Granville Room manager Trevor Kallies offers some tips on sourcing ingredients for organic cocktails in Vancouver
When seeking organic ingredients to play with for the Granville Room’s constantly revolving fresh sheet of organic cocktails, the first stop I make is right around the corner: Choices Market at Davie and Richards. They have wonderful options in all areas of the store for organics. Produce, juices, sodas—I’ll even take a spin down the spice aisle to see what they have on offer and load up on organic sugars, peppercorns and various salts for margaritas, etc.
My next stop, though not necessarily in order of preference, is Capers—“same-same-but-different”—where I can definitely fill any holes left by the selection at Choices.
Then, it’s off to Granville Island’s Public Market, where a few organic options are offered; though these can be harder to find amongst the din that is the market.
Organic versus Non-organic alcohol
Also, don’t be afraid to stop at roadside produce stands along your travels throughout B.C. They often will provide the best tasting fruits and vegetables—and hopefully a travel story or two to tell while mixing up cocktails.
Also, there are lots of farmers markets in and around Vancouver that will sometimes yield wonderful organic items.
When sourcing organic alcohols in B.C., we are somewhat limited at this time, but there are a few organic vodkas on the market that are readily available at most BCLDB stores; these include Prairie Vodka, Square One and Rain (which is distilled at the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky).
Juniper Green Organic London Dry Gin is one that I am looking to bring into the Granville Room for mixing. Fullers has an organic honeydew beer that is quite tasty.
Even Pacific Western Brewery has jumped on the organic bandwagon with its lager and ale options.
A popular trend in mixology as of late is a red or white wine float on a cocktail. Bonterra Vineyards has some amazing organic options, as does Lurton. Specialty stores such as the Signature Wine Cellars store (at 39th and Cambie) and Viti’s (at Seymour and Smithe) have some great options and knowledgeable staff.