Looking back at the year that changed Vancouver’s cocktail culture
When Vancouverites look back at 2010, we think of the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, a rain-soaked Wayne Gretzky and all those red mittens. But the really big news that year could be found at the bottom of a cocktail glass.
Proper cocktail bars were finally opening all over town. Global spirits brand reps started showing up to dole out samples. The organizers of Tales of the Cocktail reached out to see if Vancouver would be a good site for Tales on Tour. (Spoiler alert: Yes, in 2011 and 2012.) And Imbibemagazine discovered “a Galapagos of mixology, a place where cocktails have evolved independently from the rest of the drinking world.”
Ten years later, we revisit the year that changed the city’s cocktail culture.
Are you passionate about the local cocktail, wine and craft beer scene? Are you energetic, on-trend and have a positive attitude? Is your ambition to work hard, make money and have fun? Perfect, because we want to hire you!
The theme of this year’s Vancouver Pride Parade is “50 Years and Still Fighting” and with many across the city and region set to join in the celebration on West End streets, there are venues across Vancouver that are stepping up to raise awareness and money for Pride-related causes.
The Mackenzie Room has rallied together eight other restaurants for a week-long joint-effort cocktail fundraiser to align with Pride – and being a great ally is the fitting theme.
The Botanist head bartender wins the Diageo World Class Canada title in Whistler
Jeff Savage is standing on top of the world. Literally.
On June 4, after three days of competition that took the finalists on a cocktail-themed scavenger hunt, through world history and deep into the spirit of the mountains, the head bartender of Vancouver’s Botanist Bar won the Diageo World Class Canada final in Whistler, B.C.
Thoughts from behind the wood: Why bartending should be social, not social media
Bartenders are not in the business of making drinks. We are in the business of servicing the needs of human beings. Full stop.
It’s been said that we trained bartenders in the art of mixology and along the way we lost the art of bartending. But in the debate of bartender vs. mixologist, the end goal of both was essentially the same: Be better, be more knowledgeable, provide better experiences, work in better places. I believe both sides would agree that it is unbecoming of a barkeep to seek prestige by any other means than hard work and education.
Tiki is back in Vancouver. Why did it ever go away?
Tiki culture is a liquid ticket to an imaginary tropical island where the breeze is always warm, the music sways like the branches of a palm tree, and the rum flows as easily as the waves that wash up on a sandy beach.
Tiki originated in California in 1933, but exploded in popularity after the Second World War. It was inspired by the romance of the South Pacific, the culture of Polynesia, the flavours of Asia and the rum punches of the Caribbean, making it the ultimate fusion cocktail experience, served in a kitschy-cool Hollywood-ready vessel to a market that was weary of war and ready to party.
There was ice and fire, CO2 and NO2, test tubes and copper tubing and all sorts of mysterious gadgets. Most of all, there was great food and drink in support of an even greater cause.
The city’s top bartenders gathered in February at Telus World of Science for the fourth annual Science of Cocktails event, where they demonstrated the myriad ways science contributes to cocktail culture.