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By Sonu Purhar Patio season is whenever the sun is shining (or the heater is turned on) and there’s nothing like refreshing drinks outdoors! Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing we enjoy better than a well-made cocktail or ice-cold beer, but sometimes our bods need a break from the booze. Enter the mocktail, which is seeing a resurgence as bars across the Metro Vancouver wise up to the fact that sodas and coffee aren’t the most fun non-alcoholic alternatives. So put down that water and join us as we sample tasty concoctions across the region, all of which are served by eateries dishing up tasty cuisine to boot. Cheers! Piva Modern Italian 787 Columbia Street, New Westminster Piva’s roots date back to 1917, when Giuseppe Piva emigrated from northern Italy to British Columbia and dove into a life of farming. The elegant eatery honours his passion for local ingredients and…

By Sonu Purhar Ballyhoo (n.) – Excited commotion The Ballyhoo Public House boasts a fitting moniker: just two months after opening, downtown Vancouver’s newest public house is already buzzing. Part of the Donnelly Group’s ever-expanding collection of quirky eateries and watering holes, The Ballyhoo is a lively, welcoming space equally suited to popping in for a quick happy hour drink, lingering over a game of pool, or indulging in a casual group feast. Ideally situated along Burrard and Smithe streets in Vancouver’s bustling Theatre District, The Ballyhoo is perfectly poised to capture the attention of cinema- and theatre-goers with tasty, affordable fare and a surprisingly lengthy cocktail list. Guests are invited to discover tantalizing concoctions made popular by famed international cocktail bars, such as the Espresso Bongo (rum, coffee syrup, pineapple, passionfruit, orange and lime; Latitude 29, New Orleans); the Garibaldi Cocktail (Campari and orange juice; Dante, New York); or…

By Brittany Tiplady Let’s be honest: cocktails are to be enjoyed all year-round. But there’s something special about sipping on a spritz, sour, or mojito during the sweet, sweet summer heat. Because we respect the beauty of a good, seasonal cocktail (especially when the spirits are made locally), we’ve rounded up seven spots across Metro Vancouver that are shaking up seasonal cocktails. Southern-Italy Spritz Lineup What: Aperol Spritz, House Lambrusco Spritz, Cocchi Americano Spritz, White Peach Moscato Spritz, Marrow Vermouth Spritz, Blood Orange Cynar Spritz. Where: Savio Volpe Savio has gotten extra creative with this ultra-refreshing, super unique, almost-feels-like-you’re-on-the-beach-in-Southern-Italy spritz lineup. But truly, there’s no one else we trust more to do it. There’s only a few weeks to celebrate and indulge in #summerofspritz at Savio Volpe, so run don’t walk. BC Bramble What: Wallflower Gin, fresh lime juice, simple syrup, crème de cassis. Where: Odd Society Spirits A thing…

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 Joyce Chua, Vancouver Foodie Tours Sticky, sweet, and delicious, British Columbia’s honey is an indulgence for food lovers. Each of the over 300 varieties of honey in North America can be a chef’s best weapon, a barista’s secret touch, and home cook’s finest ingredient. Here are three delicious ways you can try local honey in Vancouver: 1. Rain or Shine Ice Cream 1926 W 4th Ave, Vancouver BC The organic floral alfalfa honey from Aldergrove Farm, about 60km east of Vancouver, sweetens the honey lavender ice cream at Rain or Shine Ice Cream. Every scoop also features lavender is sourced from Tuscan Farms in Maple Ridge, BC. Refined and refreshing, the locally grown flavours work perfectly in tandem. 2. Tuc Craft Kitchen 60 W Cordova St, Vancouver BC At Tuc Craft Kitchen in Gastown, their supply of local honey is specially reserved for the cocktail bar. James, an owner…

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 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 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…

By Catherine Dunwoody One of downtown Vancouver’s favourite hotels now offers even more reasons to want to hang here. New restaurant and bar, Botanist, has taken over the former Oru restaurant, and has refreshed the palette of the Fairmont Pacific Rim. With four diverse spaces made up of a dining room, cocktail bar, glassed-in lab, garden, and a champagne lounge, Botanist wowed me from the get-go. Executive chef Hector Laguna, formerly of stints at both Toronto’s Susur Lee restaurant and at Vancouver’s Hawksworth, has created a botanical-centric menu that’s bursting off the page and plate with colour, texture and taste. Clearly dialed-in to what our region offers when it comes to its world-class culinary ingredients, organic regional produce, sustainably sourced meat and seafood – Chef Laguna has found his sweet spot running the show here at Botanist. Signature items include roasted root vegetables, perfect micro spring greens, and fresh seafood…

