A knockout launch for Vancouver Cocktail Week 2021

The Alchemist gets the party started with the first annual Punch Brunch

Joanne Sasvari photo

It’s about time Vancouver had a proper cocktail week. And now, at last, the city is going to get one.

The first Vancouver Cocktail Week, presented by The Alchemist magazine, will be held March 7 to 10, 2021.

The news was officially announced by The Alchemist publisher Gail Nugent and editor Joanne Sasvari on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at the first annual Punch Brunch and, later that afternoon, the Barate Kid Throwdown.

Punch Brunch featured cocktails crafted by five of Vancouver’s top bartenders (Sean McGuigan, Sabrine Dhaliwal, Katie Ingram, Jeff Savage, and Amber Bruce) and paired with chef Hector Laguna’s gourmet cuisine at the award-winning Botanist restaurant. Cocktail recipes from the event will be posted all week on this site; see here for Katie Ingram’s “Rye of the Tiger.” and see slideshow below for the full menu.

Featherweight Punch Royale, created by Sean McGuigan. Botanist Gin, Lustau vermut blanco, strawberry lemon thyme oleo saccharum, cardamom bitters, sparkling rosé. Tara Rafiq photo
A Bit Curious, created by Sabrine Dhaliwal. Belvedere Vodka, fino sherry, aperol, mandarin oleo saccharum, hibiscus tea, lemon, lem-marrakech bitters. Tara Rafiq photo
FIRST COURSE: Lobster benedict with poached quail egg and béarnaise sauce. Tara Rafiq photo
Rye of the Tiger, created by Katie Ingram. Lot 40 rye whisky, sherry, white vermouth, lemon juice, carrot maple, ginger beer, kensington bitters. Tara Rafiq photo
SECOND COURSE: Glazed pork belly with caramelized onions, duck egg and savoury waffle. Tara Rafiq photo
Morning Ritual, created by Jeff Savage. Bacon-washed Bulleit Bourbon, black coffee, salted maple syrup, smoke, lactic acid. Tara Rafiq photo.
THIRD COURSE: Steak and eggs with potato, tomato and salsa verde. Tara Rafiq photo
Flapjack Punch, created by Amber Bruce. Bacardi Ocho Rum, carrot and fennel chai, lemon, maple yunzhi, zingiber crabapple bitters. Tara Rafiq photo
FOURTH COURSE: French toast with parsnip mousse and ricotta crumb. Tara Rafiq photo

Barate Kid winner Dylan Zrobek with runner-up Joseph Lee. Gail Nugent photo

Meanwhile, the lively and action-packed Barate Kid Throwdown featured a speed-round classic cocktail competition at the Donnelly Group’s Granville Room. Congratulations to the winner, The Keefer Bar’s Dylan Zrobek!

These two marquee events will make a return appearance at VCW 2021, along with a full slate of events including: spirited dinners, cinq à sept happy hours, industry seminars, a trade showcase and a glamorous gala closing party. Many of these events will be held in the city’s best bars and restaurants, showcasing Vancouver’s dynamic cocktail scene the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

VCW 2021 is for the consumer who wants to drink in the city’s cocktail culture, but it’s also designed for the hospitality professionals who make it possible. That’s why the event will feature industry seminars tackling the issues most important to the community, and why its charitable partner is the BC Hospitality Foundation, which supports workers both by offering funds to those facing financial crisis due to a medical condition and scholarships to those building their careers.

Already, the Punch Brunch 2020 raised an estimated $2,000 for the BCHF, while the Barate Kid Throwdown raised an estimated $7,400 CDN for Australian bush fire relief.

Those interested in learning about all the exciting details to come should sign up for the VCW newsletter at vancocktailweek.com. Industry partners who wish to propose event ideas can also find the contact information at vancocktailweek.com.

And look for more news in the Spring 2020 issue of The Alchemist, available mid-March!

 

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