Best hidden patios in Vancouver

Bar manager Barry Jackson on the patio of Gotham restaurant. Dan Toulgoet photo.

Summer in Vancouver is all about the patio. Almost any patch of sidewalk will do, really, but it’s certainly better if that chunk of concrete comes with a decent cocktail or two.

That said, our very favourite patios are Vancouver’s hidden ones, those quiet urban oases that we share only with a handful of people in the know. Finding a new one is like discovering treasure buried in your own backyard.

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Candy Girl

Gotham’s Candy Girl—a lavender-infused variation on the French 75. Dan Toulgoet photo

Created by Barry Jackson, bar manager at Gotham Steakhouse, this lavender-infused variation on the French 75 is an ideal cocktail to enjoy on the patio.

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The Last Word: Mint Julep

Mint Julep. Meghan Kirkpatrick photo.

“…that the mounds of ices, and the bowls of mint-julep and sherry cobbler they make in these latitudes, are refreshments never to be thought of afterwards, in summer, by those who would preserve contented minds.”

—Charles Dickens, while travelling in America (1842)

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On the Town: BC Distilled

With 34 distilleries under one roof, the fourth annual BC Distilled festival offered a bounty of booze.

Odd Society distiller Gordon Glanz brought along his daughter Mia Glanz to the fest. Jeff Grayston photo.
Bohemian Spirits owners Wade Jarvis and Ervyn Turcon made the trek from Kimberley to East Van. Jeff Grayston photo.
Ampersand’s Jeremy Schacht and Jessica McLeod were all smiles after the distillery’s gin and vodka were named audience favourites for the second year running. Jeff Grayston photo.
B.C. distilling pioneers Jorg and Anette Engel poured samples of their Maple Leaf Spirits. Jeff Grayston photo.
Adding a pop of colour to the proceedings were Dubh Glas distiller Grant Stevely and Jovia Barnett. Jeff Grayston photo.
Nothing sneaky about it; Stealth Distilleries Co. president John Pocekovic (left) and master distiller Randy Poulin were proud to show off their super-clean vodka. Jeff Grayston photo.

Still life

The lure of copper is strong. But if you want to be a distiller, you’d better start saving — or get your DIY on

Here’s the thing: It could all blow. Not just your meticulous business plan, your local-grain supply chain or your retro-cool logo.

I mean the actual still. It could blow. Distilling is a high-stakes poker game of chemistry and engineering. Add pressure, heat and wayward puffs of highly explosive ethanol vapour and — well, more than one local distiller can show you scars.

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Peach Bellini

Peach Bellini by Justin Taylor. Talia Kleinplatz photo.

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz peach liqueur
1 oz prosecco
1 fresh pitted peach (leave skin on for added colour and texture)
OR 3 oz white peach puree
2 cups of cubed ice

METHOD:
Add all ingredients to a blender, leaving the cubed ice until last. Put the lid on and blend on the lowest setting. Slowly increase the speed until the desired texture is reached. Pour into coupe glasses. Garnish with fresh mint and peach slices. Serves 2.

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Ramos Gin Fizz

The Ramos Gin Fizz by Justin Taylor. Talia Kleinplatz photo.

INGREDIENTS:
4 oz London dry gin
1 oz simple syrup*
0.5 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
2 oz heavy cream
1 tsp orange flower water
2 oz club soda
1 oz liquid egg white (white of one large egg)
1 cup of cubed ice

METHOD:
Add all ingredients to a blender, leaving the cubed ice until last. Put the lid on and blend on the lowest setting. Slowly increase the speed until the ice has melted and cocktail has become light and frothy. Pour into Highball glasses. Garnish with grated nutmeg and perhaps an umbrella. Serves 2.

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Blood Orange Negroni

The Blood Orange Negroni by Justin Taylor. Talia Kleinplatz photo.

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz London dry gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
3 oz freshly squeezed blood orange
2 cups of cubed ice

METHOD:
Add all ingredients to a blender, leaving the cubed ice until last. Put the lid on and blend on the lowest setting. Slowly increase the speed until the desired texture is reached. Pour into double Old Fashioned glasses. Garnish with a fresh rosemary and a straw, or maybe even a spoon. Serves 2.

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