decisions decisions. libation, libation.
Ready to take a seat at some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants for incredible food paired with exciting spirits? That’s exactly what’s happening for several nights during Vancouver Cocktail Week this March.
The celebration of excellence in beverages kicks off on Sunday March 6th and is followed by an incredible schedule of events including tastings, a gala and seminars, along with several dinners and excursions centered around cocktails and food. For example, you can sip and nibble at Mount Gay Rum among the fish and sea creatures at the Vancouver Aquarium, take a Prohibition-themed walking tour of Gastown, or settle down for elegant dining at some of Vancouver’s incredible restaurants.
There are 19 events on the schedule, but I’ve picked out a few notable highlights that you won’t want to miss, all taking place in Vancouver from March 6th to 9th.
Tipsy tea at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver’s Notch8
This tipsy update to Notch8’s traditional Afternoon Tea will feature a special selection of infused morsels, sweets and other snacks paired with Fairmont’s Lot35 selection of quality teas. Those looking to add a little extra kick to the experience can add special “teatails” (tea cocktails made from Fairmont’s Lot35 teas) created by Notch8’s bar and beverage team.
- Where from: Notch8 Restaurant & Bar at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver – 900 W. Georgia St.
- When: Sunday, March 6; Seating at 12pm and 2pm
- get tickets for the midday and 2 p.m. seating
Spirited Walking Tour of Gastown
Get a not-so-dry taste of Prohibition, when underground bars made Gastown Vancouver’s original nightlife district. On this walking tour, Forbidden Vancouver’s storytellers uncover secret places and hidden history, while collaborating with local establishments like Pourhouse, The Forge and Guilt & Co. to present 1920s-inspired cocktails – with a modern twist. Drinks educator Charlene Rooke guides you through the history of two iconic pre-prohibition cocktails in secret speakeasy style.
- Where from: Start location: EC Rare Books, 323 Cambie St.
- When: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (please come 10 minutes earlier)
- get tickets
Under the Sea with Mount Gay at the Vancouver Aquarium
Dive into an immersive happy hour under the sea with Mount Gay Rum and the residents of the Vancouver Aquarium. With over 300 years of island heritage, Barbados-based Mount Gay is the oldest rum distillery in the world. Spend the afternoon enjoying the latest expressions of this historic manufacturer while visiting friends with fur, fins, scales and legs and learning how to keep the ocean’s precious secrets. Your ticket includes access to all 30 exhibits and the 65,000 animals that inhabit them, as well as sustainable snacks and two delicious rum cocktails from some of Vancouver’s best bartenders. Mount Gay is proud to partner with Rugged Coast Research, a Vancouver Island-based organization dedicated to cleaning up local coastlines. As you tour the facilities, learn about this partnership as well as the aquarium’s marine mammal rescue programs.
West Coast BBQ dinner at Whiskey Six BBQ
Whiskey Six joins BC Distilled, the province’s premier craft distillery festival, to host a five-course barbecue dinner, with each course paired with a cocktail made with spirits from one of our fine BC distilleries . Two dates are available for this dinner. Whiskey Six BBQ brings together traditional grilled and organic ingredients sourced from local farmers and suppliers to challenge the traditional view of grilling without compromising on ingredients and reinventing what can be created on the grill and smoker. This is West Coast BBQ.
Scotch Master Class and Pairing Dinner at Boulevard
Enjoy a guided tour of the higher notes of Johnnie Walker’s exceptional blended Scotch whiskeys paired with Executive Chef Roger Ma’s elegant, boldly spiced cuisine. Each dish is served with an exciting new whiskey introduced by the Diageo World Class Team. This is an exceptional opportunity that is sure to appeal to all whiskey lovers – and create new ones.
Bitter is Better: Master Class and Dinner with Giovane Bacaro
Bitter flavors whet the appetite, so come hungry (and thirsty!) on this exploration of Italian amari. Priya Shah, Campari Group’s Senior Portfolio Specialist, will host this evening of four cocktails and a selection of cichetti, followed by a three-course meal. Expect to taste four to six Amari, too, including Campari, Aperol, Averna, and Cynar.
Whiskey & Prime Dinner at Hy’s
Enjoy an unforgettable evening of curated whiskey cocktails and premium Canadian steaks in the classically elegant atmosphere of Vancouver’s premier steakhouse.
For Shuck’s sake at ShuckShuck
ShuckShuck Oyster Snack Bar has teamed up with local distiller Artisan SakeMaker to create an unforgettable date night. Begin with two welcome “For Shucks Sake” sake sunset cocktails and enjoy a selection of oyster sandwiches, oyster platters, oyster soup, salmon tartare, shrimp cocktail and chocolate mousse.