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.

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Sipping, Dining and Learning at Vancouver Cocktail Week

The Baijiu seminar by Hope & Sesame co-founders Bastien Ciocca and Andrew Ho ran through the major styles of baijiu, and how to use it in cocktails. Charlene Rooke photo

The Seminars

Chinatown speakeasy Laowai opened its freezer-style door to an international cohort of bar colleagues, who gave daytime seminars recounting their personal journeys to world-class status, then held court in the evenings with guest shifts showcasing their creations.

On March 3, the co-founders of Chinese bar Hope & Sesame, hospitality school pals Bastien Ciocca and Andrew Ho, recounted their journey bringing the first speakeasy-style modern bar to southern China, in Guangzhou. Today, they have several bars plus a spirits consultancy (catering to the likes of Ralph Lauren’s hospitality group) in their mini-empire, ranging from café-fronted speakeasies to heritage-themed Chinese bars and elegant, tasting-menu cocktail flights. Their San You bars feature all-Chinese spirits and produce, a perfect segue to their brief session on baijiu, the Chinese spirit in which Laowai specializes (with 50-plus bottlings, the largest selection in Canada). Illustrated with bottlings from SinoCan agency, Ciocca and Ho ran through the major styles of baijiu, and how to use it in cocktails. Bartenders in the room took notes on creating split-base cocktail and using baijiu smartly, as in Hope & Sesame’s famous Moutai Milk Punch, a clarified cocktail with Black Forest Cake flavours, served later that night of Laowai.

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Cheers to the VCW community

Vancouver Cocktail Week features events for everyone, in support of the city’s hospitality industry

Vancouver’s Kaitlyn Stewart was the World Class Global Bartender of the Year in 2017. Living Room Creative photo

Unlike some boozy events, Vancouver Cocktail Week isn’t just a big party (though it offers plenty of opportunities to raise a glass and get your ya-yas out). And unlike other boozy events, it’s not a trade show where you wander from booth to booth sampling wee sips of things (though it does feature loads of exciting new spirits, bitters and cocktails to taste and try).

What Vancouver Cocktail Week is, is a celebration of community, and not just the community of talented bartenders and industry professionals in this city. It’s also a celebration of you, the guests they serve, the whole reason the industry exists in the first place.

That’s why VCW events take place, not in a convention hall, but in the bars and restaurants where the city’s best bartenders can show you what they do best.

And it’s also why VCW24 has something for everyone, whether you are only just discovering cocktails or want to add to your collection of recipes for your next dinner party, expand your knowledge as an industry professional or simply enjoy a fun night out on the town.

Here are just some of the exciting experiences you can discover at VCW24, March 3 to 10.

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Taste the World with these Vancouver Cocktail Week events

Living Room Creative photo

One of the most exciting aspects of the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week is the unprecedented opportunity it offers for guests to taste international flavours and meet bartenders from far-flung regions of the planet. Here are just some of the festival’s great dinners, seminars, guest shifts and other events that bring the rest of the world home.

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Discover delightful drams for every type of whisky lover at Vancouver Cocktail Week

There is a whisky for everyone at Vancouver Cocktail Week 2024. barmalini/iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

Whether it’s sweet, vanilla-scented bourbon, spicy rye or smoky peated malt, we love whisky, the “water of life” that transforms humble grains into sophisticated spirits. And one of the best places to sample whisky of all sorts—and the drinks in which it shines—is at the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week, March 3 to 10.

Sip, sample and learn about whisky at these events.

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Global bar stars shake up Vancouver Cocktail Week 2024

Find these top bartenders at guest shifts, seminars and the Green Garden Gala.

From left: Jesse Vida, Tato Giovannoni, Bastien Ciocco and Diego Cabrera are among the many international bartenders attending Vancouver Cocktail Week 2024.

Vancouver Cocktail Week is your best chance to meet — and learn from — some of the world’s greatest bartenders, and you don’t even need to get on a plane to do it. From March 3 to 10, the third annual VCW welcomes some of the most skilled, talented and highly awarded barkeeps from London, Singapore, Argentina and other corners of the planet, and you will definitely want to sample what they are shaking up.

Among them is the legendary Jesse Vida, famous from NYC’s The Dead Rabbit (named World’s Best Bar by Tales of the Cocktail) as well as his days as head bartender at World’s 50 Best Bars-recognized Atlas in Singapore. He’s now partner in the agave-forward Singapore speakeasy Cat Bite Club, and ready to share all his hard-learned lessons at a seminar and guest shift at Laowai.

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Vancouver Cocktail Week tickets are on sale now!

The city’s best party returns March 3 to 10 with all your favourite events and brand-new ones, as well as more international bar stars and the can’t-miss glam of the Green Garden Gala.

Vancouver Cocktail Week kicked off in style at the media launch party on November 28. Living Room Creative photo

Tickets are now on sale for the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine. Save your seat for the best seminars, most exciting cocktail-paired dinners and unmissable signature events like the closing Green Garden Gala.

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Vancouver Cocktail Week is back!

Tickets go on sale December 1 for the March event

Cea Ejack/Living Room Creative photo

Pro tip: Book March 3 to 10, 2024, off work right now. That’s when Vancouver Cocktail Week, presented by The Alchemist, returns to town, and you won’t want to miss one spirited minute of it.

The city’s third annual celebration of Vancouver cocktail culture will have even more bar stars from Canada and around the world shaking things up with planned takeovers and mid-week pop-ups at Vancouver’s most popular cocktail venues.

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It’s a wrap for Vancouver Cocktail Week 2023

The second annual festival brought global bar stars and festive good times to the city

The Golden Era Cocktail Revival Gala at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Pacific Ballroom may have been one of the best parties Vancouver has ever seen. Living Room creative photo

It began, as all good things do, with brunch, and wrapped with one of the best parties Vancouver has ever seen. Vancouver Cocktail Week 2023, presented by The Alchemist, has come to an end, so let’s raise a glass to the week that was, and to what’s ahead.

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Bar stars shine at Vancouver Cocktail Week

Some of the world’s biggest names and most influential experts will be in town for the festival, March 5 to 11

Some of the national and global bar stars who are attending Vancouver Cocktail Week, from left: Kaitlyn Stewart, Massimo Zitti, Jeff Savage, James Grant, Grant Sceney, Chris Enns. Canadian Cake Hospitality photo

A cocktail is more than spirits and mixers and a pretty garnish. Every glass is filled with history and knowledge, and served with a side of genuine hospitality in a convivial atmosphere.

In other words, cocktails are all about the people who make, serve and enjoy them. So we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome the national and international bar stars who are coming to Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist, March 5 to 11.

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