Cocktail: Within Reach | Bartender: Jason Strohan

I created this cocktail not only to taste great but with the thought of the environmental impact of the ingredients used. The name Within Reach references the use of the ingredients that can be sourced close to home. It also implies that choosing sustainable ingredients and low waste practices can make a difference to the environment and by making conscious decisions of our goal to lower our carbon footprint is also Within Reach by making small changes in what we do each day. This cocktail helped me win the Canadian National Torres Brandy Zero Challenge 2024.

1.50oz Torres 10 Brandy
0.25oz Fino sherry
0.75oz Fresh Pressed Apple Juice*
0.25oz Lacto Fermented Apple Vinegar**
0.25oz Ceylon Cinnamon Cordial***
2 Dashes Angostura bitters
Pickled Dehydrated Apple slice****

Add all ingredients into a Boston Shaker with ice, give a vigorous shake for 10 seconds and double strain into a Nick and Nora or similar stemmed glassware. Garnish with Pickled Dehydrated Apple slice.

*Fresh Pressed Apple Juice
By using apples from the tree in my yard or from friends and neighbours trees it has a zero carbon footprint in the way of transporting/shipping impact. Also no packaging. Pick or buy some local Apples, slice and put through a juicer. I reduced the Apple juice by 50% on an induction burner for 1 hour at 170’ F. Save the apple cores to make your own Apple Cider Vinegar. Save the Apple pulp to Lacto ferment.

**Lacto Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar
Used for acidity balance instead of citrus. I mixed equal parts of the lacto fermented Apple juice with Apple cider vinegar. Look online for lacto fermentation and Apple Cider vinegar recipes and instructions on how to make. You can substitute making your own Apple cider vinegar by using an organic Apple Cider Vinegar from the grocery store.

***Ceylon Cinnamon Cordial
Simmer 1 litre of water with 6 finger-sized Ceylon Cinnamon sticks (you can substitute 4 regular cinnamon sticks if Ceylon unavailable). Strain out the cinnamon sticks and mix with equal parts sugar.

****Pickled Dehydrated Apple Slice
By dehydrating the surplus of apples from the summer, it allows a very cost effective and minimal energy use as it doesn’t need refrigeration for storage. Thin slice some fresh Apples and soak in a 50/50 mixture of White vinegar and water overnight and then dehydrate. They were dehydrated by leaving them on a sheet pan in the oven for a couple of days with just the pilot light on.

Jason Strohan
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Jason Strohan has been a fixture in the downtown restaurant industry for close to 38 years. You could say Jay ‘grew up’ in the industry .. he has worked every position over the years in his family’s small French inspired restaurant, St. Tropez Bistro. After a number of years of managing St. Tropez .. in 2019, Jason and his wife & business partner Cher, opened Parlor, a small cocktail bar on the 2nd floor of their historic building. Parlor has been a great space for the couple to continue to grow and evolve the family business.

Along with being in the restaurant industry, Jason is an avid Horticulturist. His passion for gardening started when as a kid, he would help tend a small garden with his Mom in the back yard. Also, he further developed his skills as a Gardner spending summers helping his Grandmother with her garden out on the farm. It was these early experiences that inspired him to keep a few pots of herbs on the rooftop of St. Tropez. Now those few little pots have grown into a lush garden encompassing over a 1000 square feet of The Bistro’s rooftop.

Sharing stories over food and drink with friends is one of Jay’s favorite pastimes .. he has also been known to give tours of the Bistro Garden if you ask nicely .. Cheers!
Jason Strohan on Instagram