Drink of the Week: the Mackenzie Room's Bea Arthur

Ampersand Distilling Company's Imperative Vermouth takes centre-stage

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      It’s all about B.C. ingredients at the Mackenzie Room, where chef Sean Reeves does wonders with everything from uni to spruce. But it’s not just the kitchen that showcases all things local; so too does the bar.

      Wine director Cody Dodds has nothing but B.C. wine, craft beer, and spirits on the list (okay, he makes an exception for Mezcal).

      One of the distilleries the restaurant partners with is Ampersand. Situated in the Cowicahn Valley on Vancouver Island, the company was founded by husband-and-wife duo (and soon-to-be parents) Jeremy and Jessica Schacht.

      Its flagship gin has been voted BC’s best three years in a row; Ampersand also makes vodka, Nocino (a limited-edition release consisting of green walnuts and sweetened with honey). Then there’s the Imperative Vermouth: the team grows its own wormwood for it, and combines other wild-harvested botanicals like orris, coriander, roasted dandelion root, along with Saanich Peninsula Ortega grapes.

      That smooth vermouth takes centre-stage in this refreshing beverage.

      The Mackenzie Room’s Bea Arthur

      2 oz Ampersand Vermouth
      ½ oz lime juice
      ½ oz simple syrup
      5 fresh basil leaves

      Add all ingredients into a Boston shaker cup, add ice, and shake. Strain contents into a Collins glass, add crushed ice, and top with soda.