Yukon Book Club – Cold Spell: Cocktails and Savouries for a Northern Winter
Explore the Book
Michele Genest and Jennifer Tyldesley are equal parts friends and fans of great cocktails, winter, and local Yukon flavours. So in an effort to combine all the spices of their lives, they wrote one heck of a great cocktail and savouries recipe book, inspired by all the things they love about winter up north. It has everything from classic cocktails to heartwarming hot bevies to tasty biscottis. Each recipe features a little taste of the Yukon or, at the very least, an honorary mention of the places that inspired them.
Introducing Michele Genest and Jennifer Tyldesley, the authors of Cold Spell: Cocktails and Savouries for a Northern Winter.
Coffee Like a River
Michele and Jennifer know how to warm up their winters, and they’ve shared many of their most satisfying secrets in the pages of their book—like the Snake River Special Coffee. It’ll keep your spirits bright, despite being made with a darker spirit (rum), Solstice Bitters, syrup and whipped cream. And of course, it’s named after the Snake River, which runs through the Peel Watershed in the Yukon Territory. It’s only accessible by air with certain tour companies, but good news! There are many equally amazing local rivers to enjoy if you can’t make the trek to Snake River. We recommend waiting till the ice thaws, though. So in the meantime, enjoy this specialty coffee while you read about the adventures to be had on the Yukon rapids.
As you flip the pages of Cold Spell (wanting to taste absolutely everything), you’ll notice many recipes suggest local spirits or ingredients, like the Yukon Shine AuraGin or high bush cranberry syrup. (A recipe for making the syrup can be found in the back of the book.) These berries are found in boreal forests across Canada, including the Yukon. You can explore these diverse and rugged forests throughout the territory, including the Southern Lakes region, where all kinds of adventures can be had. You might even spot enough cranberries to make a syrup while you’re at it.
Winter is a great time for movie nights. And what goes best with movie nights? Popcorn, obviously. So thank goodness Michele and Jennifer added that into the mix with a Yukon spin. They break down how to make this quick snack with a hint of morel mushroom, which are found all over the Yukon—including out in the wild in forested areas like Kluane National Park and Reserve. Although it’s illegal to harvest them in national parks, they’re still an extremely unique looking mushroom that’s worth keeping an eye out for on a hike. So bring your favourite fungi book and have some fun spotting them out in nature.
If you hadn’t noticed, there are some alcoholic beverages on the pages of this book. But not just any alcoholic beverages; Jennifer and Michele have enlisted the help of some familiar local brewers and distillers who are kind of a big deal. We recommend taking note of them and paying them a visit if you ever find yourself craving a cold one in Whitehorse. Maybe take a page out of this book and pick up a bottle or two to make an extra authentic Cold Spell beverage.
If you hadn’t noticed, Whitehorse is getting a lot of love in this book and this article. That’s because it’s where Michele Genest and Jennifer Tyldesley call home. Jennifer is the owner of Free Pour Jenny’s, a cocktail bitters company based around locally grown and foraged ingredients. And Michele is the chef and writer behind many other books and her cooking/adventure website, Boreal Gourmet. While they weren’t born and raised here, they’ve found plenty of great reasons to stick around—not just in winter. Just read their summer cocktail pairing book, “Add Light and Stir: Cocktail and Savouries for a Northern Summer,” and you’ll have enough reasons to fall in love with Whitehorse all year round.