Whether it’s for après or waiting out a no-snow day, the mountain village has plenty of fine drinking options. And if what you crave most is a beer while watching the game in good company, you’ll find the locals huddled at Stinky’s on the Stroll and other casual watering holes!
Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar
Whistler’s most-lauded new restaurant is fronted by a big, beautiful, boomerang-shaped bar, just as pleasant a place to while away an evening as the plush, shiny dining room: the full menu is available at the bar, and service is superb. Crush a plate of raw oysters with a Martini (there are six on the menu, but ask for one made with Copperpenny 006 Oyster Shell gin), and try creative mixology like the Phoenix, a Lot 40 Rye sipper fortified with Cocchi Americano Rosa and sherry, and topped with Laphroaig for a smoldering, savoury finish. A helpful glossary of “Intriguing Techniques & Ingredients” is your cheat sheet to deciphering some of the complex culinary-bar techniques used here. The B.C. edition of Fernet Hunter (a collab with Endeavor Snowboards) is available here, and would make an amazing amaro caldo on a chilly day.
Watch for: An eye-popping $49 deal this winter for a three-course menu during the week (Sunday through Thursday).
At The Watson, it’s all about a laidback vibe and well-travelled cocktails
The late afternoon light filters through the window, casting a lazy haze over Main Street’s newest bar, The Watson.
The crew preps for opening, whirring around the dark wood and green leather interior accented with marble and gold fixtures. The space feels simultaneously Parisian yet West Coast, Art Deco yet contemporary.
Bar manager and partner Jordan Coelho says he wanted it to feel like a library and gestures to the apothecary shelf behind the bar that he hopes to deck out with homemade bitters. Their house-blend amaro already sits in pride of place, aging in Woodford Reserve barrels.
As opening approaches, shakers are already ringing out in the capable hands of bartender Thomas Dodds (previously of The Diamond).
Look for the sign and go up the stairs to this sexy, intimate spot for drinks and snacks—soon!
The only tell that there is a sexy, intimate Japanese-inspired cocktail and raw bar tucked in the space above a bustling Fraser Street Greek restaurant is the clever metal sign positioned above eye level to the right of an unadorned orange-hued door.
Two little bar bites: an elegant holiday host gift and facts about flaming rum punch
Most Wanted: Decanters
It’s that time of year when we’re both hosting events and shopping for gifts, and there is one easy solution for both: decanters. An elegant decanter makes a lovely gift under the tree or even for a party host. It’s also a good vessel for your house whisky or brandy. But it’s best put to use for serving large-format cocktails—a decanter filled with pre-mixed Negronis or punch not only looks beautiful, but is easy to pour. Find some great options at: williams-sonoma.ca.
Every year around this time we watch It’s a Wonderful Life, and every year we are intrigued by Clarence the angel’s request for a “flaming rum punch,” which earns him the scorn of Nick, the tough-guy barman—and unfairly so, in our opinion. What he’s thinking of is likely a feuerzangenbowle, the traditional burnt sugar or “fire tongs” punch served at Christmas markets across Germany. It’s a mulled wine served with a sugar loaf soaked in rum and lit on fire, which gives it a caramelized flavour. Sounds like just the sort of thing that really would make it a wonderful life.
The concept is “neighbourhood watering hole-meets eclectic cocktail room,” in the 52-seat, 900-square-foot space.
Revellers can expect to find live music and comedy served up alongside fun drinks and eats created by the Havana team.
“Our live stage will be a hub of local talent and personalities, bringing our community together through performances that make each visit a unique experience,” said Tyson McNamara, Stage Manager, in a media release from The Flamingo Room. “We believe in the power of supporting local artists, providing a space where their creativity shines.”
Food and drink menu: Shareable dishes, cocktails and mocktails with tropical vibes
The Flamingo Room’s executive chef, Andrew Hounslow, will serve up a food menu of playful snacks with a South Floridian twist, like a share-able Cubano sandwich (on a stick!), Huevos Diablos, Tajin-spiced compressed watermelon, and a jicama and chickpea “ceviche.”
The drinks program was created by Beverage Director Alexa Greenman, and features several tropical drinks (including zero-proof mocktails). Expect to find shareable cocktails for groups and a locally-focused beer and wine list, too.
The Flamingo Room’s food, drink, and merriment will be showcased in a space described as offering “a lush space layered full of playful textures and saturated colours” with “banquet booth seating, decorative lighting, a warm wood bar, and a forthcoming bespoke feature mural wall.”
“We look forward to welcoming guests into an intimate, tropical space, where inventive drinks and snacks are underscored with amazing live music and comedy,” said Reuben Major, Managing Partner of Havana Vancouver and The Flamingo Room.
“I’m so proud of our team for their dedication and hard work bringing The Flamingo Room to a reality. It’s been a long time coming, and we’re excited to open our doors!”
When The Flamingo Room (1212 Commercial Dr) officially opens on Dec. 6, it will operate Wednesday to Sunday, from 5 p.m. to late.
Whether you’re shopping for spirited holiday gifts, booking a private party or imbibing some seasonal cheer, there’s no cozier time to visit a Toronto distillery tasting room. Here’s a flight of three you could even knock back all in one fun day.
The city’s best party returns March 3 to 10 with all your favourite events and brand-new ones, as well as more international bar stars and the can’t-miss glam of the Green Garden Gala.
Tickets are now on sale for the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine. Save your seat for the best seminars, most exciting cocktail-paired dinners and unmissable signature events like the closing Green Garden Gala.
Max Curzon-Price is a bartender who is willing to go there, whether that means dressing in bonnet and matronly frock to represent an old Dutch portrait for a cocktail competition or serving a drink made with fresh blood. Now his fearless approach to cocktailing has earned him the prestigious Michelin’s Exceptional Cocktails Award, in the second year the Guide has covered Vancouver.
Here’s what Suyo Modern Peruvian‘s Max Curzon-Price and Andrew Kong have to say about this refreshing drink: “Canopy is a cocktail resonant of being above the spanning, cacophonous canopy of the Amazon. As tropical rainstorms roll across a sea of green leaves and blot out the blue skies, they bring rains washing away yesterday and soaking new life taking root in the undergrowth.”