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Tiki Central Forums » » Tiki Drinks and Food » » Canadian liquor/ingredient advise
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Canadian liquor/ingredient advise
Kahuna Tiki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 18, 2010
Posts: 35
From: Toronto, ON
Posted: 2011-12-14 06:54 am   Permalink

Just visited BYOB in Toronto for the first time last evening. (I really do need to keep up to date with these threads. Sheesh.) They have quite a nice selection of vintage barware. I spotted three absinthe fountains, which I found fascinating (although priced entirely out of my reach). Most of their stuff is on the pricey side. They have some low-end tiki mugs (the type that come four to a package) priced at $12. The good news was that they did indeed have Fee Bros products as well as Bittermans and The Bitter Truth bitters. I picked up Jerry Thomas’ Own Decanter Bitters and Bittermans 'Elemakule Tiki Cocktail Bitters. I also spoke to Kristen (the owner, I think) and as it turns out, she is a tikiphile as well. She has a collection of vintage tiki mugs on a shelf behind the counter. We spoke for awhile, I showed her a picture of my home tiki bar, and she mentioned that she was also a TTS member and had been present for their first tiki night there. (I was green with envy. I'll have to speak to Oliver, the bartender, to make sure I'm included next time.) Overall, a very enjoyable experience. I'll definitely go back again.

 
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tikicoma
Grand Member (4 years)  

Joined: Jan 16, 2010
Posts: 373
From: wakinekona
Posted: 2011-12-14 12:48 pm   Permalink

Hey Twitch, don't know if your still in need of Lemon Hart 151 but there are 52 bottles just south of you in Bellingham. $33.95 for a 750mil. bottle.
I'd go to the wslcb web site and get a stores phone number first thou, I think they only update the stores inventory once a month.

aloha, tikicoma


 
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2011-12-21 11:33 am   Permalink

Edmonton update:
The aforementioned Wild Earth Grocery on 99th St now has Fee Bros Mint, Cherry, Lemon, and Orange Bitters on the shelf. SDT, you'd better get down here and see for yourself. This is good news for local cocktailians! We'll see whether or not they keep restocking bitters...


 
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Sweet Daddy Tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 20, 2003
Posts: 1071
From: Edmonton
Posted: 2011-12-22 02:33 am   Permalink

Huh, I was just there today to buy cigarettes, condoms and handguns but didn't think to check for bitters. I'll look next time. Thanks for the tip, Brando.
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2011-12-22 5:50 pm   Permalink

Hardy har har...

 
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2011-12-31 3:54 pm   Permalink

Another Edmonton/Alberta update: we now have several Bitter Truth liqueurs available through the AGLC. Sherbrooke in Edmonton has all of them: EXR Elixer, Sloeberry Gin, Apricot, Violet, and Pimento Dram. At $60 and up, they're pricey! I opted for the Violet liqueur for now because it's such a rarity, but I'll probably pick up the Pimento Dram down the road. Then again, I've been fine making my own up till now and not paying $60, so maybe not. Someone else try it first and let me know if it's worth the price tag! Unfortunately, no sign of their bitters in our marketplace as of yet.

 
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2012-03-03 11:19 am   Permalink

Spurned on by another thread, I thought I'd throw a shout out to the folks at Nons in Vanouver for their efforts in bringing Giffard products to Canada. In AB we have a ton of their liqueurs available, some of which I've already picked up and some I'll be looking at down the road. My only beef is that Giffard syrups only seem to be available throught their drink store at the Granville Island Market. If you're in Vancover, you should definitely stop by to see what's in stock. Their orgeat is the best I've tried, but I suspect their Passion Fruit and a few others would also be excellent. Their website has a list of what's available: http://www.nonsdrinks.com/


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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2012-03-04 11:58 am   Permalink

As it turns out, the aforementioned Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver does carry Giffard syrups, in addition to a great selection of bitters and Sonoma Syrup Co. products. See for yourself: http://www.gourmetwarehouse.ca/Bar-Ingredients
I can't wait to check this place out! Looks like the Giffard syrups are pretty much the same price as at the Nons Drink Store on Granville Island. Why don't we have places like this in Edmonton, or at least Calgary? Market's too small, I guess.


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poutineki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 80
From: Ontario, Canada
Posted: 2012-03-09 4:25 pm   Permalink

I ordered a few bitters from gourmet warehouse several months ago. I was happy with the service but not entirely happy with their online shopping system. At that time, the website wouldn't tell you the shipping charge (and it may still be that way, I don't know) You just placed your order and got two charges on your card, one for the product and one for the shipping. It wasn't a sneak, the site told you that's how it works up front, but I don't like that sort of surprise so I emailed for a shipping cost. An annoying extra step in my opinion but better than finding after the fact that the shipping was pumped up (it wasn't and I'm not suggesting they would but there are places out there that play that game so better safe than sorry). Overall, it's nice to have a mailorder source for bitters within Canada so that one inconvenience wouldn't stop me from ordering from them again.