By James Lester and Richard Klaus, Sons of Vancouver Distillery INGREDIENTS Vodka Vodka Vodka by Sons of Vancouver Distillery (1oz) Spicy Chili Vodka by Sons of Vancouver Distillery (1/2oz) Dickie’s Ginger Beer (3oz) DIRECTIONS Put the alcohols in a shaker with ice and shake until condensation is found on your shaker. Strain onto fresh ice, preferably in a copper mule mug. (You can also try it as a martini.) Top with 3oz of Dickie’s Ginger Beer and enjoy! For more about Sons of Vancouver Distillery, read our article here. Header image by Kathy Mak

by Catherine Dunwoody Canada’s favourite brunch cocktail – the Caesar – is enjoyed by some 350 million Canadians every year. If you’ve not tried Walter, the premium, all-natural mix since it first launched in 2013, the time is now. Not only is this most delicious product the brainchild of co-founders Zack Silverman and Aaron Harowitz, both born and raised in Vancouver; Walter is Canada’s first Ocean Wise recommended Caesar mix. Caesar mix isn’t just amped up tomato juice. In the case of Walter, ocean-friendly clam juice (which is what makes this different from, and arguably way better than a Bloody Mary) is harvested sustainably from the North Atlantic, mixed with all natural ingredients and free of MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial colours and flavours. The Ocean Wise designation is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance for an ocean-friendly seafood choice that helps ensure the health of the oceans for generations to…

By Catherine Dunwoody “Put a bit of class in your glass,” so say the creators of Ascot Beer Cocktail Company – a unique new collection of beer cocktails using fresh, natural ingredients that offer the sophistication of a cocktail – as easy as cracking a cold beer. Well known in Vancouver’s bar scene, Nick Devine is the creator of the brand; starting out behind the bar in the famous horseracing town of Ascot (hence the name), then on to tend bars in London and San Francisco, until settling in Vancouver. Here he won Vancouver Magazine’s Bartender of the Year. A partner in Vancouver’s Cascade Company, which owns The Cascade Room, El Camino’s, The Union, Charlie’s Little Italian, as well as Main Street Brewing, Devine, is skilled in designing cocktails for a variety of tastes. “I set out to try bottling liquor-based cocktails years ago, but stalled after encountering logistical problems,”…

By Catherine Dunwoody Award-winning Vancouver mixologist, Lauren Mote, and her talented chef husband Jonathan Chovancek, created their retail line of high-quality, small-batch bitters, known as Bittered Sling, back in 2012. The product line won “Supplier & Producer of the Year” at the 23rd Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, and has been available for sale at Edible Canada on Granville Island since its launch. The big news? A special edition “Chinook” Bitters has resulted from that partnership, and is available exclusively at Edible Canada’s retail store on Granville Island and through their online shop. Chinook’ is both the name of a prominent hop variety which Bittered Sling utilizes in their blend, grown in the Pemberton-Lillooet area, and of the warm winds that move down the BC Rockies into Alberta. The Chinook Bitters gets a bright citrus kick from fresh and dried grapefruit peels and botanicals combined with those hops – tasting…

By Nikki Bayley B.C. is at the heart of the craft distillery boom in Canada with more distilleries in the province right now than in the rest of Canada put together – and the majority of them are based in the lower mainland, using local ingredients to create craft gins, vodkas, and a dizzying range of fruit-based liqueurs. From the internationally award winning Long Table Distillery’s Cucumber Gin, made with locally-grown ‘cukes to the B.C. black currents in Odd Society Spirits’ Crème de Cassis, the focus is on delicious west coast and valley flavours. Alex Hamer founded the BC Distilled Festival to showcase and celebrate B.C. distilleries to a wider audience. After launching in 2014, the event throws open the doors each year to hundreds of local distillery fans who can sample spirits from the 22 distillers in attendance, “If you’re at all interested in tasting local spirits, the lower…

By Nikki Bayley Vancouver is known as Canada’s cocktail capital, a hotbed of innovative alcoholic creations, shaken and stirred by award-winning bartenders who are making a name for themselves on the international circuit. Tucked away in the city’s West End by Stanley Park on Denman Street, you’ll find Buckstop, owned by Fiona Grieve whose local-first approach to cocktails is making her late night barbecue joint a must-visit for locavore drinkers. “I’m local,” grins Fiona, “I was raised in the Tri-Cities area and have friends there who still who grow things and are always eager to get them into the restaurant. I love to use produce from Coquitlam to make my cocktail bitters. Bitters help to add layers of complexity to a drink, say you have just a plain tomato, if I add salt and pepper to that it changes it and makes it better. Then say I add balsamic vinegar…

By Nikki Bayley Vancouver’s cocktail scene is currently going from strength to strength, with innovative bartenders shaking up delicious drinks in bars and restaurants across the city. Vancouver bartenders love to push their creativity by entering –and often winning –tough cocktail contests, vying to be the best with a unique creations. Although several bartenders across the city have locked down nationwide titles (for instance Grant Sceney at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Lauren Mote at Uva, and Kevin Brownlee at AnnaLena), two bartenders in the city can make you drinks that are officially world beaters: West Restaurant’s Sabrine Dhaliwal and Cin Cin’s David Wolowidnyk have both placed first at international cocktail competitions, showing up all other competitors from around the world. All you need to do to taste a world class drink is take a seat at their bar. Sabrine Dhaliwal won the 2015 Belvedere Challenge to Create the Next Legendary…