I have a simple philosophy when it comes to mixing drinks: Tell a story with each and every glass. It’s important for me to connect my guests to my cocktails through familiarity, and what better to do this than our beautiful city? The incredible landmarks, rich history and natural beauty of Vancouver — and B.C. for that matter — have inspired many of my creations, as well as my respect for local ingredients.
It’s a wonderful feeling when the name of a cocktail leads to a story about an experience in our city, or serves as the inspiration for someone’s next adventure, whether they’re a born-and-bred Vancouverite or visiting for the first time. To say the least, a cocktail journey doesn’t always begin and end at the bar.
Try your hand at these locally-inspired cocktail recipes next time you feel like imbibing your way through Vancouver. Cocktail ‘staycation’, anyone?
1. The English Bay
All year round, locals and visitors alike stroll the stretch of seawall along English Bay, but it’s perhaps best seen in the summertime during a magnificent sunset. It’s only fitting that one of the city’s most prized gems be memorialized with a cocktail. Blended with gin and cucumber, the “English Bay” is as fresh as the Vancouver air itself.
- 1.5 oz Long Table Distillery Gin
- 1.0 oz Cucumber Juice
- 1.0 oz Lemon Juice
- 0.75 oz Honey Water (1 part honey; 1 part water)
- 0.25 oz Campari
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Lem-Marrakech Bitters
- Add all ingredients, except the Campari, to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake thoroughly.
- Double strain ingredients to a pre-chilled coupe glass.
- Drizzle Campari to a layer at the bottom of the glass.
- Garnish with a cucumber ribbon.
2. The Nine O’Clock Gun
Seawall revellers are likely to stumble upon the Nine O’Clock Gun in Stanley Park — a Vancouver treasure since it was first brought to the city in 1894. This massive naval canon still fires daily at 9 p.m. and originally signified the end of fishing hours each Sunday. Reinforced with Canadian whisky and maple syrup, this is an after-dinner-sipper that will knock you off your feet.
- 1.5 oz Maple Smoked Okanagan Spirits McLoughlin & Steele Whisky
- 0.5 oz Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
- 0.5 oz Campari
- 0.25 oz Canadian Maple Syrup
- 3 dashes Angostura Bitters
- Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass.
- Serve in an old fashioned glass over ice.
- Garnish with cherry.
3. The Victoria
Okay, I may have stretched outside the bounds of our city, but it’s no secret that Vancouverites love a quick Island getaway, so why not pay respect to our province’s lovely capital? The “Victoria” is my signature version of the quintessentially British Pimm’s Cup, made with local honey, bitters and sparkling wine — perfect as an afternoon libation after you’ve had your fair share of tea at the Empress.
- 2.0 oz Pimm’s
- 1.0 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters
- 1.0 oz Honey Water (1 part water; 1 part honey)
- 1.0 oz Haywire ‘The Bub’ Sparkling Wine
- Add all ingredients, except the sparkling wine, to a cocktail shaker and shake thoroughly.
- Serve in a cocktail glass over ice.
- Garnish with fresh raspberries, cucumber and mint.