Urban legend has it that Vancouver’s cocktail culture began five short years ago when funky, fine-dining restaurants began to replace the souvenir shops on Gastown’s faux-cobbled streets. Page-turning cocktail lists at neighbourhood haunts like The Diamond, L’Abattoire, Pourhouse, Six Acres, The Keefer (next door in Chinatown) and HouseGuest became the norm. Critical mass was reached late last year when nightlife management company Donnelly Group established their first cocktail-specific lounge, Clough Club, in the same ‘hood. With space in the area running at a premium and bar talent moving to downtown’s swankier rooms, it appears the city’s cocktail diaspora is just beginning.
On that note, here are three of our favourite summer sippers shaken and stirred outside of ground zero:
La Strangiato @ Tableau Bar Bistro
Created by lead bartender JS Dupuis, Tableau Bar Bistro’s La Strangiato is a nod to the warm winds of the Mediterranean with Italian cinotto oranges and a hit of French Dubonnet.
1.5 oz Beefeater gin
1 oz Dubonnet Rouge
0.75 oz Amaro Montenegro
0.5 oz lemon juice
0.5 oz Demerara syrup*
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake and double strain into a tall glass. Add ice and top with some soda. Stir to mix and garnish with a thin slice of orange, inside the drink
Demerara Syrup Recipe: Dissolve 2 parts Demerara sugar or raw brown sugar into 1 part water. Heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Chill and bottle. To avoid mold, add on a tablespoon or two of high-proof vodka.
Moscow Mule @ Reflections Lounge
The Hotel Georgia’s Reflections Lounge head bartender, Robyn Gray, re-creates the original Moscow Mule recipe from L.A.’s Cock and Bull Tavern, which was originally whipped up by three friends post-Prohibition to help sell their stockpiles of ginger beer, vodka and copper.
2 oz of vodka
1 tbsp of lime juice
2 tsp of simple syrup
Dash of Angostura Orange Bitters
Mint leaves (garnish)
Add vodka, lime juice and simple syrup to a chilled cocktail shaker. Shake over ice. Pour over ice cubes in a copper mug. Top off with ginger beer. Add a dash of bitters. Garnish with mint leaves
Gin Rose Cocktail @ Killjoy Cocktail Tavern
Bar and beverage director Trevor Kallies has spearheaded the cocktail-centric rebranding of the Granville Room as well as the opening of Clough Club and the latest cocktail lounge in the Donnelly empire, Killjoy.
2 oz G’Vine Nouaison Gin
1 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz chamomile rose tea syrup
3 dashes Bittermens Hopped Up grapefruit bitters
1 egg white
Chamomile Rose Tea Syrup: Steep 5 bags of Tazo Chamomile Rose Tea in 1L of simple syrup. Let cool. Transfer into plastic container and refrigerate. Will keep up to 30 days.