The cocktail kit is the best way to bring your favourite bar home
It’s been a long day and all you want to do is get into your pyjamas (if you ever got out of them, let’s be real) and settle in with a good cocktail. But it’s just too much effort to make one yourself. Never fear, thirsty reader. The cocktail kit is here to help.
During the pandemic, many Vancouver restaurants have turned to takeout and some have added cocktails to their to-go menus. What you get varies depending on the establishment. Most offer some sort of mixer, bottle of spirits and garnish; some also offer top-quality ice as well as tools and glassware. Not only do these kits quench your thirst, they also make great gifts and, best of all, support your favourite establishments when they need it most.
Here are just some to try. Note that in restaurants sales of alcohol must be accompanied by sales of food; check the websites for details regarding price and availability.
The Bar Cart: The team at Lavish Liquid updates the classics with drinks like the Cedar Sour or Hastings Sunrise. For winter, they’ve also partnered with the Whisky Wisemen Society on A Word to the Wise, a scotch-based take on the Penicillin, with $10 to $15 from each kit going to the society’s partnered charities. barcart.ca
Chickadee Room: At the ’80s-themed, cocktail-focused neighbour to Juke Fried Chicken, all-star bar team Sabrine Dhaliwal and Lily Duong have put together four different kits, each built around a specific spirit (gin, bourbon, tequila or vodka) and featuring four servings of three different cocktails. Kits include step-by-step recipes, instructions including videos, and all the necessary supplies including fresh juices and garnishes. thechickadeeroom.com
Dachi Vancouver: This lively East Hastings restaurant offers fun twists on classics like the Strawberry Cream Margarita or Hibiscus Plum Cosmo, which pair nicely with their picnic boxes. The team is also shaking up three special cocktail gift box sets for the holidays. dachivancouver.com
Dalina: In addition to its coffees and brunch dishes, this elevated café is ready to satisfy your cravings for Kentucky Mules (bourbon and ginger beer) and Mojitos. dalina.ca
The Diamond: The Gastown favourite is serving up a selection of classics, traditional and updated, including the Buck Buck Mule, New Toronto and Jimador’s Punch. Some kits include tools and glassware, and you can order Kodama ice and snacks as well. di6mond.com
Di Beppe Ristorante/Ask for Luigi: In addition to all the hearty pasta dishes these restaurants are known for, they also offer bottled Italian aperitivos such as the Aperol Spritz, Bicicletta and Americano. dibeppe.com, askforluigi.com
Fable Diner: Who doesn’t love a refreshing, easygoing sangria? This kit comes with a bottle of Stone Road red or white wine, a mini bottle of Grand Mariner, mixed fresh fruit juice (orange, cranberry and blueberry), and citrus fruits for garnish. fablediner.com
Gotham. Steakhouse & Cocktail Bar: Make your Christmas a bubbly one with this “Sparkling Spirits” kit. It includes everything you need to make an elevated French 75, including a half-bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, as well as a cocktail shaker, two flutes and two embroidered cocktail napkins. gothamsteakhouse.com
Honey Salt: In addition to gourmet meals, the Parq Vancouver restaurant offers everything you need for Moscow Mules, Gin & Tonics, Margaritas or Aperol Spritz. parqvancouver.com/food-drink/honey-salt/
JOEY: The upscale casual chain has the truffle popcorn you need for your weekend binge of The Crown, as well as house-favourite cocktails including their coffee cocktail (complete with Irish cream and indulgent chocolate) and autumnal apple-and-cranberry-scented Red Delicious. joeyrestaurants.com
Juke Fried Chicken/Chickadee: When you order your fried chicken, don’t forget to pick up one of the inventive cocktail mixers like the Raspberry Gimlet or Blue Skies Margarita, all in single servings with optional 50 mL serves of gin, whisky or vodka. jukefriedchicken.com
Hy’s Steakhouse: If you love the classics, you will love this Cocktail Masters Kit from Hy’s. It includes everything you need to make an Old Fashioned, Martini, Moscow Mule, Manhattan and Vesper for two, including spirits, bitters, vermouth and garnishes, as well as a cocktail jigger, copper mugs, cocktail napkins and a copy of Hy’s Classic Cocktail book. Note that quantities are limited. hyssteakhouse.com
The Keefer Bar: The perennial Chinatown cocktail destination has gone all out with its cocktail kits and accoutrements. Need a jigger? A bag of Kold Draft ice? A bottle of Bénédictine? They’re on it, and also offer kits for house signature cocktails like the Dragonfly and Forager’s Martini. thekeeferbar.com
Provence Marinaside: Bring a taste of France home with an oven-roasted chicken Provençal, plus all the fixin’s for Moscow Mules and Caesars. provencerestaurants.ca
12 Days of Christmas Cocktail Advent Calendars: This festive collaboration features 12 seasonal cocktails designed by award-winning bartenders Kaitlyn Stewart (2017 Diageo World’s Best Bartender), Katie Ingram, Max Curzon-Price and Max Borrowman. Two kits are available—a six-pack for $85 and a 12-pack for $145, with a portion of the price going to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre. Each kit includes a selection of batched cocktails and, depending on the size, one or two 375 mL bottles of Diageo reserve spirits. Order by December 10, or while supplies last, at pineandpalmcocktails.com.
—by Joanne Sasvari