Cocktail: Bel Ami | Bartender: Marlene Thorne

This cocktail is named after an 1885 novel by Guy de Maupassant: Bel Ami. It was created for the Giffard West Cup Toronto Regionals competition – which I won – so carries the theme of ‘Less is More’ all the way through to the alcohol content… this is meant to be a low-ABV sipper. I wanted to to really highlight the pineapple flavour in the liqueur without adding any additional sweetness, so I opted for a bone-dry sherry.  Rosemary is one of my favourite herbs to pair with pineapple because it’s earthy and complex; I took inspiration from a shrub that we make at Famous Last Words and also added the white wine vinegar for brightness and a touch of acidity.  The firewater tincture brings a nice element of heat: subtle, but impactful.  Finally, I opted for a drop of vanilla to finish because it’s such a great flavour pairing with pineapple and I really like the depth it brought to the cocktail as well as aromatics you get from it on the nose.  Bel Ami is a bit of a dark novel, so I loved the juxtaposition of the drink being so light and bright… I also like that it has the word ‘ami’ in it, because this is definitely something I’d recommend to drink on a patio with a bunch of friends.

1 small sprig fresh rosemary
30ml Giffard Caribbean Pineapple
30ml Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
2 ml (1 dropper) Bertolli white wine vinegar
3 drops Scrappy’s Firewater
1 drop pure Madagascar vanilla extract

Lightly muddle rosemary in a mixing pitcher. Add Giffard Caribbean Pineapple Liqueur, Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, White Wine Vinegar and Scrappy’s Firewater Tincture. Fill pitcher with ice (preferably Kold Draft) and stir to proper dilution, approximately 30 seconds. Fine strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass. Add one drop of pure Madagascar vanilla extract. Using a miniature clothespin, garnish with a wedge of dehydrated pineapple and a rosemary sprig.

Famous Last Words
Famous last words, opened in October 2016 in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood, is a bit like a library - if the library made kickass cocktails and let you play vinyl. They regularly host book clubs, readings and book launches and have built a literary-inspired cocktail list over 40 drinks deep with chapters of "Short Stories", "Modernists" and "Classics". A self-described lifelong book nerd, Marlene opened famous last words to combine her two loves: reading and cocktailing. She can be found behind the bar a few nights a week and, according to Lucas, is the master of the four ingredient sour. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Lucas Twyman moved to Canada because it was the only other country in North America that makes whiskey. He bartended pretty much everywhere in Toronto's Junction neighborhood and can be found at Famous Last Words. Marlene recommends asking Lucas about his publishing career and/or his clarified milk punch recipes.
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