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By Kathy Mak When I think of sublime cocktails, I think of bartender Tarquin Melynik.  He is among the top cadre of bartenders elevating the cocktail game in Vancouver.  I first met Melynik in 2014 when he was the bar manager at Gastown’s Bambudda, which shuttered in 2017.  His level of creativity–panache, really–had an indelible effect on many cocktail aficionados, including yours truly.  He continues to improve the art of libations, currently helming the cocktail program at the Long Table Distillery’s lounge. During a recent visit to the distillery, Melynik told me that when he first became interested in cocktails over a decade ago beverages were not understood in the same way that chefs knew cuisine.  At that time, as an example, fresh ingredients or juices were not used for mixing at bars. “To train as a bartender, you had to travel to cities like New York, San Francisco, Tokyo…

By Tuc Craft Kitchen Fruity, floral and a vibrant shade of pink, Tuc’s “Heartbreak Hotel” cocktail is a sweet sipper for lovers and lonely hearts alike. The amorous Valentine’s Day feature cocktail mingles rose, raspberry gin and white crème de cacao and is served in a ‘Nick and Nora’ glass (named after a husband and wife who created the style of glassware). INGREDIENTS Odd Society Wallflower gin (1-½ oz) Raspberry liqueur (¾ oz) Lemon juice (¾ oz) White crème de cacao (¼ oz) Rose water (3 drops) Raspberry rose syrup* (¾ oz) For the Raspberry rose syrup: Raspberries (1 pint) Sugar (1 cup) Water (1 cup) Dried rose hip (1 cup) Over medium heat, combine water and sugar and bring to a boil.  Add raspberries and rosehip and infuse until syrup is cool.  Strain into a mason jar and refrigerate for up to one month. INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients into…

By Sabrine Dhaliwal, Bartender at Pourhouse “Cupid’s Love Spell” is a strong sipper that’s sure to enchant classic cocktail fans. Bartender Sabrine Dhaliwal blends full-bodied cognac, Cocchi Rosa (an aromatized wine aperitivo), and bittersweet Amaro Averna liqueur for a spirit-forward love potion that makes the perfect after a romantic meal. INGREDIENTS Hennesy VS (30ml) Cocchi Rosa (30ml) Amaro Averna (5ml) Orange Bitters (2 dashes) INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice, stir for 10-15 seconds. Pour over large ice cube in a rocks glass. Express orange oils over cocktail and drop twist. Garnish with a cherry.

By Wade Kinley Since happy hour became a regular thing around Vancouver just a few years ago (thanks to nifty adjustments to some by-laws) local restaurants in the city have embraced the opportunity to showcase some of the incredible food being created in the city, without those big-city prices. Here are four of the happiest hours in Vancouver, to fuel that second round of urban rambling. Tuc Craft Kitchen As the name suggests, there’s always some innovative and exciting work being done within the rustic walls of this well-loved Gastown eatery. Think comfort-food with the wow turned up to 11, and some of the most alluring cocktail ideas in the city and you’ll get an idea why Tuc has remained at the top of “Vancouver’s Best” lists since they opened in 2013. Luckily, tastes of both are on offer at happy hour, every day from 4 to 6 PM. Classic…

By Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours Funky, fruity, estery, tart, dry, and sour; these beer flavours can be under-appreciated but, this July, the fourth annual Farmhouse Festival returned to Vancouver to tease some diversity into a sold-out romp of discerning palates. If you didn’t make it to the festival, not to worry, we’re here to help you find some of the featured flavours. Over 50 breweries and cider makers were invited to the UBC Farm, bringing their most innovative concoctions with them. From mouth-puckering to thirst-quenching, it was a field day (quite literally) for beer enthusiasts. While the majority of recipes were created specifically for the event, a handful of items are will be available for British Columbia locals. Here are 5 locals Farmhouse Festival beers to look out for: Hailing from Burnaby, Dageraad Brewing was the proud supplier of this year’s official Farmhouse Fest beer. The Genever -…

