Spicing up Thanksgiving 

Fall cocktails bring the heat to chilly, wet days as snowline drops

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In summer the margarita rules the cocktail menu and during the Christmas season the masses reach for rum and eggnog.

But there isn't consensus on a Thanksgiving cocktail, which means this holiday weekend will be full of choice. With that in mind Pique decided to see what drink best captures the weekend of thanks we enjoy each October according to some of Whistler's top bartenders.

Tia Stonier from the Mix by Ric's has a spicy adult hot chocolate she's loving this fall season. She teased out a few ingredients for us. The drink includes smoky mezcal, woodsy cinnamon, chipotle dust and Aztec chocolate bitters. Stonier plans to serve the grown-up kid drink in small cups.

"Figs, nuts, spice and warmth are being used with zesty citrus and fresh herbs to give a fresh fall flavour savour," says Stonier.

Scot Curry from Alta Bistro has some time on his hands while the bistro is undergoing a renovation through to Nov. 8.

"I like, at this time of year, to go to the warm spices and dark spirits," Curry says.

He makes use of apple juice with citrus juices mixed with spices and bitters.

Rum and bourbon are two fall ingredients Curry reaches for.

"It kind of warms the soul," he says.

Scott Barber, the vodka expert at the Bearfoot Bistro, is working on a new concoction for this Thanksgiving long weekend and the fall season. He's calling it a Vanilla Chocolate Ginger Snap. The drink is still in development but he says it will include — surprise — vodka!

"This year I wanted to go in a bit of a different direction. I'm going to go on a twist of a ginger snap and make my own vanilla, cinnamon, ginger liqueur," says Barber.

The drink he crafted up at this time last year was called Winter Orange and the lead ingredient was pumpkin liqueur. Barber's drink also included Maker's Mark Whisky, chai tea syrup; apple cider, lemon, egg white and he coated the glass rim with vanilla sugar and cayenne pepper.

"It was one of the best drinks I've ever made," says Barber.

Over at Merlins Nick Dobson is dreaming of cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie. The bar supervisor mainly moves highballs, but in his 10 years of tending bar in Whistler, and his vast experience at most of the resort's night spots, he has a sense for what Whistler craves.

Based on Dobson's preferred ingredients this sounds like it could be a pumpkin spice latte spiked with a bit of Bailey's or Carolans Irish Cream then topped with whipped cream.

While all the drinks sound like they would scare up a good time this October there clearly isn't a consensus on one drink as the Thanksgiving favourite. This means, thankfully, there's freedom to experiment and play with the fun flavours of fall.



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