Craft cocktails coming to B.C.

Bars and lounges will be able to infuse and age cocktails as of January.

Bartenders and mixologists around the province can roll up their sleeves and mix up some new drinks as B.C. rolls out new regulations to allow the infusing and aging of cocktails.

As of Jan. 23, 2017, licensed restaurants, bars, manufacturer lounges and caterers will be allowed to age and infuse liquor to create their own unique craft cocktails.

“Permitting liquor aging and infusing helps licensed establishments and industry professionals flourish in the local and global food and beverage industry,” said Minister Coral Oakes in a news release on Thursday. “It is a common-sense change that increases consumer choice and supports B.C. business growth and innovation.”

Current regulations mean that all liquor must be poured and mixed in full view of patrons, cannot be infused or aged, and must be dispensed from the original container.

Aging and infusing cocktails has become a trend in countries like the U.K. and the U.S., where it is permitted. In Canada, it’s allowed in Saskatchewan, P.E.I., Ontario and the Northwest Territories.

“This is a big win for the B.C. hospitality industry. The use of infusions enables exciting flavourful experiences for our guests and really puts the bartender in a position of creative control,” said Canadian Professional Bartenders Association secretary Robyn Gray.

@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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