By Wildebeest Vancouver A unique twist on the classic Negroni cocktail, Wildebeest’s “Basilisk Negroni” delivers a smoky bite thanks to its blend of Mezcal, Cocchi Americano and Amaro Nonino. The limited-edition cocktail will be on offer during Negroni Week until June 10 – after that you can make it on your own. INGREDIENTS Mezcal (30ml) Cocchi Americano (20ml) Amaro Nonino (10ml) Grapefruit twist INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients in a cocktail tin. Add ice and stir. Serve in a rocks glass over ice with a grapefruit twist.

By Mary Ann Bell As with all classic cocktails, there is a tried and true method to creating the perfect sip, and there will always be those people who say that you shouldn’t mess with perfection. Well, we think that there’s always room for a little creativity, and when it comes to a Negroni, it’s just waiting for a talented bartender to make their mark.  June 4-10, 2018 is Negroni Week, and bartenders across Metro Vancouver have thrown their shakers into the ring to showcase their interpretation of this classic Italian cocktail. Traditionally mixed with equal parts gin, vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and Campari, a classic Negroni is always garnished with an orange peel and is best enjoyed on a sunny patio, while dreaming about Italian vacations. Negroni week was started in 2013 by Campari and Imbibe Magazine with 120 venues participating and has since grown to include over 7,700 venues…

By Catherine Dunwoody Vancouver Craft Beer Week is the annual summer beer festival. Now in its 9th year, (VCBW) Festival returns to the PNE Fairgrounds on June 2 and 3. Not a beer lover? Gotta drink gluten-free? Keep reading. The BC Farm Crafted Cider Association has created a brand new “cider row”, and you don’t want to miss out. Some to check out: Merridale Cidery & Distillery from Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island is pouring house craft cider, their Mexican-inspired Jalisco, Lime, Merri Berri and a juicy Mo’ Moro Dry Hopped Blood Orange. Vancouver’s own 33 Acres Brewery is proud to pour their 33 Acres Of Cid3r house cider, which is their interpretation of an old English scrumpy. Howling Moon Craft Cider is serving up their refreshing Cucumber Mint Maker’s Series, made with cucumber and lime, and both their semi-dry and dry craft ciders from the Okanagan Valley. Also from the Okanagan…

By Rebekah Crowley, still master at Roots and Wings Distillery INGREDIENTS Rebel by Roots and Wings Distillery (2oz) Porter’s Tonic Syrup – Cardamom Orange (1 oz) Lillet (1 oz) Lemon Juice (1 oz) Dash of Scrappy’s Bitters – Cardamom INSTRUCTIONS In Shaker, combine ingredients with ice. Shake until cold. Pour into coupe glass and enjoy. Garnish with lemon zest and mint. Read more about Roots and Wings Distillery here.

By Kathy Mak With the surge of new craft distilleries in BC, it’s not unusual to find an expanding collection of local spirits on the shelves of liquor stores and cocktail bars; but finding craft spirits made by a female distiller and with potatoes and corn grown on a distillery’s own farmland is unusual! Enter Roots and Wings Distillery, opened in early 2017 as the first craft distillery in Langley, BC. Situated on a 30-acre farm in the idyllic countryside near the village of Fort Langley, Roots and Wings Distillery embraces a true field-to-bottle approach when producing artisan spirits. Back in 2015, the co-founders/owners – Rob Rindt and Rebekah Crowley – were inspired to handcraft their own distilled spirits when they couldn’t find a good locally-made potato or corn vodka for sipping straight.  With some research and a big leap of faith, the couple created the distillery from the ground…

By Rebekah Crowley, still master at Roots and Wings Distillery INGREDIENTS Rebel by Roots and Wings Distillery (2oz) Porter’s Tonic Syrup – Cardamom Orange (1 oz) Lillet (1 oz) Lemon Juice (1 oz) Dash of Scrappy’s Bitters – Cardamom INSTRUCTIONS In Shaker, combine ingredients with ice. Shake until cold. Pour into coupe glass and enjoy. Garnish with lemon zest and mint. Read more about Roots and Wings Distillery here.

