Pourhouse Holiday Hours
December 24, 25, 26, 27: Closed
December 28: 1130am – 12am –
December 29: 11:30am – 12am
December 30: 11:30am – 12am
December 31: 5pm – 1am – Live Music from 8pm – 1am – Reservations Recommended
January 1: Closed
January 4: 11:30am – 2pm – Closed for dinner for our staff Christmas party
January 5: 5:00pm-12am
Fall Is Upon Us!
And I for one am super excited. I know many don’t share my enthusiasm, but I love the grey and the rain and the fall flavours and cocktails and food and the holidays and everything.
Know what else I’m excited about? Our new fall cocktail menu. We just started it last Monday and it’s already off to a great start. We have a range of great drinks, including some very unique combinations, and more fall-like flavours (read: apples and smoke).
Some of these drinks will only be around for a limited time as they feature products that are only available in BC for a limited time, so try to make it down and share this menu with us as soon as you can!
I hope to share each cocktail in a blog post about once a week to ensure that these drinks get their proverbial fifteen minutes… and of course to try and entice anyone who doesn’t make it down that often but likes us enough to see our social media. (We <3 you by the way).
First up is our top-seller so far, the “Silver Spur.” A simple twist on a whiskey sour, this delightful and tart little tipple is dangerously easy to drink. It combines Buffalo Trace bourbon with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice, and Scrappy’s grapefruit bitters from Seattle. There are subtle complexities present with hints of mint, tree fruit like pear and peach, and some vanilla and caramel from the bourbon poking through.
The name is fitting, referencing the Lee Hazelwood song “Summer Wine” made famous by the version with Nancy Sinatra in 1967. Basically Lee rides into town with his badass silver spurs and gets easily seduced by Nancy, who offers him some of her “summer wine” (ahem). She asks him to take off his silver spurs and help her “pass the time.” As the story often goes, the next day he wakes up and she’s gone – along with his silver spurs – and he’s left with only a craving for more of her ‘summer wine.’
If you want to enjoy this tune in all its awesome Lee Hazelwood glory, here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=325jxJIJkJM
Maybe it’s about time you ride into Gastown, take off your silver spurs and pass the time?…
I Don’t Want No Shrubs
Ok, so I just wanted to say it. Actually I do want shrubs. Lots of them. And so you do, and that’s why I’ve been making them all summer at Pourhouse. In case you missed the memo, let’s go through a little history and a little list of flavour options.
So what exactly is a shrub? In the UK, the term refers to simply a drinkable fruit cordial or syrup, but the more common definition refers to a drink popular in Colonial America (at least as old as 17th century). In these days, long before refrigeration or ice farming, there were very few ways to preserve food. Obviously brainstorming on the idea brought us things like jam, cured meats, aged cheese, cider, wine, aged spirits, vermouth, and so on. A very common way to preserve fruit in this time period was to pour some vinegar over it. This acidic environment stopped bacterial growth, making fruit safe to eat longer. Once fruit, with all its delicious natural sugar, sat in vinegar for a few days, it actually began to dehydrate, creating an acidic fruit syrup. People found that this mixture is actually delicious to enjoy on its own, albeit quite intense, so later still or carbonated water was added when available. Water was much harder to come by than alcohol at the time, so people would often ‘soften’ it with brandy or whatever they had lying around the house. Plus, what better thing to do with something delicious than add booze to it?
Shrubs became commonplace, even in the bar, and were actually listed in Jerry Thomas’ bartending tomes (see previous posts on the most famous of all bartenders), and are not fancified at all – add fruit to sugar to vinegar and add spirits.
Over the last few years, shrubs have been popping up on cocktail menus, though typically as an ingredient rather than a drink itself. Being painfully old fashioned and taking our inspiration as always from older times, I wanted to make shrubs as simply as possible as they would have been when they first became popular, and serve them as just a single drink itself so the fresh fruit, vinegar, and spirit can be enjoyed for their flavours alone. So all this summer I’ve been buying fresh (preferably local and organic) fruit whenever I can and making batches of shrubs, sharing a new one every few days with our lovely, overheating customers.
As we move into fall, the shrub will be retired from the menu, BUT will live on in our hearts and fridges… as part of our upcoming happy hour program (more details on this soon). Fall is a great time for shrubs, with late summer flavours like apple, blackberry, and pear. The spirits will get richer (think Scotch, bourbon, and brandy), and I might even spice a few for good measure.
But we’re not there yet. Summer is still going and we’ve still got some bright, pretty, and refreshing flavours for you to try. Here’s some you missed so far:
Peach, bourbon, and apple cider vinegar
Strawberry, mezcal, and apple cider vinegar
Raspberry, applejack, and red wine vinegar
Cantaloupe, gin, and white wine vinegar
Lime, dark rum, organic cane sugar, and apple cider vinegar
And here’s what’s happening over the next couple weeks:
Blueberry, bourbon, and apple cider vinegar
Pineapple, rum, and white wine vinegar
Organic watermelon, bourbon (and gin too!), and wine vinegars
And keep an eye out for a returning favourite of dark cherries, balsamic vinegar, and peated Scotch. For real.
Stay tuned, as soon I’ll share a basic shrub recipe and technique for you to make your own at home should you feel adventurous.