Where to shop for cocktail accessories in Calgary

Whether you’re training to be a cocktail connoisseur, or just want to learn to make a great drink, here’s where to get everything you need from recipes and bitters to syrups and gadgets. [Image credit: iStock.com/LiliGraphie]

Silk Road Spice Merchant Ltd The

A-1403 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T4

The scent of this local spice market on the main street of Inglewood is intoxicating. In addition to walls lined with spices, Silk Road also sells syrups, bitters, cookbooks and accessories to concoct the perfect cocktail. Start with a book like A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails. Next, browse syrups from brands like Porters Tonics or Dillon’s bitters in peach or ginseng. And don’t forget about muddlers and zesters to create the perfect mix or garnish.

Lukes Drug Mart

112 4 St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 3R9

Just across the street from Joycee’s is Lukes Drug Mart, a pharmacy and general store opened in 1951 that’s now become a community hangout for coffee-lovers and record collectors in Bridgeland. Lukes also carries some great artisan ingredients for cocktails, including Dillon’s bitters, Porter’s Tonic syrup and ginger syrup, as well as Owl’s Brew, a pre-mixed tea in flavours like English Breakfast and hibiscus – just add liquor.

The UnCommons

1325A 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0T2

Head to The Uncommons, a shop with quirky knick-knacks and local goods in Inglewood, before a vacation so you can mix your own cocktails in-flight. Pick up a Carry-On Gin Kit, complete with travel-friendly tools to mix your own perfect gin and tonic, including a recipe card, tonic syrup, a bar spoon and even a linen coaster to make your seat-mates jealous.

The Cookbook Co

722 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0E4

With more than 2,000 cookbooks in stock, this shop in the Beltline district carries the largest amount of cookbooks in Western Canada – and many include cocktail recipes. Can’t find something you’re looking for? Just ask and the friendly staff here will order it in just for you. And if you just can’t decide on which book to get for the cocktail connoisseur in your life, you can also build your own gift basket of books.

Vine Arts & Spirits

1310 1 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0V7

Located in Victoria Park just east of downtown, this wine and spirits store is a go-to for downtown residents when it comes to wine and cocktails. Vine Arts carries an impressive array of cocktail liquors from around the world. Browse labels that include Vancouver brand Bittered Sling and Australian Maidenii Dry Vermouth, or liqueurs in flavours like elderflower, lychee and walnut.

Kent Of Inglewood

1316 9 Ave Se Suite 101B, Calgary, AB T2G 0T3

While this Inglewood shop specializes in knives, axes and beard grooming kits and tools, the owners here also know that the perfect manly accessory is a stiff drink. Browse goods like A Modern Guide to Sherry, which features plenty of cocktail recipes, or pick up some cool stainless steel cocktail mixers.

Willow Park Wines & Spirits

10801 Bonaventure Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2J 6Z8

Before you try shaking things up on your own at home, head to Willow Park in its namesake southwest neighbourhood, which regularly hosts classes and learning events. Learn key skills from local mixologists, like how to mix up warm, wintery cocktails in your crockpot or how to make classic staples like an Old Fashioned or a martini.

Blue Door Oil & Vinegar

3126-8561 8A Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3H 0V5

Blue Door specializes in healthy, infused oils and vinegars but they also sell all kinds of cocktail bitters, including Canadian labels like Bittered Sling, as well as Calgary’s own Black Cloud Bitters. If you’re looking for the perfect starter kit, be sure to snag a Black Cloud sample pack, which includes five one-ounce bottles with flavours like charred cedar and prairie rose. Many of Blue Door’s white balsamic vinegars are also the perfect ingredient for a simple syrup. Just ask the knowledgeable staff for tips and recipes to make it yourself.

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