Sip your favourite movie as a cocktail with VIFF

Lights! Camera! Cocktails!


The Winds of Arrakis ‘VIFFtail’ available at Long Table Distillery until Oct. 14, 2017. VIFF photo

Whether it’s the Big Lebowski’s White Russians, James Bond’s Vesper Martini or the French 75s Yvonne knocks back in Casablanca, there’s plenty to drink in when it comes to cocktails and the movies.

So when the Vancouver International Film Festival’s sponsorship manager Morgaine Jennings was looking for a fun new idea for the 2017 festival, which began Thursday, cocktails seemed like the perfect fit.

Let’s raise a glass to the VIFFtail.

“This program was created to celebrate the city’s creativity, nightlife and fantastic restaurant scene,” Jennings says. “We can’t think of a better way to get into the film festival spirit than sipping on a one-of-a-kind VIFFtail before a screening.”

Each participating establishment was challenged to create a cocktail inspired by a movie. Inspiration came from everything from Dune to The Royal Tenenbaums and even Game of Thrones.

But wait, you might be saying, GoT isn’t a movie. No, but the HBO TV series’ director Jeremy Podeswa and cinematographer Greg Middleton will be taking part in the festival’s Creator Talks on Sept. 30.

Cocktail aficionados will also want to check out the documentary Schumann’s Bar Talk, which features German bartending legend Charles Schumann as he sips and saunters his way through some of the world’s greatest bars, from the Hemingway Bar in Paris to the High Five in Tokyo. It screens on Oct. 7, 9 and 13, with an after-party held Oct. 9 at Gastown’s Clough Club.

Thirsty yet? Here are the VIFFtails to check out this festival season; note that they will be served until Oct. 14.



Made with: Beefeater gin, green Chartreuse, lime, egg white, cucumber, cilantro.

Inspired by: The 2007 Quentin Tarantino slasher movie of the same name. The director plays a cameo role in which he says: “Chartreuse! The only liquor so good they named a colour after it.”

Enjoy it at: Chambar, 568 Beatty St.


Song of Ice. VIFF photo
Song of Ice

Made with: peppermint vodka, crème de cacao and blue curacao.

Inspired by: Game of Thrones (2011 to present). Orange from the Summer Isles and chocolate from across the Narrow Sea shaken over ice from the North, then given a minty kiss by a White Walker.

Enjoy it at: EXP Bar and Restaurant, 309 West Pender St.


The Always Wanted to be a Tenenbaum. VIFF photo
Always Wanted to be a Tenenbaum

Made with: Famous Grouse, Cinzano Orancio, Luxardo Bitter Bianco. (See recipe.)

Inspired by: The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). Bitter, sweet and stylish, just like the Wes Anderson family drama.

Enjoy it at: Homer Street Cafe, 898 Homer St.


L’Abattoir’s Saturday Night Fever. VIFF photo
Saturday Night Fever

Made with: pisco, Giffard Abricot du Rousillon, orange juice, lemon juice, Bittered Sling Clingstone Peach bitters, hibiscus drizzle.

Inspired by: The 40th anniversary of the disco classic – and a big improvement over the 7&7s (Seagram’s 7 whisky and 7Up) John Travolta drinks in the movie.

Enjoy it at: L’Abattoir, 217 Carrall St.


The Winds of Arrakis ‘VIFFtail’ available at Long Table Distillery until Oct. 14, 2017. VIFF photo
Winds of Arrakis

Made with: gin, lime juice, orange juice, pineapple syrup, ginger liqueur, cinnamon syrup, ginger beer, aromatic bitters, lime bitters.

Inspired by: Dune (1984). Arrakis is the fictional desert planet’s official name, and this cocktail would surely quench any thirst in this arid wasteland.

Enjoy it at: Long Table Distillery, 1451 Hornby St.


Godzilla Gimlet

Made with: gin, lime juice, celery juice, agave syrup.

Inspired by: Godzilla (1954/2014). Named for the big, green “king of the monsters” and Japan’s greatest pop culture icon.

Enjoy it at: Nuba, 207 West Hastings St. or 508 Davie St.


The Singapore Sling. VIFF photo
Singapore Sling

Made with: gin, Benedictine, Cointreau, pineapple juice, cherry brandy, Angostura bitters, grenadine.

Inspired by: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998). The Singapore Slings Johnny Depp drinks in the movie are the least lethal substances he consumes.

Enjoy it at: The Union, 219 Union St. 


• The Vancouver International Film Festival takes place Sept. 28 to Oct. 13 at various venues around the city. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

—by Joanne Sasvari

Make the Always Wanted to be a Tenenbaum

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