There’s some dispute about where and when the first cocktail was created, but most will put it around the late 1700s. An 1806 publication from New York has this interesting description: “Cock-tail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called bittered sling, and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, in as much as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.” By 1862, the publication of a bartender’s guide included 10 cocktails recipes, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Salty was pleased to have a guest in our kitchen this month, serving up some simple, yet delicious cocktails. Alex Hendry dabbles in the cocktail culture, has served up his talents with cocktail workshops at Sugar Skull Cantina, and can be found behind the bar at Hopyard on most weekends slinging craft beer. We hope you enjoy these four drinks from his repertoire.

Alex Hendry  Photo credit: Alana Sprague, Lans Photography

Bee’s Knees

A very simple cocktail to make, the Bee’s Knees is a classic prohibition-era drink. Back then, poorly made spirits needed sweetener and flavor to mask any off-flavours they contained. A Bee’s Knees is exactly that, nothing more.

Using different gins and honeys results in a different drink each time.

For this version, Myriad View’s Strait Gin packs a bit of a kick at 51% and a great botanical punch. Enhanced by a splash of Strait Shine, a rum-like sweetness carries forward the Canoe Cove blueberry honey syrup flavour.

The shine used gives a bit of a nod to the prohibition-era style of the drink as well, considering prohibition only ended on PEI in 1948, the last province in Canada to repeal.

1.75 oz Strait Gin
.25 oz Strait Shine
.75 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
.50 oz Blueberry honey syrup
(see recipe below for syrups)
Add all to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain mixture into glass (double strain if possible) and enjoy.

Honey or Simple Syrups
White sugar or honey
Heat water in a small saucepan on medium-low until hot. Add equal parts sugar or honey (for Bee’s Knees we used Canoe Cove Blueberry Honey) and stir on medium heat until fully dissolved. Cool. Store in a glass jar.

The Irish Dude Abides

Cocktails don’t have to be hard to make to be tasty. The laid-back Lebowski loved White Russians, and this cocktail is (I think) a fun twist on a pretty underrated drink. Jameson Irish Whisky has a spicy/ nutty flavor that enhances the coffee flavor of Kahlua and is complemented well by fatty cashew milk.

This is a bit more complex than a standard White Russian and can be enjoyed by lactose intolerant people like myself who miss them and their Paralyzer cousin.

The Irish Dude Abides

.75 oz Jameson Irish whiskey
.75 oz Kahlua
.75 oz Cashew milk

Pour alcohol into glass, add cashew milk. Mix well with spoon. Can substitute cashew with almond or regular milk.

Jungle Bird

This is a variation of a classic Tiki Cocktail that’s also fairly simple to make. Typical recipes call for black rum, but the amber rum from The Myriad View Artistian Distillery has enough oak character from the barrel-aging process, while maintaining a bit of a bite to it, to boost the flavours in the rest of the cocktail.

The bitterness from the Campari with the sweetness of the juice and rum blend contrast well and makes a complex but refreshing, easy-to-drink, dangerous cocktail. As an option, grilling some pineapple to get some char and blending it into the juice before shaking this up gives a nice finishing touch to this drink.

Jungle Bird

.75 oz Strait Amber Rum
.75 oz spiced rum
.75 oz Campari
.50 oz Simple syrup (see separate recipe)
1.5 oz Pineapple juice
.5 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
Add ingredients to cocktail shaker and shake well. Double strain onto lots of ice. Garnish with pineapple.

Iron & Salt

This drink was created for my friends Darla and Paul’s Summerside restaurant of the same name, Iron & Salt, located in the Loyalist Hotel. Inspired by iron in our soil and salt of the surrounding sea, this drink reflects those in its colour and flavor. Sea salt and dulce garnish paired with the rusty red color from grapefruit and vermouth are an obvious hint at the name. Elements of paloma and margarita combine to make a unique Island drink for when the weather is good, ok, and terrible.

Iron and Salt

1.5 oz Tequila
.5 oz Red vermouth
1 oz Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
.5 oz Freshly squeezed lime juice
Sea salt
Crush the dulce, mix with sea salt, and rim one half of the glass with the mixture. Add all other ingredients to cocktail shaker, mix well. Pour into rimmed glass, serve. Optionally, you can further garnish with a twist of freshly ground pepper.

Thanks to our sponsors this month:

Canoe Cove Honey

and Myriad View Artistan Distillery!

Special thanks to Alana Sprague of Lans Photography for the great photos!

About Salty Staff

A diverse group of people, the Salty team works hard each month to bring you great stories about PEI's food and farming community.

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