Serious Storytelling

Suyo’s bartenders sidestep pretension by perfecting the art of not taking yourself too seriously

The bar team at Suyo Modern Peruvian—Andrew Kong, left, and bar manager Max Curzon-Price—tell the tale of Peru in their creative cocktails. Chelsea Brown photo

Inside the recently opened Suyo Modern Peruvian on Main Street, just above the chorus of stylish 20-somethings and couples on date night, the bartenders can be heard telling the story of Peru—from undergrowth to clouds, ancient Incan civilization to contemporary culture.

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Cacti cocktail, created by Max Curzon-Price and Andrew Kong of Suyo Modern Peruvian. Chelsea Brown photo

Each of Suyo’s cocktails is based around a geographical location and is tied to a story.

Cacti tells the tale of the flowering succulents of Ica, a coastal desert in Peru. The flowers are pollinated by a specific type of bee that hibernates for an extended period as the flowers only bloom for a brief period of the season. The cocktail is an ode to the poetic nature of the flora and fauna waiting for one another. Subsequently, the bartenders age the entire cocktail in beeswax so it, too, “hibernates,” taking influence from the bees.

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Tidbits: news from the spirits world in Canada and beyond

The Aperol Spritz is one of Google’s 10 trendiest drinks for 2022. Getty Images photo

Barrels of Awards

Spring is awards season, and B.C. bars and distilleries have been picking up shiny gold trinkets all over the place. Just a few of the honours: Botanist Bar won the prestigious Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award from North America’s 50 Best Bars and at #19 was the only B.C. bar to make the list. Clive’s Classic Lounge in Victoria was named World Whisky Hotel Bar at the World Whiskies Awards, which also recognized Macaloney’s Island Distillery with a trio of top prizes. The Keefer Bar was nominated Best Canadian Bar by the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. And Okanagan Spirits was named Artisanal Distillery of the Year at the 2022 Canadian Whisky Awards.

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11 of Canada’s 50 Best Bars of 2023 are in B.C.

Some new names and usual suspects, including several here in Vancouver

11 B.C. bars were named in Canada’s 50 Best Bars list 2023. Here they are. Canada’s 100 Best photo

There was a lot of jostling for position and some surprise inclusions in this year’s just-released list of Canada’s 50 Best Bars.

Usual suspects from past lists such as Botanist, The Keefer Bar, and Laowai made the cut yet again, though they’ve been bumped down a few places by bars in Toronto and Montreal. Civil Liberties in Toronto is returning champion and took home the title of Canada’s Best Bar for the second year in a row.

Botanist came in fourth place, and The Keefer Bar was eighth, with Laowai rounding out the top 10.

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A new jungle-themed restaurant and cocktail lounge is opening in Vancouver

It’s “Vancouver’s first jungle-inspired cocktail lounge.”

The Jungle Room is a new cocktail lounge and restaurant located on Denman Street in Vancouver’s West End. The official opening date is April 28, 2023. @jnglroom/Instagram

Keen-eyed Vancouverites have been watching the West End space at 961 Denman St since late 2021, when signs went up for a “health bar and cocktail lounge” called The Jungle Room moving in where the Dover Arms pub stood for many a year.

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A massive artisan spirits festival returns to Vancouver with 40 distilleries

BC Distilled is back.

After three years, BC Distilled is returning to Vancouver. BC Distilled photo

After three years of cancelled and modified events, BC Distilled, the massive artisanal spirits festival, is returning to Vancouver.

Forty distilleries and hundreds of locally produced spirits, several of which are new additions to the festival, will take over two rooms at the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive this May.

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North America’s 50 Best Bars names Botanist Bar the continent’s most hospitable

Botanist Bar’s creative beverage director Grant Sceney and bar manager Jeff Savage reflect on their Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award. Supplied photo

We already knew it, but now so does the rest of the world. In a first for Vancouver and for Canada, Botanist Bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel has won the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award, given by North America’s 50 Best Bars.

This prestigious award recognizes the single-best hospitality experience across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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