Cocktail recipe: Geisha House from Island Lake Lodge

A mountain in a glass


So many good cocktails come muddled in a story.

Take the cool and bracing Geisha House, served at Island Lake Lodge in Fernie, B.C. Drink it in—and the view of the Lizard mountain range—from its handsome log deck and discover that one of those snowy chutes you’re staring at goes by almost the same name, the Geisha Bowl.

Legend has it that in the ’60s there was a mill strike in the nearby town of Fernie. With time on their hands, the workers decided to build a ski chalet on the site where one of North America’s largest cat skiing operation now sits. The women in town didn’t buy the ski chalet story and claimed it must be a geisha house that was luring their men away, day after day.

“And so, the name stuck,” says the lodge’s director of sales and marketing, Mike McPhee, while pointing out Geisha’s neighbours, the limestone spires known as The Three Bears. Perched at 1,380 metres, the 7,000 acres of private land is known mostly for its 13-metre snow base and immense ski terrain that, last year, National Geographic magazine dubbed as “one of the most unique places to stay in the world.”

Wherein the winter you can only access this 26-room lodge by Cat, in the summer anyone can drive up the road for a meal at the lodge, and amble around the lake or a trek through a rainforest that skirts 800-year-old trees on the Tamarack Trail or any of the other half dozen hikes that fan out from the lodge. Better yet, stay overnight at rates that are so much more affordable than in the winter. But whatever you do, be sure to have a Geisha House on the deck while the summer days are long and lazy. Served with sumptuous views and heady bygone tales, you’ll feel like you’re drinking a mountain in a glass.

Geisha House

4 fresh mint leaves

½ oz. white rum

½ oz. Chambord

½ oz. mint simple syrup

Splash of raspberry juice

1 can soda water

1 lime

Rim cocktail glass with sugar. Muddle mint leaves in bottom of glass. Fill with ice. Add the rum, Chambord, syrup and raspberry juice slowly. Then add the soda to create a red layer at the bottom. Garnish with fresh lime wedge and mint leaf.

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