Why brunch-time happy hour is a growing trend in Vancouver

While not everyone digs AM drinks, a Caesar or a Mimosa does spark joy for many Vancouver brunch-goers

Brunch at the Rumpus Room. Rumpus Room photo

Sometimes, what separates brunch from breakfast is the addition of some adult beverages. While not everyone digs AM drinks, a Caesar or a Mimosa does spark joy for many Vancouver brunch-goers.

Happy hour, on the other hand, is a construct in its infancy in B.C., where the practice of offering and promoting discounted drinks during off-peak hours has only been allowed by the powers that be since mid-2014. Restaurants have largely embraced the trend, using it as a way to add on service hours ahead of dinner, or bridge the gap to offset lulls.

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“Espresso” Martini

The “Espresso” Martini at Blackbird is actually made with house-made cold brew concentrate.

• 60ml Absolut vodka
• 30ml Kahlua
• 45ml Cold Brew concentrate* (espresso from home machine easy substitute)
• 3 dash Fee Brothers Black Walnut bitters
• 15ml simple syrup

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The reformation of Santa Teresa

With bold Bacardi deal, a legendary rum emerges from Venezuela

Barrels are filled and sealed at the Santa Teresa distillery. Supplied photo

Wars. Runaway inflation. Gangs. Rugby. Rum.

The last 200 years have seen a lot of turmoil in Venezuela, and Ron Santa Teresa has been around for all of it. “The whole history of Venezuela has been quite volatile,” says brand ambassador Jason Browne. “The family is constantly battling outside forces to keep the company going.”

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The Bon Vivant

Our man-about-town discovers that taking a seat at the bar is a social act, even for the solo sipper

Ryan Mitson Illustration

Earlier this year, for no apparent reason, multiple stories were published about the stigma of eating in a restaurant alone, each of them offering counsel as to why no one should feel self-conscious for doing so. I appreciate these pieces having been written, but I don’t understand why they need to exist.

I’ve never felt self-conscious about dining solo. I’d argue, in fact, that it’s often a superior experience to dining as part of a couple or a group. Without the pressures or distraction of conversation, one can fully appreciate a meal, consume it at a preferred pace, and get lost in a book or people-watching or whatever private reveries help the mind relax and the heart sing.

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Monashee Ethos Gin for the Win

Triticale could be the craft-spirit buzzword of 2019, thanks to the B.C. winner that tops the 2019 Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition, with six other B.C. distilleries winning best-in-class honours.

Revelstoke’s Monashee Spirits won the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year award for their Ethos Gin. Marissa Tiel/Revelstoke Review photo

For the second year in a row, a B.C. small-batch spirit is the Canadian Artisan Spirit of the Year. Monashee Spirits Ethos Gin from Revelstoke was not only the best-in-class Canadian gin, but scored highest of any entry in the entire competition. (Last year, Sheringham Distillery’s Akvavit from Vancouver Island claimed that honour.) And B.C. distilleries swept bragging rights in the whisky categories, showing promising maturity in our young industry.

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Sizing up the Sazerac

The mysteries of NOLA’s signature cocktail

Bartender Justin Taylor pours a Sazerac at The Cascade Room. Dan Toulgoet photo

What is it with absinthe? Every time the herbal spirit gets involved, confusion and controversy seem to follow.

Take the Sazerac, one of the world’s oldest and greatest cocktails and since 2008 the official state cocktail of Louisiana. For decades experts as revered as Dale de Groff, King Cocktail himself, traced the origins of the first cocktail to this anise-scented variation on the Old Fashioned. Sadly, it can’t be true, since the word “cocktail” first appeared in print in 1806 and the apothecary who allegedly invented the Sazerac was only three years old at the time.

Still. It’s a good tale.

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