Business Beat: Summer cocktails from The Cabin

Agnes Kowalczuk, co-owner of The Cabin in downtown Revelstoke, gives some advice on creating delicious summer cocktails.

Agnes Kowalczuk owns the cabin along with her partner Troy Mayhew.

By Karilyn Kempton, Special to the Revelstoke Review

When summer is in full swing, nothing beats the sound of ice tinkling in a cool glass, with rivulets of condensation streaking down the outside, and bright flavours coming together in a deliciously refreshing beverage.

I stopped at the bright and airy new patio at The Cabin last week for a dose of summer cocktail inspiration. The combination bar/shop/bowling alley is known for its fancy cocktails, including the extra-large fishbowls.

Owners Agnes Kowalczuk and Troy Mayhew have operated The Cabin since 2008 after moving to Revelstoke from Whistler.

They were thrilled to officially open up their brand new 80-seat patio on Saturday and launch a fresh new cocktail menu. With evening sun until close to 10:00 p.m., there’s no doubt it will be a popular gathering point all summer to sit and watch the sunset.

While they kept some best sellers, most drinks are new creations or interesting fruit-forward spins on old favourites, like watermelon mojitos, peach juleps and watermelon margaritas.

“We wanted to bring fresh, local ingredients to our menu,” says Kowalczuk. They are sourcing the herbs and fruit for their drinks from local farmers Track Street Growers (of Revelstoke Garlic Festival fame). The pair aims to bring a variety of seasonal farm-to-table cocktail creations to the menu throughout the summer as different fruits come into season. They also added a selection of BC craft beer to the menu.

Photo: Agnes Kowalczuk, co-owner of The Cabin, recommends garnishing a cocktail with a herb like mint and some fruit.

I asked Kowalczuk for some advice for folks who want to create their own summer cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, for backyard enjoyment. Her face lit up as she listed combinations she’s excited about right now: lemon, cucumber and lavender; lemon and blueberry; lime or lemon and ginger; blood orange and dark rum; the list went on and on.

Her takeaway advice is to use what you have and keep it simple. “You don’t want to overwhelm the drink. There’s no need to complicate things, especially when you’re working with bold flavours like ginger,” says Kowalczuk.

She advocates using fresh, seasonal ingredients where possible. Start with fresh or frozen fruit, fresh herbs, ice, sparkling or soda water, and a cocktail shaker. If you’re planning to use alcohol, use whatever you have on hand. “Muddle the fruit and herbs or give it all shake in a cocktail shaker and you’re a mixologist,” she laughs.

If you need sweetness, you can also add agave or simple syrup (one part sugar to one part water), or sprinkle some brown sugar straight into your cocktail. If you have fruit juice on hand, you might add a splash. Where possible, use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes to keep drinks cool without watering them down. And don’t forget the garnish! A sprig of herbs or a slice of fruit looks beautiful.

She’s a firm believer that non-alcoholic concoctions should also make people feel like you’ve made them something special. For easy, non-alcoholic refreshment, she simply shakes fruit in a cocktail shaker with some sparkling water to infuse it with flavour, or adds sliced citrus fruit, whole berries or cucumber to a pitcher of water along with fresh herbs like mint or rosemary. A quick virgin sangria is simply grape juice, any fruit you’ve got on hand such as watermelon or grapes, topped with soda or San Pellegrino.

Photo: The Cabin’s new patio can seat 80 people.

Just like chefs do in the kitchen, Kowalczuk also advises readers to always taste test your cocktails before handing them over to your guests. Channel your inner bartender — dip a straw in with your thumb over the top to get a little sample for quality control. And just as they did with head bartender Sarah MacNeil and manager Jason DiNardo when creating their cocktail menu, tweak your cocktails until you’re satisfied.

“Often, we just knew that some combinations would taste good together, and then we’d work on the little details,” says Kowalczuk; “A drink might need to be more sour, or sweeter, or need a prettier garnish.”

She encourages readers to do the same at home.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
Interior Health records third COVID-19 death

A new community outbreak was reported at Okanagan Men’s Centre in Lake Country

The site plan for the Stoked Living development on Hay Rd. (Stoked Living)
Rental housing agreement approved for Hay Rd. project

Stoked Living development guarantees 10 rental units for 12 years

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services. (File)
UPDATE: RCMP say fire at Rivers Edge suspicious

Second fire in less than a week in Revelstoke contained to one unit

Remembrance Day in Revelstoke, Nov. 11, 2019. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke Remembrance Day celebrations different during pandemic

The Legion is asking you to stay home as a limit of 100 people are allowed at the ceremony

A municipal election is likely coming up in January. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
City takes steps to host byelection by end of January

A ministerial order is required to temporarily change the Election Bylaw

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

In May 2019, Brennan Joel Metlewsky and Jordan Robert Kupser were charged with attempted murder, robbery and aggravated assault stemming from an incident that took place in Vernon in 2017. (Facebook photo)
Attempted murder charges dropped for pair accused in Vernon stabbing

Brennan Metlewsky and Jordan Kupser will appear in Supreme Court to set a new trial date

Eric Termuende and the Emily Dahl Foundation are presenting a virtual ‘fireside conversation’ on modern happiness from the stage of the Powerhouse Theatre in Vernon Nov. 3, 2020, at 7 p.m. (YouTube)
Mental health advocate joins happiness chat in North Okanagan

Versed public speaker teams up with Emily Dahl Foundation to equip virtual guests with tools to live a happier life

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A boat moored at Turtle Bay Marina was reported stolen Oct. 1 and remains under investigation. (Contributed)
North Okanagan crimes remain unsolved

Boat stolen from marina, theft of siding and vehicle break and enter

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Most Read