By Kristi Alexandra With sprawling greenery, idyllic farmland, and wild brambles flourishing in the sub-rural town of Langley, it’s no wonder it’s is home to so many winery vineyards — and a couple breweries, too. Spring is in the air to thaw the frost of winter, and with that comes new berries, new grapes, and new spirits. Enter a new season of sipping. From mead to wine to beer, here’s where you can find fresh new bottles to imbibe in Langley. Festina Lente Estate Winery 21113 16th Avenue From King Arthur’s court to Game of Thrones, the ancient art of mead has always been a tasty one. Festina Lente Estate Winery brings traditional honey wine to the present day with their “modern, sophisticated twist.” This year, they’re introducing two new wines whose names harken back (perhaps) to when mead was a dinnertime staple. Venus Melomel is aptly named after the…

By Josh Pape, co-owner, Wildebeest In honour of Valentine’s Day, Wildebeest co-owner and bar manager Josh Pape has created a signature cocktail for all the lovers out there. A bubbly bevvy with a red hue perfect for the occasion, The Final Rose offers a sweet-and-citrusy mix of sparkling wine, raspberry, aperol, rose water and lemon.  INGREDIENTS: Sparkling Wine (90 mL) 6 Raspberries (muddled) Aperol (15 mL) Rose Water (2 Drops) Lemon Juice (15 mL) INSTRUCTIONS: Add all ingredients except sparkling wine to a cocktail shaker and shake for 7-10 seconds. Fine strain into a chilled flute glass. Top with sparkling wine.

By Sabrine Dhaliwal, Bar Manager, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar Sweetly spiced and with a dreamy pink hue, UVA’s “In Between Cupid” cocktail will have you falling for bar manager Sabrine Dhaliwal this Valentine’s Day. The bright, citrusy cocktail features gin, Campari, lemon juice, homemade spiced pineapple syrup and Bittered Sling Denman bitters which add complexity and an aromatic kick to this swoon-worthy sipper. INGREDIENTS Tanqueray  (1.5 oz) Campari (0.5 oz) Spiced Pineapple Syrup (0.5 oz) (The syrup is a blend of vanilla, cinnamon, green cardamom, star anise, peppercorns, pineapple juice and sugar) Lemon Juice (0.5 oz) Bittered Sling Denman Bitters (two dashes) INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients into a cocktail tin, add ice and shake vigorously for 7 to 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon twist with a heart cutout.

By Brittany Tiplady Spring, so close yet so far. We recommend hibernating for the remaining winter months with a cold beer and a whole lot of Netflix. Or, hang out in one of the tap rooms listed below and take advantage of the rich, wintery beers they have to offer. Dageraad Brewing 3191 Thunderbird Crescent #114, Burnaby Londen, 7.0% Dageraad is the purveyor of classy and full-bodied craft beer. Recently released on January 19th, is Dageraad’s latest winter sipper called Londen; an English porter that is brewed with Belgian and Canadian influence and the “fruity, spicy mystery of a Belgian fermentation.” Try this on tap or in bottles at the Dageraad tasting room. 10°, 10.5% Hold onto your hats, this one is not for the faint of heart (or the lightweight)! The new Dageraad 10°, a 2016 bronze medalist at the 2016 BC Beer Awards, is an exotic winter brew…

By Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar INGREDIENTS Gin (1 oz) Cynar (0.5 oz) Ginger liqueur (0.5 oz) Rose water (0.5 oz) Cranberry juice (1.5 oz) Orange blossom water (1 dash) Cranberry juice (1 dash) Peychaud bitters (1 dash) INSTRUCTIONS Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a dehydrated citrus wheel.

