Generation cocktail

Fairmont Pacific Rim launches a series of drinks inspired by Douglas Coupland’s new art exhibit

Dirty Harry. Photo courtesy of Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Vancouver’s own Douglas Coupland is typically the creator, not the muse, known for 13 novels including the era-defining Generation X as well as numerous artworks, many of them displayed prominently around town.

But for now at least, he’s also the inspiration for a limited series of cocktails designed by the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s award-winning beverage director, Grant Sceney.

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Recognition for Vancouver bars

The Keefer ranks No. 25 at the inaugural North America’s 50 Best Bars Awards; Botanist places No. 2 on Canada’s 50 Best Bars

The winners at the 50 Best Bars ceremony in New York City. Supplied photo

We all know what a dynamic cocktail scene Vancouver has, and what a talented group of bartenders we have slinging drinks here.

Now the rest of the world is getting an idea, too. Well, sort of.

Two sets of “best bar” rankings have just been released, with nods to some of our favourite watering holes. But as always, some of our very best cocktail destinations couldn’t make the list because they just don’t qualify as bars. (Because of our licensing rules, they are often technically considered restaurants.) No matter. We know who you are.

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Great world bars we love: Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Edinburgh

Photo courtesy of Johnnie Walker/Diageo

There are few places I’d rather be right now than the Explorers’ Bothy at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh. This glam new rooftop whisky bar not only features stunning views of the Edinburgh skyline, it also offers 150 different drams to sample. Then again, its neighbour, 1820, has equally breathtaking views and craft cocktails. Hmm, which to choose?

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A final toast to VCW 2022

The bartending team at A Botany of Brunch.

We learned, we tasted, we socialized, we drank deeply of cocktail culture. Heck, we even danced a little.

The first ever Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist has just wrapped up, and plans are already in the works for next year—mark your calendars now for VCW 2023, March 5 to 11!

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Sip and help Ukraine

At The Alchemist, we’ve watched the humanitarian crisis unfold in Ukraine with heartbreak and horror, and like many of you, have felt the urge to help in any way we can. As it turns out, some of our favourite distillers and bartenders are way ahead of us.

Odd Society Spirits is donating 20 per cent of its East Van Vodka proceeds to World Central Kitchen to help their humanitarian efforts for Ukraine. Odd Society Spirits photo

Odd Society Spirits

Odd Society Spirits is donating 20 per cent of its East Van Vodka proceeds to World Central Kitchen to help their humanitarian efforts for Ukraine.
World Central Kitchen is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. They build resilient food systems with locally led solutions and are currently serving thousands of fresh meals to Ukrainian families fleeing home as well as those who remain in the country.
The team at Odd Society Spirits has seen an uptick in sales of their vodka since the BCLDB pulled all Russian products from BC liquor stores, and they want to use those funds to support refugees fleeing Ukraine.
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Cocktails to go, go, go

Three drinks that bring new meaning to “one for the road”

The Aviation cocktail. Getty Images photo

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been dreaming of escape, of going somewhere, anywhere that isn’t your home. But it might be a while before it seems like a good idea to hop on a train or a plane just for fun.

Instead, let this trio of classic cocktails whisk you away on a spirited journey.

Cocktails have always tasted of travel and exotic places. A Kir Royale is a sip of France just as a Margarita is of Mexico. A bowl of punch carries memories of India. Tropical cocktails are the very essence of the Caribbean or South Pacific.

But some cocktails are about the journey itself, inspired by the modes of transportation that will get you there. Consider these three—the Aviation, 20th Century and Sidecar—the sour-based planes, trains and automobiles of cocktail culture.

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Sippin’ along the Spice Trail

Follow the fragrance of ginger, saffron and cardamom to discover Surrey’s burgeoning cocktail scene

The Badam Da Naasha cocktail from Vikram Vij’s restaurant My Shanti in South Surrey is delicate and sophisticated with the subtle taste of almonds and saffron. It is also beautiful, thanks to its silver leaf garnish. Photo courtesy of My Shanti

Exploring Discover Surrey’s new Culinary Spice Trail has been an excellent way to find terrific new eateries in this booming city, especially South Asian ones. But alongside the dosas, pakoras and momos, there is also an exciting cocktail scene developing here.

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Top 10 cocktail trends for 2022

Our experts weigh in on what—and how—you will be drinking this winter

The Espresso Martini is the retro drink we’re craving right now.
Getty Images photos

What’s new? What’s next? In some ways, the pandemic has changed everything about how we drink. In others, it’s only accelerated trends that were already in the works. We checked in with experts both local and global, and here’s what they had to say about the way we’re drinking now and in the months to come.

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The Dalmore’s historic whisky auction

Six decades of exceptional whisky captured in The Decades collections

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt’s The Decades No. 6 Collection is up for auction on October 8. Supplied photo

When The Dalmore puts its once-in-a-lifetime selection of six exceptional single malt whiskies on the auction block this October, the Highland distillery is offering more than prestige and fancy spirits. It is sharing a taste of history, captured in amber spirit.

The Dalmore Highland Single Malt is offering The Decades No. 6 Collection as a single-lot auction at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on October 8. Partial proceeds from the auction will be donated to V&A Dundee as part of a four-year partnership with the art museum.

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Great world bars we love: The Connaught Bar, Mayfair, London

Photo courtesy of The Connaught Bar

Once we can travel and socialize again, we know just where we’ll be heading. We’re going to a bar. And not just any bar. The very best bar in the world.

That’s The Connaught Bar, which was named No. 1 by The World’s 50 Best Bars last November, after spending 10 years on the list. It’s an elegant 1920s-style space on the ground floor of The Connaught Hotel in London’s posh Mayfair neighbourhood. The room is both glamourous and cosy. Although it’s a vintage space, it was redesigned by David Collins and relaunched in 2008 with swellegant nods to Cubism and Art Deco.

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