New look for legacy brand

Photo courtesy of Corby Spirit and Wine

For 165 years, J.P. Wiser’s has been synonymous with Canadian whisky. But who says an old brand can’t learn new tricks? It’s just launched a bold new look across its entire portfolio, one that captures its heritage while looking ahead to the future.

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From the Jungle Room to the rainforest

A selection of cocktails from the Jungle Room: Tiger Breath (left), El Gustavo (centre) and Bikini Bottom (right). Photo courtesy of the Jungle Room

It’s always great to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar space, and so it was when we heard that Emily Vey was leading the bar program at the new(ish) Jungle Room in Vancouver’s West End. You probably remember her from the much-missed Diamond, as well as her thrilling run at the World Class Canada 2023 finals.

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On the sweet side of Ontario distilling

Dillon’s Blackcurrant Liqueur. Photo courtesy of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers

If anyone knows what bartenders need, it’s Geoff Dillon, the founder of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville. Along with his (mostly) rye-based gins, vodka, whisky and canned gin cocktails, he’s also introduced a line of liqueurs made from quality local products and designed to go straight into your cocktail shaker or mixing glass.

Craving a Sazerac? He’s got an absinthe for that. In the mood for a Kir Royale? Yep, there’s a blackcurrant liqueur. Thinking to try your hand at a White Negroni but struggling to find Suze? Try the Dillon’s gentian liqueur instead. And, of course, if you’re searching for an orange liqueur for a Margarita or Sidecar, well, he’s got that, too, along with amaretto, chocolate, coffee, limoncello and peach.

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Holiday cocktail tidbits

Two little bar bites: an elegant holiday host gift and facts about flaming rum punch

Oil from the orange peel fans the flames of a German Burnt Punch. Lou Lou Childs photo

Most Wanted: Decanters

It’s that time of year when we’re both hosting events and shopping for gifts, and there is one easy solution for both: decanters. An elegant decanter makes a lovely gift under the tree or even for a party host. It’s also a good vessel for your house whisky or brandy. But it’s best put to use for serving large-format cocktails—a decanter filled with pre-mixed Negronis or punch not only looks beautiful, but is easy to pour. Find some great options at:

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Michelin honour for Suyo’s Max Curzon-Price

Max Curzon-Price has been awarded the prestigious Michelin’s Exceptional Cocktails Award.

Max Curzon-Price is a bartender who is willing to go there, whether that means dressing in bonnet and matronly frock to represent an old Dutch portrait for a cocktail competition or serving a drink made with fresh blood. Now his fearless approach to cocktailing has earned him the prestigious Michelin’s Exceptional Cocktails Award, in the second year the Guide has covered Vancouver.

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Cocktail-focused, upscale bar lounge to open in Vancouver this month

“We’re trying to do something a little bit different,” says the owner.

Currently under renovation, The Watson, an upscale bar lounge, is set to open near the end of July 2023, at 3080 Main Street next to the recently-opened burger joint Street Hawker. Maria Diment/Vancouver Is Awesome photo

A new cocktail-focused bar lounge is getting ready to open in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood.

Nestled in the perfect middle between casual and fine dining, The Watson will bring a refreshing, upscale element to Main Street – something that Michael Gayman, who owns the wine and charcuterie bar Bartholomew in Yaletown, feels has been missing in the area for some time.

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You can sip infused spirits and cocktails on tap in an old auto repair shop

Take a peek inside the brand new cocktail and snack bar in Vancouver

Infused spirits made in-house are at the core of the menu at Please! Beverage Co’s brand-new tasting room and production facility in Mount Pleasant. Photos by Lindsay William-Ross/V.I.A.

When you think bottled or canned cocktails—those commercially-produced beverages known in industry shorthand as “RTD” for “ready to drink”—you might conjure up the same imagery as Vancouver’s Please! Beverage Co.’s founder, Noel Steen: shotgunning a can on a boat.

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Three cool reads for hot days

The Ice Book: Cool Cubes, Clear Spheres, and Other Chill Cocktail Crafts by Camper English

As you’re sweltering under yet another heat dome, let this renowned expert in all things cocktail cool you down with his treatise on the unsung hero of every drink. This handy guide offers everything you need to know about directional freezing, carving ice into diamonds, embedding it with garnishes and dozens of other frosty projects.


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