By Kristi Alexandra Winter’s far from over, but the Christmas rush has many of our local craft breweries drying up their stores of limited release selections. If you’ve got a hankering to bring back the holiday season with a few sips of the suds just north of the Fraser, here’s where you can still pour some pints in New Westminster and Richmond. Steel and Oak 1319 3rd Ave, New Westminster This Third Street brewery is still going strong with its limited release, Windrose. This four-grain porter will bring you back to Christmas morning by the fire with the rich taste of chocolate, caramel and toffee fit for overindulging. Sadly, you won’t find it on tap but there are still a few cases of the Zusammen Cardamom Fig Stout floating around Metro Vancouver liquor store shelves. This spicy beverage was brewed by the women of Steel and Oak along with Head…

By Kristi Alexandra Though the holidays have passed, winter doesn’t officially end until well into March, and nor do the city’s seasonal brews. While it may be too late for that craft beer advent calendar, the seasonal suds are still flowing with these Vancouver-based beers. We suggest you run, don’t walk, to find the following beers in the city before they stop flowing (and most definitely, don’t drive after). Postmark Brewing 55 Dunlevy Ave. Winter Warmer Bring it in for a classic, with touches so subtle you could drink this all-year-long. Dark, rich malts find themselves in a warming ale with refreshingly minimal spices. Parallel 49 1950 Triumph St. Broken Resolution Cherry Baltic Porter Finally, a winter beer that looks beyond December 25th. For when you give up on sober January, grab a hold of Parallel 49’s twist on the classic English Porter. Chocolate, plum, and a bright tart, cherry…

By Brittany Tiplady Beer can be romanticized in so many ways but the great Charles Bukowski nailed it: “stay with the beer,” he penned “beer is continuous blood. A continuous lover.” The holidays have come and gone, but Metro Vancouver’s mild winter weather is here to stay, at least for a few months. Curl up with these seasonal winter brews found in Surrey, White Rock and Coquitlam. Russell Brewing Company 13018 80 Ave, Surrey Winter Stout, 6.5% The name says it all. Available now in 650ml at private liquor stores, Russell Brewing’s Winter Stout is chock-full of chocolate and black malts and roasted barley. Black Death Porter, 6.5% Buckle up for this one! The Black Death Porter, part of Russell Brewing’s Brewmaster Seasonal Series, is a heavy porter brewed with Canadian and Scottish malted barley. Find it on tap or on the shelves at private liquor stores but buyer beware:…

By Brittany Tiplady Vancouver’s North Shore winters may be chilly and long, but there is always beer- and Kinky Friedman said it best: “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” We know the holidays are long over (thank goodness!) but if seasonal beers are your jam, you’re in luck! There’s still a bevy of winter-themed brews stocked by beloved craft breweries on Vancouver’s North Shore to keep yourself warm for the winter months to come.   Green Leaf Brewing 123 Carrie Cates Court, Lonsdale Quay Market, North Vancouver LoLo Stout 5.5% Named after Green Leaf’s Lower Lonsdale neighborhood, LoLo is a dark and hearty stout that boasts rich and delicious chocolate and coffee flavours. Perfect for the endless North Shore winters.   Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers 2270 Dollarton Hwy #170, North Vancouver Dog Mountain Extra Stout, 7.5% (Cans only) Deep Cove Brewers lovingly describes the Dog Mountain…

Photos by Michele Mateus Words by Alexis Baran Go to Part 1: Breakfast at Milsean Go to Part 2: Lunch at JD Farms A day spent trekking around farms and adding soil to your treads deserves a meal that takes all of what you’ve seen and wraps it into a smooth and elegant finish. And by that of course, I mean that wine pairings are imperative. At the Chaberton Estate Winery you can explore the vineyards and then head to the Bacchus Bistro for selections of wine made right there, alongside rich French cuisine using local ingredients. And then this is where the magic happens: Chaberton’s corks are also refined right next to the where the grapes grow. Once you’ve seen all the work that goes into the bottle, it’s time to work on getting it out of the bottle at Bacchus Bistro. The menu has a diverse selection of…