Edit: I just took a look at the redesigned site and the shopping cart thing has indeed been changed. It does show shipping costs at the time of order now so I retract that complaint and have no others.

[ This Message was edited by: poutineki 2012-03-09 17:01 ]


 
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2012-03-18 09:29 am   Permalink

Well, we can finally close the book on the question of where to find bitters in Alberta. Since around Christmas time, they've been showing up all over! In Edmonton, I've seen nice selections of Fee Bros bitters at the Italian Centre (at least the South Side location) and at the liquor store in West Edmonton Mall (Aligra Wine or something like that), plus Devine Wines downtown has more or less the full Bitter Truth line up. In Calgary, a place called the Cookbook Co. downtown on 11th Ave apparently has a big selection of bitters but I'm not sure what brands. It's exciting to see this explosion in availability, since up to a few months ago the only bitters to be found were Angostura. I'm stocking up while I can (you know this ain't gonna' last forever).

[ This Message was edited by: Brandomoai 2012-03-18 09:30 ]


 
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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2012-04-11 09:55 am   Permalink

Oddly, Bitters have disappeared from Gourmet Warehouse's website. Not sure if this means they've stopped selling them, but it seems like odd timing since the cocktail renaissance has only really just hit Canada in the last year, especially among the public in general. It doesn't matter to me anymore, since we can get all the same bitters they had to offer in Edmonton or Calgary now: the aforementioned Cookbook Company stocks Fee's and Bittermen's, Canadian-made Twisted and Bitter Orange Bitters are all over, and at least one place (see post above) is stocking Bitter Truth. However, I'd like to see that my buddies on the coast can get what they need when they need it. I've also noticed Bitter Truth's Pimento Dram, a previously impossible find in Canada, turning up on more and more shelves. The best price I've found is at Chateau Louis in Edmonton for about $53 (incl. tax & deposit). That's $10 less than I spent on it, goddammit! I've also begun making my own bitters, so if anyone else in Alberta (all 2 of you) is interested at all in this pursuit and has any tips or questions about where to find the rarer herbs and spices involved, PM me! Oh yeah, Cookbook Co. has Fee Bros Falernum and usually 2 or 3 other syrups applicable in Tiki mixology. Falernum has always been tough to find here, but given that Fee's Bitters are showing up more and more often, I expect that's going to change. So, now we have no excuse or reason to bitch and moan other than the exorbitant cost of our over-taxed liquor. That's always a good motivation for bitching and moaning...

 
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poutineki
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jan 12, 2012
Posts: 80
From: Ontario, Canada
Posted: 2012-04-11 1:44 pm   Permalink

At least two places that were selling bitters online in Canada are suddenly not. Gourmet Warehouse removed them from the site and House Made removed the entire store section from their site. I'm wondering if it's something related to shipping because stores where you can physically walk in and buy them still seem to have them. Seems kinda strange that there would be a problem within Canada related to shipping when there are companies in the U.S. that can ship bitters to Canada so I'm not sure what's up. I emailed House Made and she said the store would be back up in a couple days but that was 3 or 4 weeks ago and still nothing. I think I'll shoot an email to Gourmet Warehouse as well.

 
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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1262
From: Calgary
Posted: 2012-04-13 10:29 am   Permalink

Safeway Liquor Stores are advertising Lemon Hart at just $20 a bottle (it's normally about $25 a bottle here).


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Brandomoai
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 323
From: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posted: 2012-04-16 12:18 pm   Permalink

So there, Americans! We have Lemon Hart! Actually, I just ran out so that would have been a good opportunity to pick up some more. The sale's probably over by now. In my obsessive search for bitters I found a web vendor that hasn't come up in this thread: www.thecraftybartender.com
Looks like they're a Toronto-area-based, web-only dealer for various cocktail/beverage accessories, including by far the best selection of bitters I've seen in Canada and the usual Fee Bros syrups. If you're looking for hard-to-find bitters like Dr. Elmegirab's, Scrappy's, Bitter End, or Urban Moonshine, this will probably be the only Canadian source for them (some US websites will ship to Canada but some restrictions apply).


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Slacks Ferret
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 1262
From: Calgary
Posted: 2012-04-28 2:47 pm   Permalink

I just saw (according to the AB liquor control site) that we can get Lemon Hart 151 in Calgary. I will report back soon!

 
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