Vancouver’s cocktail scene is killing it. And that means you should take a time-out from the classics and order up an original drink crafted by the city’s insanely innovative bartenders. Here are six to get you started:
- Royal Dinette’s Burning Man. Bar Manager Kaitlyn Stewart captures Black Rock City’s spirit of freedom and self-expression with this patron-focused cocktail starring Kombucha brewed in-house. The customer picks his poison – vodka, gin, pisco or cachaça – and the rest is topped with soda. Like the girl of your dreams, this cocktail will keep you guessing: the flavour of Kombucha varies between batches, so it’s never the same drink twice.
- Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s The Wild Road. Inspired by Dior’s latest men’s cologne, Sauvage, this intoxicating drink hints at herbs, spices and bergamot with a subtle woodsy finish. Each glass arrives with a sample of Sauvage clipped to the rim, plunging imbibers into a seductive, sensory experience.
- Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio’s Chicha Libre. This complex concoction packs a powerful punch, particularly since its creator – Bar Manager Matt Cooke – studied chemical engineering. The carefully curated blend of Peruvian rum, Apfelkorn, lime and Chichi morada (purple corn, cinnamon, cloves and pineapple) is familiar yet foreign: the comfort of cinnamon and cloves, a pop of tropical citrus, then a heady rush as the rum takes over.
- Bauhaus’s Buttermilk Margarita. Creamy, tart and unexpected, this decadent drink features Reposado tequila, buttermilk, quince, lime juice and agave syrup. All you cocktail fanatics who claim to have tried it all – this drink is for you.
- L’Abattoir’s Mr. Wolfe. A twist on the popular classic, the Boulevardier, rye whiskey is stirred with Barolo Chinato (a premium vermouth made from Nebbiolo grapes), Cynar, a dash of honey, and house-made cold brew coffee. The cocktail was inspired by the eponymous character Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction.
- Seawall Bar + Grill at The Westin Bayshore’s brand-new Crafted Cocktails program. Every month, Seawall’s bartenders are given free reign to come up with a feature, out-of-the-box libation. The only requirement: ingredients must be all-natural and spirits must be sourced from local distilleries. One titillating example: the Maple Pecan Old Fashioned, a decadent blend of spiced pecan-infused Angostura rum, salted maple syrup, Aztec chocolate bitters and dried banana. Now quit salivating and start drinking.