Summerhill Pyramid Winery marks a first, as spirits and craft beer are added to the menu in its Sunset Organic Bistro in Kelowna. As the first BC winery in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve) to have this new license, Summerhill has hired acclaimed Okanagan bartender Gerry Jobe to create a cocktail program that expresses the winery's unique personality.
"Jobe is more than a consulting bartender at Summerhill; he is a storyteller, artist and cocktail activist recreating a rich, lively, spiritual and meaningful cocktail culture in the Okanagan," says Ezra Cipes, CEO, Summerhill Pyramid Winery. "This is the start of a journey for us to celebrate the land, the history, and to create something beautiful."
Summerhill Pyramid Winery has been a gathering place for wine enthusiasts, artists, farmers, environmental advocates and progressive thought leaders to come together and share their stories and ideas, while thinking outside the bottle. The winery has linked up with Jobe to oversee their spirits menu, and take their cocktail program to an unparalleled level. Recognized by Western Living magazine as one of their "Top 40 under 40", Jobe is an award-winning and passionately creative bartender.
"Creating stories, experiences, moments and memories within spirits just happens to be my medium.," says Jobe. "I create cocktails that transport the drinker back to their childhood, their happiest moment, or the first time they heard their favourite album. When Ezra approached me about creating the cocktail program at Summerhill, I couldn't wait to get started. Summerhill is the perfect foundation for creating cocktails that are full of balanced flavour while celebrating nature and the surrounding land."
As a lifetime resident of the area, Jobe feels the need to establish a vibrant and stylish cocktail culture in Okanagan. At Summerhill, he is teaching and empowering the team to create "outside the bottle" cocktails that include a unique story as an essential ingredient.
All Summerhill cocktails created by Jobe utilize speciality techniques and ingredients hand-foraged on the sweet aromatic land of Summerhill's own biodynamic permaculture gardens, including wildcrafted medicinal herbs and syrups aged in the Pyramid. Unconventional cocktail techniques are applied to the creation of each drink, including employing vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls, intentionality and biodynamic rhythms.
The winery can say with confidence that no one is making cocktails that express the Okanagan in this way.
For example, 'Unified Field' features a house-made lavender and sage blossom kombucha reduction with vodka which are influenced with vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls to bring harmony to the experience at Summerhill. It is topped with Cipes Brut and garnished with lavender.
The 'Santa Fortuna' includes foraged elderflower, lilac and wild rose petal reductions which are shaken with grapefruit and tequila and topped with Cipes Rose.
'Lithia's Rhythm' includes foraged choke cherry blossoms which were first reduced into a simple syrup, and smoked over the fire during the summer solstice drum circle in the winery's onsite Kekuli (an earth house). Placed around the Kekuli fire, vessels of this reduction were influenced by the rhythm of the drumming and dancing, and treated with energy work and quartz. This reduction was combined with organic Pinot Gris, lemon and Woodford Reserve Bourbon.
All cocktails and applications were conceptualized by Gerry Jobe utilizing ingredients he hand-foraged on the Summerhill property with the assistance of property foragers Scott and Gabriel Cipes.
The Sunset Organic Bistro, featuring Summerhill's wines and custom cocktails, will remain open daily this fall and offers lunch (11am - 3pm), a grazing menu (3 - 5pm) and dinner (5 - 9pm). The Bistro also serves brunch on Sundays from 11am - 2pm.