Aki’s Tea

Aki’s Tea cocktail by Reece Sims. Reece Sims photos

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.

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Diced Pineapple Cocktail

Kaitlyn Stewart’s Diced Pineapple Cocktail — a zero-waste, eco-friendly drink — was a winner in the Mex ECO challenge at Diageo World Class. Fred Fung photo for Royal Dinette

This zero-waste cocktail created by Royal Dinette’s bar manager Kaitlyn Stewart helped her win Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2017. It uses all parts of the pineapple, including the skin, pulp and tops.

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