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The Vancouver Cocktail: The city's namesake drink + how to make it

DH Vancouver Staff May 29, 2015 2:00 pm

Although Vancouver is a relatively young city, its rich history of cocktail culture dates further back than many realize. With a number of quality cocktail bars and skilled bartenders contributing to its steady rise, Vancouver has become one of the leading cocktail destinations in the country.

In 1954 the very first legal cocktail bar in the city opened its doors in the landmark Sylvia Hotel, a former apartment building, and by the late 1950s Vancouver’s nightlife scene was thriving with live music venues, theatres and hotel bars. While Vancouverites and international travelers soaked up the sun on the stunning beaches of English Bay by day, the Sylvia was the place to be at night.

Photo: Justin Taylor

Photo: Justin Taylor

Over sixty years have passed since the Sylvia’s bar opened first its doors, but one drink has stood the test of time — the Vancouver Cocktail. Rediscovered about a decade ago, the Vancouver Cocktail has slowly been gaining popularity and can be found on countless bar menus across the city (including my own).


So next time you find yourself in one of our many quality cocktail bars, ask the bartender to make you a Vancouver, or follow the recipe below and mix some up with friends this weekend. Just be sure say a little thanks to the bar legends of Vancouver’s past.

The Vancouver Cocktail


  • 1 ½ oz. Long Table Gin
  • ¾ oz. sweet vermouth
  • ¼ oz. Benedictine
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters


  • Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass with ice.
  • Serve straight up and garnish with a twist of lemon.

If you have any questions about the recipe above, come and say hello at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar were it’s served daily on our menu.

DH Vancouver Staff
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