The Audience Choice winner at Vancouver Cocktail Week‘s Fun City Gala, this cocktail is inspired by Aki Restaurant, which opened in Vancouver in 1963 and was the first Japanese-Canadian owned Japanese restaurant in Vancouver.
Born in Steveston, Richmond, a young Aki Takeuchi and his family fled to Osaka, Japan, early in the Second World War, avoiding the internment camps. He returned to Canada as an adult, settling in Vancouver.
When Takeuchi opened Aki Restaurant he was the first to bring authentic Japanese food to Vancouver. At the time, the few other Japanese restaurants in existence only served cooked food and were more like a Chinese-Japanese fusion style of cuisine. Takeuchi was the first to serve raw fish in his restaurant.
The restaurant could not obtain a liquor license and so they would hide saké in teapots. This cocktail celebrates Japanese culture in Vancouver with a Japanese Gin, Saké and tea-focused drink.
This recipe from Mainland Whisky was inspired by the Surrey Spice Trail—and made possible by an unexpected gift of cardamom pods. Note that using oat milk makes it creamy, but still approachable for those who can’t consume lactose.
At Dominion Bar + Kitchen, the food is “New Canadian,” or classics with a twist, and this cocktail is no exception. A tropical take on the classic Moscow Mule, it was meant to be an in-house “secret” drink named for the restaurant’s parent company (Century Group). Turned out the secret was too good not to share, and it has become a customer favourite.