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The Five Mile Schramm Cocktail

Photo by Dave Steers

With initial sips of Schramm organic vodka, one can taste a full-bodied earthy potato flavor, as if those taters were plucked from Across the Creek Organics and extracted that very afternoon. The distinct herb savor seems to whisper: make me a Caesar or a bloody Caesar please? Great idea right? Incidentally, the Caesar, otherwise known as the Canadian National Cocktail, is celebrating its 40-year anniversary this year—invented at Calgary’s Owl’s Nest Bar in 1969—so Pemberton’s growers, hunters, and food lovers came together to create their best five-mile Bloody Caesar to wet your fancy. Let’s drink to that.

In the original Caesar recipe, the mixologist mashed up clams with tomato juice to make Clamato juice, but since shellfish aren’t caught within the five-mile radius of Pemberton, it is ones own choice to walk on the wild side and mash up clams from Vancouver’s coast. Purchase local tomatoes from Rootdown Organics, North Arm Farm, or Ice Berg Organics; blend or juice them; and later strain them. Next comes the hard part: Worchester and Tabasco sauces. Rootdown Organics suggested making a hot-sauce out of hot-peppers that grow in abundance throughout the valley. Worchester Sauce was a bit of a stump because its recipe is a secret as it originates from the Queen’s county town of Worchester. It is said to be made from anchovies, but like using clams, anchovies becomes a bit of a stretch within the five-mile cocktail. Also a key ingredient is tamarind, a popular fruit used a lot in East Indian cuisine. It grows in a dry warm climate, so unless you initiate a tamarind-growing farm in the desert-like town of Lillooet, making a spicy radish paste is suggested. Wasabi paste, celery and homemade dill pickles from the cucumbers at Ice Cap Organics were also mandatory options. Loverage Salt (related to the celery and parsley family), homemade horseradish, pickled green beans for garnish, all made by the Food Lovers at North Arm Farm, became the crowning ingredients for this almighty Caesar. Word to the wise: Make friends with local hunters and get them to whip up a batch of deer-jerky to mingle in the drink. Now get ready to throw one down the hatch, just like 250 million other Canadians do a year           

Step 1: Collect your Ingredients:

  • Highball glasses and a stirring stick
  • A bottle of your Schramm Vodka
  • Tomato juice – juiced and strained from local organic tomatoes
  • Ice – preferably from the Pemberton Ice Caps
  • Loverage Salt – on a small dish a few centimeters deep
  • Celery stalk, pickled beans, deer jerky, and sliced dill pickles for garnishing
  • Hot sauces – homemade from local hot peppers
  • Pickle juice
  • Oregano
  • Wasabi paste

Options that are local to BC, but not local to Pemberton:

  • Clams from BC’s coast to mash  (Note: clams and anchovies are not within the Pemberton 5-mile diet)
  • Anchovies from BC’s coast can be made into a form of  DIY Worchester sauce
  • Homemade salt from evaporated sea water

Step 2: Loverage the Rim

Take a highball glass; turn it upside down, and dip the rim about 2cms deep into a bowl of pickle juice. Then slowly dip the pickled-rim into the saucer with Loverage Salt, turning slightly.

Step 3: Swish the Schramm

Fill the glass with 2/3 ice. Pour an ounce of Schramm Vodka into the glass (or more). Add the tomato juice (mixed with the mashed clams if you want to walk on the wild side) and fill to just below the Loverage rim; mix with the stir stick, but be careful to not mess with the rim.

Step 4: Mix the Mayhem

Now comes the fun part: the dash of oregano, wasabi paste, hot sauce, splash of pickle juice. Of course this is all a personal choice, so feel free to go crazy or hold back on a few options.

Step 5: Garnish and Bottoms up

Now watch as people lick their lips, mouths drool, and you become popular while you add these garnishes: sliced pickle, pickled beans, celery stalks, and deer jerky. Voila: you’re an overnight sensation. Repeat steps one to five in the morning and your popularity will rise tenfold.

If the spicy tomato bevy isn’t your drink of choice don’t be afraid to come face-to-face with the Havana-meets-Pemberton-barn-soiree beverage: the Apple Mojito. Although limes are not an option, rose, lavender, rosemary, chamomile, mint, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, and wildberries can be muddled and mixed with home-made simple syrup. Always garnish with an apple slice. Schramm Vodka is sold on site, at all BC Liquor stores, at the Pony, Wildwood, DiCarlos, and shots go for dirt-cheap at the Legion. 

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