TRÄ•KÁL is a completely new spirit made from ingredients indigenous to Patagonia, distilled with the highest standards in sustainability and now available at select, premium retailers in BC.
Innovate, disrupt and transform are words we often hear spouting from the mouths of marketing gurus and salespeople trying to get you to break habit and buy something new. The sales pitches generally fall short because it is rare to find something that is truly new and innovative, particularly in the liquor business. Sure, there are new ways of infusing vodkas, gins and whiskeys and creative ways of tweaking the distillation process, but how often do you hear of a completely new liquor? Unless you were around during the invention of any of the traditional spirits, aka a vampire, then probably never.
We jumped at the opportunity to be among the first to try TRÄ•KÁL in a most glorious fashion, with the three gentlemen that created the drink, at a restaurant with the culinary talent to showcase the depth and versatility TRÄ•KÁL offers. In its native language, TRÄ•KÁL means “first warrior into battle” — perhaps a tribute to those willing to trail blaze and experience the unknown? All we had to do was find our way to Wildebeest in Gastown and enjoy a generous and delicious stride through plates paired with carefully crafted TRÄ•KÁL cocktails.
Our first course, light and refreshing, brought heirloom tomatoes paired with the Mamacita drink: TRÄ•KÁL, fino sherry, BC raspberries, basil, lime, sparkling wine. The seasonally fresh local tomatoes with flowering currant vinegar and basil oil drizzle played beautifully with the lime and bubbles in the Mamacita. This combo could be conjured up at home (albeit not as beautifully) if you have the mixological aptitude.
The second course, a delicate slice of red spring salmon gravlax (a Nordic dish consisting of a thinly sliced raw salmon, cured in salt, sugar and dill) artfully plated with a smoked sea urchin emulsion, salmon mousse and compressed cucumber. The beverage pairing echoed dill, cucumber and lemon in a yellow chartreuse and TRÄ•KÁL called the Tralala.
The third round offered up a generous piece of wild boar loin with in-house sauerkraut tucked beneath and garlic scapes curled up to the side. The Kilted Warrior, a pairing not for the light hearted or weak tongued, has scotch, madeira reduction and morel with an ounce or two of TRÄ•KÁL. The protein rich hunk of boar provided the appropriate landscape for the powerful beverage pairing. This course was hands down the culinary climax we had hoped for.
Dessert, a fermented BC strawberry, oat crumb and eau-de-cologne mint panna cotta, was a hit with those who enjoy the goat. We guzzled the TRÄ•KÁL Me On My Cellphone, a house-made elderflower cordial with a long pepper finale.
Hats off to chef, Ian McHale and barman, Drew McGuire for putting together an epic dining experience and a huge thank you to the TRÄ•KÁL team, Matt, Ben and Seb. You can find TRÄ•KÁL at Legacy Liquor Stores and always at Wildebeest Restaurant.