Cocktails! Brunch! Music! So much fun!

Vancouver Cocktail Week 2024 began and ended with the signature events you wouldn’t want to miss

Vancouver’s own Evelyn Chick dropped by from Toronto to chat about her new book and serve up her Green Haka Cooler at the Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch. Gail Nugent photo

From seminars to neighbourhood crawls to cocktail-paired dinners and bar-star guest shifts, Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist has something for everyone who enjoys raising a glass or two. But the biggest, best, most unmissable parties are the signature events that open and close the week—and this year was no exception.

The team from London’s Bar Swift created two cocktails for the Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch. Gail Nugent photo

The third annual VCW opened on March 3, 2024, with the Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch at Botanist Restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. This is the original VCW event that announced the launch of the festival, back in 2020, before COVID came along and delayed everything by a year. As always, executive chef Hector Laguna took his creative culinary spin on brunch items like the foie gras torchon with savoury waffles or the steak and eggs with farro verde risotto, each course paired with cocktails by the talented teams from Botanist Bar and Bar Swift from London U.K.

Scroll below to see all the courses at the S

Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch first course: Fish and chips (squid ink, sablefish, green goddess, fermented potato), paired with Evelyn Chick's Green Haka Cooler (St-Germain, kiwi, dry vermouth, muscadet, citrus cordial, verjus)
Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch second course: Lobster Custard (tarragon, pickled vegetables, lobster consommé), paired with Botanist Bar's Pear Dive (Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky, Riesling, pear, lemon, honey).
Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch third course: Foie Gras Torchon (savoury waffles, shiso and bacon infused syrup, orange marmalade), paired with Botanist Bar's Garibaldi Lake (Amaro Montenegro, fluffy orange juice, sudachi, bitter aperitif).
Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch fourth course: Steak and Eggs (farro verde risotto, taleggio, herbs), paired with Bar Swift's Nightingale (Don Julio Reposado, grappa, bianco vermouth, orange bitters).
Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch fifth course: Pink Grapefruit Posset (Tanqueray No. 10 and elderflower gelée, mint sherbet, crispy meringue), paired with Bar Swift's Olympia (Tanqueray No. 10, marsala, St-Germain, bitter aperitif, PX).

Vancouver’s own Evelyn Chick also dropped by from Toronto to chat about her new book, For the Love of Cocktails (Figure 1 Publishing), and serve her refreshing Green Haka Cooler (made with St-Germain, kiwi, dry vermouth, muscadet, citrus cordial and verjus) alongside chef Laguna’s take on fish and chips (sablefish, squid ink, fermented potato).

The week got off to a delicious start, but it ended with an even more glamourous finish at the Green Garden Gala on Saturday, March 9. Nearly 400 revellers donned their best cocktail party attire and packed into the ballroom at the Sutton Place Hotel, which was all decked out with foliage and greenery, for an evening of cocktails, food, music and fun.

More than 30 brands poured cocktails all night. Among them, Diageo World Class global winners Kaitlyn Stewart and Jacob Martin and runner-up Jeffrey Savage showed off their champion cocktail chops. Owl & Rooster’s Hisatsugu Saito, who many Vancouverites remember from Keefer Bar, made a return visit from Japan with Nikka Whisky. The trio of Canadian finalists in the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Competition (Dylan Brentwood of Bar Kismet in Halifax; Elise Hanson of Bar Raval in Toronto; and Liz Kalles of Vancouver’s Jungle Room) showed off their glam headdresses and bartending skills. The LGBT+-friendly Squirrel Friendz vodka brought the drag-queen drama. And there were countless other brand ambassadors, visiting bar stars and familiar faces we know so well from all over this city, behind the bars and mingling with the crowds.

That’s a wrap for this year’s event, but already we’re planning next year’s festival, March 2-9, 2025. Start planning now, follow the latest news at and be sure to include the VCW25 signature events on your to-do list.

—by Joanne Sasvari

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