An early pandemic pantry challenge to use up the food in your cupboards at home – instead of going shopping – has led to a self-published NWT book of drink recipes.
Yellowknife resident Dana Britton said: “I was up against a group of women who were phenomenal cooks, and I am not a phenomenal cook. So I decided my only hope was to bribe the judge and started making cocktails.”
Britton says her liquor cabinet is filled with “this random selection of alcohol” thanks to 20 years of hosting martini parties.
At the beginning of Covid-19 restrictions, Britton and a friend started going on evening walks to watch the sunset with a cocktail she had concocted.
The daily activity inspired her recipe book’s name: Custom Covid Cocktails and Sanity Saving Snowbank Sundowners.
“I would create a custom cocktail every night,” said Britton. “But then, as I was creating these cocktails, one of the things that we really noticed was that it obviously wasn’t the alcohol that was kind-of keeping us sane. It was the face-to-face contact.”
“It was a bit mad-scientist,” she said of recipe creation for the book. “I would just stare into the liquor cabinet, take out a bottle, usually pour a little bit into a little glass and then sniff it, and then think what else would go with this and just pull something else out.”
Fast-forward to this Christmas, when Britton decided to make a recipe book for her friend as a present. She’d been taking photos of all of the drinks she’d made and had written down the recipes, so all she had to do was compile it into a book.
There are around 35 recipes in the book – including the ones that didn’t taste great, which come marked with a cautionary note.
After the book was made, Britton thought others might also be interested in it. She’s selling copies for $20.20.
“I’m just really gratified with the response that people have had to it. A lot of people have been buying one or two and then realizing that it’s not just about the martinis, it’s about sort of a quirky northern lifestyle,” she said.
“They make great gifts for people who either live here, used to live here, want to live here, have visited here… you want to get them to visit here.”