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Earlier this week, a group of media were invited to Long Table Distillery, Vancouver’s first premium micro-distillery in an unassuming part of the city (close to where Hornby Street greets False Creek).

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A selection of gins, vodkas, and spirits are produced here in small batches and include London Dry Gin, Cucumber Gin, Bourbon Barrelled Gin, Texada Vodka, Långbord Akvavit (prepared according to a traditional Scandinavian recipe), and Marc du Soleil (a collaboration between Long Table and Similkameen Valley’s Clos du Soleil winery).

The focus on all their products is sustainability, and local ingredients are used throughout.

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And what better way to enjoy one of these hand-crafted spirits than when combined with another natural product? Walter All-Natural Craft Caesar Mix is prepared without MSG, artificial flavours or colours, and is packaged in premium glass bottles.

The name “Walter” is a tribute to all great Walters in history, such as Walter Cronkite, Walter Gretzky, Walt Whitman, Walter Payton and, for Canadian cocktail lovers, a tip of the toque to the bar keep Walter Chell who invented the iconic Caesar in 1969 for the launch of an Italian Restaurant in Calgary.

Walter is pre-seasoned with real grated horseradish, vine-ripened tomatoes, select spices, Worcestershire and hot sauce, and clam juice from the North Atlantic. It’s available in both Well Spiced and Mildly Spiced varieties.

The Well Spiced packs a bit of a kick — just add vodka (or your spirit of choice) and enjoy. The Mildly Spiced imparts a bold flavour, but is toned down on the spice level a fair bit, suitable for those preferring a mild Caesar. Mildly Spiced can be used as a base to add extra spices to your liking.

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At one end of the bar cocktails were being prepared; at another, Outlandish Shellfish was busy shucking away little delicate Black Pearls, Marina’s Top Drawer, and Beach Angel oysters for a happy slurping experience.

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The small Black Pearls were delicate on the palate while Marina’s were more meaty with a slight sweetness. The Beach Angel was more the classic flavour of the three, imparting a saltier taste.

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All three types served are harvested from The Discovery Islands. Outlandish Shellfish sources its oysters from eight family-run shellfish farms. In addition to oysters, Outlandish also sells already-shucked oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops.

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[L to R: Walter Caesar with Longtable Gin, lemongrass, and ginger; Walter Caesar with Longtable Vodka, cucumber, and cilantro]

As the Ceasar is Canada’s most popular cocktail, it’s the perfect drink for Canada Day celebrations, whether enjoying on a patio or at a family gathering.

The men behind Walter are childhood friends Aaron Harowitz and Zack Silverman. While attending The University of British Columbia together, they’d often meet up for a Sunday morning Caesar. Over time (and countless Caesars) the two realized that their favourite cocktail contained many ingredients they would rather not be drinking. Necessity being the mother of invention, the team set out to create their own all-natural mix.

Find Walter Caesar Mix in Vancouver at Choices Markets (Cambie, Kerrisdale, Kitsilano), Edible Canada, The Gourmet Warehouse, Meinhardt Fine Foods, Granville Island Produce, Spud, Stong’s Market, The Modern Bartender, Top 10 Produce, Whole Foods (Cambie, Robson, Kitsilano), Windsor Quality Meats, and throughout Canada.

Long Table has a tasting room for meetings and private events as well as a small retail space for all your libation needs. There’s also a weekly Gin & Tonic Friday event from 4 to 9 pm with a food truck parked out front. Visit the website for details and opening hours.

Long Table Distillery is located at 1451 Hornby Street in Vancouver.

2 Comments

  • Comment by Out Landish Shellfish Guild — July 2, 2014 @ 7:52 am

    Thanks for the mention of our guild in your article and great photos too! Working as the farmers we do not often get to have a visual of where our products are consumed, so thankyou!

  • Comment by Ariane Colenbrander — July 2, 2014 @ 10:03 am

    You’re welcome! Always a lovely day when socializing and slurping are involved 🙂

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