From August 12 to 25, Gin-A-Palooza — a two-week celebration of all things gin — will descend on Vancouver for the first time.
The brainchild of Toronto-based entrepreneur and bartender, Dante Raphael Concepcion Jr., Gin-A-Palooza is your ticket to discovering incredible cocktails from some of the city’s top bartenders, who have each partnered with world-class gin brands (including several produced right here in BC).
Gin makers spend countless hours creating flavours that people will enjoy. Talented bartenders then develop cocktails that not only respect the gin they’re working with, but that also express their individual bartending philosophies. Gin-A-Palooza brings the best gin distillers and cocktail artists together for one giant gin extravaganza.
Here’s how it works:
1. Visit any one of the cocktail bars listed below to pick up your free Gin-A-Palooza “G-Pass.”
2. Gather your friends and bar hop to the other participating Gin-A-Palooza venues to sample their inspired concoctions, collecting stamps along the way for (each cocktail consumed gets you a stamp).
3. Each stamp equals another opportunity to win thousands of dollars in prizes including a VIP distillery experience from Noteworthy Gin and Dubh Glas Distillery in Oliver, BC. Everyone participating will have an opportunity to act as a guest judge at the Grand-Palooza finale on August 26, which will feature bartenders from each of the ten participating events in a “Peoples Choice” head-to-head competition to create the best Noteworthy Gin cocktail.
Here’s a little taste of what Vancouverites can expect from this year’s amazing Gin-A-Palooza venues.
Cocktail guru Arthur Wynne will use Plymouth Gin from Plymouth, England for his “Guvnor” cocktail, featuring sweet vermouth, Fino Sherry, Dry Curacao, calamansi juice, cherry bitters and soda.
At my own bar at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, I’ll be using Sipsmith Gin from London, England of my signature “Prudence” cocktail, featuring Dry Curacao, passionfruit purée, fresh orange juice, Giffard Apricot, Cava, Angostura Mist and cracked pimento.
Bar baron Joey Donnelly will use Ampersand Gin from Duncan, BC to wow guests with his “Slabtown Sling” cocktail (Luxardo Maraschino, Cherry Heering, apricot liqueur, lime, Scrappy’s Firewater Bitters, soda).
Trevor Kallies, aka “TK”, boasts years of experience developing cocktails for countless bars and restaurants across the city. He’ll use Beefeater Gin from London, England for his simply titled “That” cocktail (cold-brewed coffee, tonic syrup, sugar, Fernet Branca).
Up-and-coming bar star Satoshi Yonemori of newly opened South Granville destination Grapes & Soda will use Wallflower Gin from Odd Society Spirits in Vancouver, BC to create his”Gin Bouquet” cocktail (Carpano Bianco, Cinzano Dry Vermouth, peach bitters and lemon oil).
Ron Oliver and Simon Kaulback from the insanely talented bar team at Mamie Taylor’s will use Empiric Gin from Nanaimo, BC for their “Nanaimo Express” cocktail (Pisco, Cinzano Orancio, pineapple juice, fresh-pressed lemon, soda).
Rob Scope from Cascade has delivered another hit using Unruly Gin, from Vancouver Island to create his “Disorderly Gimlet” cocktail (house-made organic BC honey, lime cordial, cardamom, grapefruit zest.
Gez McAlpine and the insanely talented crew at the Keefer Bar will use Victoria Gin from Vancouver Island to make their aptly named “Butchart Fizz” (matcha green tea, fresh-pressed lime, seville orange bitters, soda).
Kelsey Ramage and the great team at the Oakwood will use Noteworthy Gin from the Dubh Glas Distillery in Oliver, BC to create their “Torrents of Spring” cocktail (lemon-infused shochu, cane sugar syrup, bitter lemon & bell pepper sorbet, bubbles).
Bar Legend Lauren Mote has teamed up with Okanagan Gin from the interior of BC to present her somewhat famous Chartreuse Milkshake (Green Chartreuse, cacao, orange, lime, Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate Bitters).