WHERE Edmonton: What are some trends in cocktail mixing that interest you right now?
Natasha Trowsdale: Speak Tiki just acquired a Spinzall, which is a culinary piece of equipment for centrifuging, and the yield of product skyrockets with this gem. In tiki cocktail-mixing especially, the garnish, juice, and syrup prep can be intensive, which means it becomes easy to be wasteful. If we are able to make three things out of one batch of fruit, we aren’t throwing anything away.
W: How do tiki cocktails differ from classic ones?
NT: There are definitely classic tiki cocktails that would fall in the lines of being just as classic as a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned, such as the Mai Tai. As an entity, tiki distinguishes itself by focusing mostly on Rum, tropical fruits, spices, and the layering of flavours.
W: What would you recommend to someone who’s used to a classic cocktail but wants to try something new?
NT: Decide what you love about the classic you are used to so you can order a dealer’s choice properly. For example, do you enjoy the spice, the tartness, the sweetness, or maybe the garnish? Cater your order so that you will enjoy it, give a suggestion, such as “Rye & spirituous,” then let your bartender take you from your usual Manhattan, to a new—but not too unfamiliar—cocktail.
W: Do you have any tips for people who may be interested in pairing a cocktail with their meal?
NT: I generally try to pull something notable from the dish like a chili pepper, then make a cocktail that could benefit from spice, like a Margarita. As a bartender, you can also pull inspiration from staple pairings for your cocktail ideas, such as recreating a glass of oaky Chardonnay in cocktail form with Oaked Gin, Licor 43, Cocchi Americano, and a lemon twist.