Vancouver Cocktail Week: Nerd Edition

For those in the tiny club of Canadian drinks journalists, an event like Vancouver Cocktail Week (VCW) provides a rare opportunity to nerd out on niche, unexplored and trending topics in drinks.

While professional drinks writers regularly get to sample spirits, taste cocktails and interview bartenders and experts, rare are the opportunities to, well… completely nerd out. My friends tire pretty quickly of a nuanced debate on which Italian amari is more bitter, the ideal proportions of a house vermouth blend for a Manhattan and the finer points of making directionally frozen, diamond-clear ice. But at VCW 2022, all this and more was possible—served up with guided tastings and dinners were seminars deep-dive enough to satisfy even minutiae-thirsty writers and drinks superfans.

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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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Tickets now on sale for Vancouver Cocktail Week 2022

Dozens of events planned for the city’s inaugural celebration of cocktail culture, March 6 to 10, 2022.

Diageo World Class 2021 Bartender of the Year James Grant prepares the Pathfinder, a cocktail made with Johnnie Walk Black Label, Umé Shu plum wine, maple green tea cordial, cardamom bitters, Fever-Tree club soda, a rosemary sprig and a candied pine cone. Jana Bizzarri photo

At 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 3, it became official: Vancouver is about to have its first ever cocktail week. We’ll drink to that!

From March 6 to 20, 2022, Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine will celebrate the excellence of the city’s cocktail scene and the hospitality of its bars, hotels and restaurants. 

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Mark your calendars for Vancouver Cocktail Week 2022

Don’t you think it’s time to have some fun? We sure do! And that’s why we’re hard at work planning the first ever Vancouver Cocktail Week, presented by The Alchemist magazine, to be held March 6 through 9, 2022.

The festivities will kick off with the Punch Brunch, a reprise of the successful event held in January 2020 at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. It featured a gourmet five-course brunch created by chef Hector Laguna and paired with cocktails crafted by five of Vancouver’s top bartenders: Sean McGuigan, Sabrine Dhaliwal, Katie Ingram, Jeff Savage, and Amber Bruce.

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Morning Ritual

Jeff Savage’s Morning Ritual. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe by Jeff Savage, Head Bartender of Botanist Bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, for the Punch Brunch 2020. 

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, Featherweight Punch Royale, A Bit Curious and Flapjack Punch.

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Flapjack Punch

Amber Bruce’s Flapjack Punch. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Amber Bruce, bar manager at The Keefer Bar in Vancouver.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, Featherweight Punch Royale, A Bit Curious and Morning Ritual.

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A Bit Curious

Sabrine Dhaliwal’s A Bit Curious. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Sabrine Dhaliwal, bar manager of Juke Fried Chicken in Vancouver.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, Featherweight Punch Royale, Flapjack Punch and Morning Ritual.

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Featherweight Punch Royale

Sean McGuigan’s Featherweight Punch. Tara Rafiq photo

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Sean McGuigan, head bartender, The Lobby Lounge and RawBar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: The Rye of the Tiger, A Bit Curious, Flapjack Punch and Morning Ritual.

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Rye of the Tiger

Katie Ingram’s Rye of the Tiger, created for Punch Brunch 2020

Recipe created for the Punch Brunch 2020 by Katie Ingram, bar manager of Elisa Steakhouse.

The Punch Brunch, held at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim on January 26, was the official launch for the inaugural Vancouver Cocktail Week presented by The Alchemist magazine, which will be held March 7 to 10, 2021. For more cocktail recipes from the brunch, see: Featherweight Punch Royale, A Bit Curious, Flapjack Punch and Morning Ritual.

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