Now the days are getting longer and we’re (hopefully) done with minus temperatures, it’s time for fresh flavours and to get creative with our drinks.

When you think using of herbs in your cocktail, gin naturally comes to mind as a base spirit, so we asked two Alberta cocktail experts for exciting and flavourful gin-based recipes for us to make at home.

Nathan Newman
The Derrick Gin Mill and Kitchen in Calgary

You’re probably thinking of citrus, fresh fruits, and crushed ice right now rather than aromatic, umami-rich fungi, so truffle might not be the first thing that comes to mind for spring, but Nathan Newman, owner of The Derrick, has a trick up his sleeve to take the sensuous aroma of truffle – a natural aphrodisiac – and turn it into a refreshing cocktail.

“Pairing with appropriate and pleasant flavours, like elderflower, coconut, and a pinch of salt draws out the tastes, and finish with the perfect spice of fresh dill,” he says. “By arranging unexpected elements to naturally complement each other, the ingredients bloom into a fresh, inspired martini.”

The Truffle Martini

The Truffle Martini


1¼ oz gin

½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

½ oz Malibu, or any coconut rum

Pinch of salt

Fresh dill sprig, for garnish


  1. Add gin, St. Germain, coconut rum, and a pinch of salt to a mixing glass and stir with ice to dilute.
  2. Double strain into a Nick & Nora glass already misted with truffle oil
  3. Garnish with a fresh sprig of dill.

You will need a mister to mist the glass with truffle oil, as Newman cautions to use it sparingly and not to over do it.

Jennifer Kerr
Wilfred’s in Edmonton

Rosy Cheeks cocktail is given it’s soft spring pink hue by the butterfly pea flower extract reacting to the lemon juice, which creates a fun colour-changing effect.

“The drink begins with Tanqueray Ten gin showcasing its lovely fresh botanical notes of juniper and grapefruit,” says Wilfred’s bartender, Jennifer Kerr. “Floral rose petals and fresh cucumber bolster the best qualities of the gin, while yellow Chartreuse brings a honeyed sweetness, a hint of mint, zesty citrus, and pine needles. The earthy taste of sage provides a lovely contrast to the sweet rose, yellow Chartreuse, and acid from the lemon.”

Rosy Cheeks

Rosy Cheeks


1½ oz Tanqueray Ten or your favourite gin

¼ oz yellow Chartreuse

½ oz lemon juice

¾ oz rose petal and cucumber infused syrup*

1 dash b'Lure Butterfly Pea Flower Extract**

1 sage leaf

Twist of lemon zest, for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients, including the sage leaf, in a shaker, add ice and shake for about ten seconds.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass, with either a large block ice cube if available, or small cubes.
  3. Garnish with a lemon zest twist and fresh sage leaf.

*To make the syrup, combine sugar and water in a 1:1 ratio, add rose petals (¼ cup per litre) and bring to a boil until sugar is thoroughly combined. Allow to cool in the fridge, and once cool, add sliced cucumber (½ cup per litre). Leave overnight to infuse. Strain out the rose petals and cucumbers with a fine mesh strainer.

** b’Lure is a soluble, bright blue concentrated extract from the butterfly pea flower with a mild flavour and a natural sweetness.

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