This week is gonna be a good one. Bar Tour Day 7 was the wedding of Brett and Emilia. I did  no work at all at this wedding. No Bartending, no MCing, no driving, I was just a guest. On any tour there are dates that cancel at the last minute. Honestly, after as many weddings as I’ve attended this month, I was happy to just be a guest, with a date and be able to go home and sleep in my own bed. I spent the night drinking Moosehead.

Last night I was on the bar at Yours Truly. I first heard of Yours Truly in the months before it opened from Dan Hawkins, one of the owners. He was bussing at Campagnolo for some spare cash while the business was being built. He is a Vancouver ex-pat, so we got along right away.

Once Yours Truly opened it became a regular stop for me on my way home from work. Not only did they have great cocktails (Dan designed the list initially) but they were also serving a small snacks menu until 2am. There have been some changes recently in staff and in hours of operation but the quality of service and cocktails has maintained it excellence.

When I arrived, I met Zach who is now the man in charge of the bar. He has a great moustache. Also, his background is culinary arts. His approach to making drinks is very much that of a chef. When I asked him to clarify  his recipes for drinks, his response was : “I measure by colour.” I’m a little too nerdy and detail oriented to work this way myself, so as he was pouring, showing me his methods I was counting (all the barfolk reading this get it, if you don’t, just tweet at me, I’ll explain) his pours and then noting them the best I could.

Here’s the thing though, his drinks were consistent, even when I started making them. Different strokes and all that.

Zach’s ingredients are seriously impressive. His array of syrups, liqueurs and bitters, almost all house made are varied and original. Spiced Absinthe? Citurs Liqueur? Bitter Vermouth? Mallow Bitters? You won’t find recipes for this stuff on the imbibe website. I was really impressed by his creativity in this area.

The drink that seemed most popular was his Seabuck..
2oz. Gin
1oz Buckthorn Tonic
Dash Spruce Bitters
1oz. Grapefruit Juice
1/2oz. Lime Juice
Dash Simple Syrup

I had no idea what a buckthorn was until last night. It’s a berry that has a very nice round acidity to it. Combine that with the bitterness generally associated with tonic and it makes for a delicious and refreshing drink.

My favorite of Zach’s drinks is The Ghostface. Since The Pretty Toney Album he’s been my favorite Wu-Tang Member. Seriously, how good is Save Me Dear? The drink is a delicious, spicy/sweet/sour concoction that leaves your tongue tingling.
2oz. Bourbon (Zach uses Bulleit)
Ghost Chili Liqueur (which Zach lets ferment a little which gives it a touch of effervescence)
3/4oz. Strega
3/4oz. Lime
This drink tastes like some Kunta Fly Shit.

I should also mention the food program at Yours Truly. The briefing before service was informative and very involved. These guys do a 15-24 course tasting menu every night! And other than that they do a four course tasting menu for anyone else that comes in. It took me almost four pages of my notebook to get the menu notes down. Jeff the Chef is also very accomodating to people with allergies, vegans and anyone else that has specificities about their diet.

Tonight I am at Cocktail Bar. I am a little nervous about this one. Working for Jen Agg is something that anyone in the city should feel honoured to do. She has been playing with mixology since way before Mad Men, she has owned and managed several successful restaurants and took a chance on Dundas West years before everyone else got tired of Queen street. I’ve gotta go study. See you tonight.