Spirits are a shaken
For Mark Spurgeon, the answer to shaken or stirred is an easy one — shaken. His collection of vintage cocktail shakers can attest to that.
Shaken is also the new moniker for the lounge restaurant underway at Urban Distilleries. Following the recent buy-out of partner Mike Urban, Mark set out to update the tasting room and retail shop and add a 100+ seat lounge in their new expansive West Kelowna commercial facility.
Spirits play prominently in the shared-bites menu, from a boozy watermelon salad to marinated cherries and liquor-drizzled sundaes.
Part of the legacy of the decade-old distillery is its Spirit Bear brand of gins and vodkas that pay homage to B.C.’s official mammal, the white-coated rare subspecies of the black bear found only on Canada’s West Coast. Partial proceeds from the sale of every bottle support conservation efforts.
Mark got involved in the distillery five years ago and is ecstatic to welcome back patrons after nearly a two-and-a-half-year shut down prompted by a move and pandemic closures.
“The location is great,” he says. “It’s big, but that why we have all the products we have.”
That lineup includes a selection of gins, vodkas, whisky-styled spirits and fruit liqueurs. The portfolio also presents a collection of fruit brandies — popular with European tourists — as well as honey mead wines.
The single malt Bourbon-style whiskey made from B.C. corn fermented in new small American oak barrels offers a finishing with distinctive notes. “The difference here is that we’re flavouring in the bottle with toasted French oak instead of being in a casket or barrel,” says Mark. “So, it’s extremely smooth when it doesn’t have the char notes.”
With vanilla and subtle caramel notes, this smooth small-batch bourbon-style whisky is crafted from local corn and aged in new charred American oak barrels. Perfect for an old fashioned.