Sessions Taproom and Kitchen (Campbell River, BC)

A couple days before our Ace Brewing adventure, our crew met up at a Campbell River joint to plan some of our holiday adventures. Sessions Taproom and Kitchen had been suggested to me numerous times but despite biking by it to and from work for two years I’d never had a chance to sit down and enjoy it’s hospitality.

Shame on me for such an oversight. Not only does Sessions deliver an exceptional lounge/drinking experience, but it has – I’m not messing around here – the best pizza in our town.

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The Cascadian Smash Cocktail

It didn’t take long for summer to pack it up. It went from T-Shirts to raincoats practically overnight, the temperature dipped into the long pants zone and no-one is still wearing flip flops in all this muck. *sigh*It’s time for me to stay inside and organize all the late summer fruit ‘n veg harvested from our garden and out in the wild.

The latest bit of foraging I did yielded three large mason jars full of Oregon Grape Syrup, which retains much of the wild berry’s natural sourness tempered with just a hint of cane sugar. It’s very similar in taste to a Blackberry-Balsamic Shrub which is a type of fruit and vinegar syrup or cordial used to give cocktails a sexy sweet ‘n sour kick. (more…)

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Oregon Grape

Nothing makes an amateur forager feel more like a rock star than passing some scrumpy-looking bush in the neighbour’s yard and telling your friends, “See that there… You can eat that.” And you probably have a friend or two who’s down to try anything and immediately pops whatever berry you just pointed out into their mouth.

“Bleeeeaagggh! Why would anyone want to eat this!?” comes the response, followed by the look of betrayal. “This tastes nothing like a ripe blackberry. It’s sour! Why did I listen to you? You’re not a rock star! What if this is poison?” It is a scene we foragers know all too well… I’ve had it happen a couple of times to me and still recall the sting of recrimination and weird looks. *laughs*and it always seems to be thanks to Oregon grape.

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The Psychic Anchor Cocktail

The first time I remember anyone mentioning Dr. Hunter S. Thompson to me was in college. It was an art school so of course every conceivable image of the counterculture from the 60s to the ‘aughts where plastered on every kid’s dorm room walls and sleeves. A curly-haired rave kid who reminded me too much of myself cornered me during a smoke break and demanded to know how much I knew of his idol, the good doctor.

Being a twenty year old freshmen desperate to prove myself as an intellectual worthy of respect and kinship I blindly answered, “Oh, Raoul King right? He’s the guy from the Jonnhy Depp movie. I loved it!” After I got the stoner-cred shit kicked out of me I went back to my dorm room and got reading up on Thompson and his alter-ego “Raoul Duke”. As it turned out the 1998 movie (which I did love) was only the Hollywood tip of the 60s and 70s literary iceberg. (more…)

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