By Kristi Alexandra Upon stepping into North Vancouver’s Bridge Brewing Company, just a shot up Mountain Highway, light streams through the windows, illuminating a quaint tasting room and bottles of amber liquid housed in the cooler. Craft beer culture in the lower mainland has always lauded locality, but head brewer Kerry Dyson’s newest creations take on a whole new light in this hyper-local haunt, whose tasting room is adjacent to a garage-style brewery. His latest seasonal offerings are the Quaywi Sour–a collaboration beer with Tap and Barrel–the Pear Cardamom Milkshake IPA, and the seasonably apt Pumpkin Porter–all of which use locally-sourced ingredients to perfect their taste. “If we can, we’ll try to source it as locally as possible,” Dyson tell WestcoastFood of his brewery’s zero-waste, local, and sustainable ethos. “We get our hops from Chilliwack hops farms out in the valley… it depends on what we’re looking for. We just…

By Brittany Tiplady It’s risky to open a craft brewery in such a saturated local market. With tasting rooms lining the streets of Vancouver, and Port Moody’s beloved Brewery Row, how does one launch a new craft brewery that we haven’t already seen, and sipped, so many times before? Mariner Brewing found the recipe to do just that. 26-year-old Byron Vallis brought his love of craft beer to his hometown of Coquitlam, just a few blocks from his childhood home. The vision he and his team shared was to bring a unique element to the craft beer scene in the untapped market of Coquitlam, so that folks like him (and girlfriend Lauren Ang, Chief Consumption Officer of Mariner Brewing,) could enjoy doing what they love most, right at home. Mariner Brewing opened their chic and nautical-themed tasting room on August 30th 2017 with four brews on tap, and has been…

by Angie Quaale, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store Garnish this refreshingly simple patio sipper with your favorite seasonal berries and fresh mint leaves. INGREDIENTS Prepared iced tea (2 liters) Evolve Cellars Rosé (1 bottle, chilled) William Paquito strawberry syrup  (½ cup) INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large pitcher, combine tea, wine, and syrup. 2. Chill and serve over ice with fresh fruit garnish. Read more about Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store here!

by Catherine Dunwoody Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism Association has partnered with the five (soon to be seven!) microbreweries to host their first-ever craft beer festival, running from October 6-13, 2017. Vancouver’s North Shore goes from Deep Cove to Horseshoe Bay, and participating breweries are offering everything from cask nights to craft brewery crawls, to Brewmaster’s Dinners, and more. Who’s in on the fun? Beere Brewing Company, Black Kettle Brewing Company, Bridge Brewing Company, Deep Cove Brewers and Distillers, and Hearthstone Brewery. Serious about beer? Get your very own Vancouver’s North Shore Craft Beer Week Passport and get stamped as you sip your way to the opportunity to win a prize draw. Think hotel stays, Capilano Suspension Bridge passes, filled growlers, and much more. “We are delighted to introduce this festival, and our craft breweries, to new and old friends alike”, said Jennifer Belak, Executive Director at Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism…

By Catherine Dunwoody This year, Central City Brewers + Distillers was the only Canadian brand to take home a double gold medal at the recent 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, beating the likes of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Tanqueray and other worldwide heavy hitters in the gin category. Which spirit took it home? Central City’s very own Queensborough Gin that’s what, and we couldn’t be more proud of them as a Surrey, BC company. “We are very proud of this award as we’ve been working diligently on our gin since we launched our distillery in 2013. The high alpine juniper and the expertise of our distiller, Stuart McKinnon, made all the difference,” says Darryll Frost, president and founder at Central City Brewers + Distillers. Queensborough Gin is a premium, handcrafted small batch dry gin, rooted in a 17th century traditional London Dry recipe with a modern day Canadian twist. Notes…