gord's Cocktail

1 1/2 oz Lot No. 40 rye whisky
1 oz condensed milk
2 drops Angostura bitters
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 oz Glenlivet 12-year-old Scotch whisky
1/4 oz Bénédictine
2 spritzes coffee tincture
Star anise

In a shaker, combine all ingredients. Add ice, cover and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a coupe. Spritz with coffee tincture and garnish with star anise.

Amber Bruce, Vancouver

Amber created this cocktail after meeting a Newfoundlander behind the bar in New Zealand before she went to Fogo Island to help create Canada’s Next Great Cocktail. This is a built cocktail – not shaken or stirred – and the trick is to float the coffee on top. Her creation is “bold and refreshing,” and she says that you can enjoy it from breakfast (thanks to the cold-brew coffee) to after dinner.

Amber's Cocktail

1 oz Lot No. 40 rye whisky
1 tbsp lemon juice
Dash orange bitters
2 oz tonic water
1 oz cold-brew coffee
Lemon oil

In a lowball glass, pour whisky, lemon juice and bitters. Add ice and stir. Add tonic water and top with ice. Pour coffee down the back of a spoon to create a top layer. Garnish with lemon wheel and freshly grated nutmeg.

Watch to learn more about Canada's Next Great Cocktail and to see highlights from the getaway on Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.