Vancouver’s cocktail scene is killing it thanks to award-winning, globally seasoned bartenders who shake up mind-blowing originals just as comfortably as century-old classics – and yes, since we’re Canadian there are plenty of drinks served with a hefty dose of national pride. Let’s take a tour.
The 4th Coast at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar
Integrating ingredients sourced from across the country, this spirit-forward brew features maple syrup from the east coast, whisky from the west, wine from the Okanagan Valley and First Nations-inspired tea from Vancouver’s own Capilano Tea House – and the ice is pretty Canadian too, eh?
Kumbaya at Royal Dinette
Canada’s rich forestland is perfect for camping under a sea of stars, and this smoky drink reflects the mellowness of the Pacific Northwest’s great outdoors. Hickory-smoked rye mingles with Amaro Montenegro, cherry cedar bitters and a burnt cinnamon marshmallow in a toasty drink guaranteed to awake your senses. Bonus points for singing the eponymous tune while imbibing.
Morning Moose at Chambar
Whisky sourced from Ontario builds the foundation of this surprisingly light and refreshing drink. The spirited base is tempered by maple syrup, British Columbia blueberries and mint – which, incidentally, grows along the banks of rivers and streams across Canada. Pairs nicely with B.C. blueberry waffles.
Muskoka Sling at Ancora Waterfront Dining & Patio
Almost every ingredient in this bold cocktail hails from the Great White North. Muskoka, also known as cottage country, serves as a delightfully off-the-grid escape for Canadians to relax with a beer, maple syrup and Canadian whisky – and preferably all three, which combine beautifully into this cocktail whose Lot 40 whisky, Grade-A maple syrup and Molson Canadian beer are sweetened by delicate elderflower liqueur.
Canadian Tuxedo at L’Abattoir
Pictured as this article’s main image up top, Lot 40 makes an encore appearance in this deliciously boozy cocktail whose Canadian and French ingredients reflect the country’s multicultural population. The drink consists of cherry bitters courtesy of Vancouver-born bitters company Bittered Sling, Noilly Prat sweet vermouth, Giffard Abricot du Rousillon, Cocchi Americano Rosa and an absinthe rinse – all tied seamlessly together, much like the ultra-sexy “Canadian tuxedo” (multi-piece, matching denim). Slick.
Checkmate Caesar at The Score
Our list of Canadian cocktails wouldn’t be complete without a Caesar – and Vancouver’s gay hub, Davie Street, is home to one of the wackiest around. The towering behemoth is built on traditional Caesar ingredients (vodka, Clamato juice, Worcestershire sauce and celery) and topped with an entire roasted chicken; hamburger; pulled-pork slider; onion rings; chicken wings; pulled-pork macaroni-and-cheese hot dog; and a brownie. You might want to loosen the belt on that Canadian tuxedo.