It’s a good sign when a “Welcome Package” is ready for distribution, even if one checks in early at a hotel or resort. Such was the case today at Elk Ridge in Waskesiu, Saskatchewan. All the details I needed to know about the weekend were included, starting with the Welcome Reception at Walleye’s … a great pub where you can kick back in a cozy setting on the grounds of the resort.
Things were in full swing when I walked through the door. The Mixologists were hard at work, crafting crazy-good cocktails, using locally-inspired accompaniments from the pride of #Saskatchewan Distilling, Lucky Bastard Vodka & Lucky Bastard Chai Vodka.
Lucky Bastard Distillers is a true Saskatchewan success story. Legend has it the owner won millions in the lottery (lucky bastard) and decided to put the money to good use by opening a distillery.
I’ve even got the LBDistillers T-shirt that says “Vodka Pays The Bills”
It’s great to see Elk Ridge Resort supporting other Saskatchewan businesses. But when one considers how great all LB Distillers products are … it’s a no-brainer. Their Gambit Gin is amazing and I’ve become a recent convert to their Chai Vodka!
It was apparent all the attendees to the Elk Ridge Epicurean Weekend were enjoying the Mixology Demonstration & Cocktail Construction Course
I’ve mentioned how majestically beautiful Elk Ridge Resort is … but truth is, it’s the people that make it all come together. As as single diner, I greatly appreciated the kindness & attention extended by Mitch Gryschuk, a long term employee with Elk Ridge Resort.
It’s clear he loves the resort, doing double duty in both the Food & Beverage department year-round and the Golf Course in the summer season.
Mitch spoke with pride & admiration for Arne Petersen, the founder of Elk Ridge resort, saying “if there’s a hole to be dug or a foundation being poured, Arne is there”. It’s clear the work ethic demonstrated by the founder is revered and emulated by the staff; a quality often lacking in business today.
It was the same with Rona … a really hard-working server who’s attention to detail was astonishing. As a Wine & Spirit Professional who’s attended hundreds of food & beverage related events, I’m always in awe of staff who actually take the time to pay attention to detail … such as polishing each and every glass.
Chef Ron MacNeil, who hails from Cape Breton, must also be congratulated for creating the absolutely delicious sliders which were served during the reception. Featuring an assortment of local meats, each offering was distinct in flavour. The Lamb Slider had a tatziki-like spread with tasty grape tomatoes garnishing the succulent lamb patty. Following that was Beef, enhanced perfectly with cheddar cheese and the Chicken Slider had great color added by using spring-mix lettuce & crispy onion rings. The Elk Slider was a revelation with arugula greens & feta cheese.
The cocktails prepared by the mixologists were the perfect accompaniment to the Sliders.
I ended the evening with a fantastic “Saskatchewan Sangria” which used Black Tea macerated with a trinity of berries including raspberries and Saskatoon berries (of course!) which were frozen for 24hrs with cherry liqueur in individual serving cups to be added as needed to the Sangria.
I started the evening with a cocktail perfectly adapted to this weekend’s Master’s Golf Tournament … the “Spiked Arnold Palmer” made with LBDistillers Chai Vodka, ginger-infused lemonade, Iced Tea & garnished with tasty candied lemon rinds.
That was followed by a cocktail taste sensation … The Ridge Ceasar.
Elk Ridge Resort Food & Beverage Manager & Master Mixologist, Jay Klarenbach, started with an HP Sauce rub to the rim of the highball glass, then dipped the rim in crunchy bacon bits. Over ice, he poured LBDistillers Jalapeño & Garlic infused Vodka and finished it will Clamato juice.
It was amazing!