Our Liquid Chefs continue to create winning cocktails

This is Why You Should Be Drinking Wine Cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff proves cocktails can taste “grape” with the right combination of spirits, liqueurs and wine.

“We poured our blood, sweat and tears into this cocktail,” said Wes Hunter, general manager for RauDZ Regional Kitchen, while serving glasses of the Pinot Libra cocktail at the Laurel Packinghouse in downtown Kelowna. “We were inspired by the Pinot Noir in the valley. We took two months to deconstruct the taste and build it back up in cocktail form.”

The team’s extraordinary effort paid off. RauDZ bartender Ben Hefford’s brainchild—a combination of Okanagan Spirits’ vodka, blackberry and black currant liqueurs, plus house-made beet syrup, all aged in an oak barrel rinsed with Pinot Noir from 50th Parallel Estate Winery—won the Judge’s Choice award.

brock, ben and wes at mixoff

The annual event sees regional mixologists compete to make original cocktails using at least two Okanagan Spirits products and one local wine. The entries are assessed by a panel of judges that determines the Judge’s Choice winner, and then sampled by hundreds of locals who cast their votes for the People’s Choice award during an evening of tippling and tasting. Each cocktail is paired with a bite prepared by the restaurant’s chef, to round out the culinary experience.

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