Apricot Brandy Crusta

I know summer is around the corner when the fruit trees in my garden burst into bloom.  First is the apricot, then the cherry, plum and finally the two apple trees.  Tasting a fresh, ripe apricot from the tree with its flesh still warm from the morning sun is one of the ultimate Okanagan experiences.  My single apricot tree provides pounds and pounds of luscious fruit that gets canned, jammed and preserved by my family and I.  What we cannot use goes to our kitchen at RauDZ Regional Table.   Here, our culinary team processes them into ice creams, sorbets, the most delectable desserts and purees for our innovative and award winning cocktail program.  
One of my favorite apricot cocktails is the Apricot Brandy Crusta.  The Crusta is an important “historical” cocktail.  It is the forefather to the Sidecar as well as the Margarita!  First created in 1852 by Joseph Santina at the ‘Jewel of the South’ in New Orleans, the Brandy Crusta was named for its use of a sugared rim or “crust” on the glass.  It originally called for simple syrup as an ingredient, but over the years Maraschino liqueur has been substituted in its place.  Apricot puree replaces the Maraschino in the Apricot Brandy Crusta recipe that follows.  Tart and well balanced, the Apricot Crusta is high on my list of summer cocktails.

– 1.5 oz Cognac
– .5 oz Cointreau
– 1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
– 2 oz Fresh Apricot Puree

Rim a ‘Coupe’**glass with vanilla sugar.  
Put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and double strain into glass.

** The ‘Coupe’ glass reputedly came into fashion in the 1930’s where it was the glass of choice to serve champagne.  I prefer the flute for my bubble, but I love the elegance of the Coupe glass for cocktails.


Audrey Surrao
Co-owner RauDZ Regional Table


Bella French 75

In a shaker over ice add
– 1 oz local gin
– 1/2 oz simple syrup
– 1/2 oz freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice

Quick shake in a cocktail shaker then pour into champagne flute. Top with Bella Sparkling Chardonnay and garnish with a fresh Okanagan cherry.

Jay Drysdale
Bella Winemaker


Apple Pie Martini

– 2oz Urban Distillers Spirit Bear Vodka
– 2oz Rustic Roots Winery Iced Orin
– 1 Organic Cinnamon Stick


Shake vodka, wine and cinnamon stick in a Martini shaker with ice, strain into cinnamon sugar rimmed Martini glass.

Sara Harker,
Rustic Roots Winery


The Gindian

The classic g+t with a hint of liquorice-y star anise.


Place one star anise in a shaker and crush it with a muddler (2 hits). Add 1oz Okanagan Spirits gin and a scoop of ice. Shake shake shake! Add nice ice into a rocks glass. Double strain into the glass removing star anise bites. Top off with tonic water. Garnish with a star anise and lime wheel.

Harry Dosanj,
Poppadoms-Taste India!


Smack Dab Bourbon Bacon Caesar

– 1.5 oz Jim Beam Bourbon
– 7 oz Bacon Infused Clamato
– 2 dash Chef Bernard’s hot sauce
– Pepper to season
– Black sesame paste
– Bacon salted rim
– 1 Strip of cooked bacon
– ½ Yellow baby tomato
– Celery leaf
Recipe: Bacon Infused Clamato
1. Sous vide bacon in Clamato juice at high temperature for 15 min. Then quickly chill in bath of ice.
2. Refrigerate for 5 days to infuse bacon flavor into the juice.
3. Filter the juice into a container.
4. Season with liquid smoke.
Bourbon Bacon Cocktail
1. Swirl sesame paste into inside of glass.
2. Rim glass with bacon salt.
3. Fill glass with ice and add bourbon.
4. Season with Chef Bernard’s hot sauce.
5. Fill glass with bacon-infused Clamato juice.
6. Season with pepper.
7. Add garnish of bacon tomato and celery.

John Cotes,
Smack Dab bar at Manteo Resort


The Munson Mountain Melon

– Muddle a slice of watermelon with sugar
– 3oz of white wine
– 1oz of pineapple juice

Add all ingredients into a shaker and shake.
Pour into a glass and garnish with a slice of watermelon.

Chris Pagett,
Vanilla Pod Restuarant
at Poplar Grove Winery


The Bramble

– Selection of fresh summer berries 

– Okanagan Spirits Raspberry Liqueur 

– Okanagan Spirits Vodka 

– Freshly squeezed Lime 

– White Cranberry Juice 


Wash and place 2 cups (500ml) or assorted berries into a pitcher. Add one cup (250ml) of Okanagan Spirits Raspberry Liqueur, cover and let steep overnight. 

In a cocktail shaker add 1/4 cup (60ml) of the marinated berries. Mash them with a muddler. Fill shaker with ice and add 1.5oz of Vodka, the juice of 1/8 fresh lime and 2oz white cranberry juice.  Enjoy!

Rodney Goodchild,
Okanagan Spirits