Northern Exposure Cocktails
by JOANNE SASVARI
Cocktail: Calabash Dark and Stormy
604-568-5882 / calabashbistro.com
A slice of the Caribbean on a dodgy street between Gastown and Chinatown, this funky reggae-centric joint has the city’s best array of aged rums and handcrafted rum drinks.
The Cascade Room
Cocktail: Cascade Room Cocktail
604-709-8650 / thecascade.ca
A lively Bohemian crowd hangs out at this bustling Main Street bar, happily drinking its way through an extensive list of classic cocktails.
no phone / di6mond.com
If Gastown is the core of Vancouver’s vibrant cocktail culture, its epicenter is in this historic building with a long, gin-soaked past, where top bartenders shake up classic and contemporary drinks for a diverse crowd.
Cocktail: Maple Mark
604-633-0056 / donnellygroup.ca/granvilleroom
Art Deco lamps, exposed brick walls and meticulous barkeeps make for a sophisticated anomaly on the Granville party strip. Where else can Ed Hardy–clad kids and culture vultures down handcrafted libations together?
Hawksworth Bar & Lounge
Cocktail: Hotel Georgia (circa 1945)
604-673-7000 / hawksworthrestaurant.com
A well-heeled crowd flocks to this beautiful boîte in the renovated grande dame of the city’s hotels for imaginative cocktails inspired by the classics.
The Keefer Bar
Cocktail: Opium Sour
604-688-1961 / thekeeferbar.com
This dark, sexy bar pays homage to the apothecary traditions of its Chinatown hood, from backlit anatomy prints to exotic drink ingredients. Tincture of astragalus or yun-zhi, anyone?
Lobby Bar at Fairmont Pacific Rim
Cocktail: The Maker's Plan
877-900-5350 / fairmont.com
Forget the stodgy hotel bar stereotype. Escapees from the Vancouver Convention Centre venture across the street to a coolly elegant space filled with live music, a funky crowd and cutting-edge cocktails.
Cocktail: Don't Mind If I Do
604-568-7022 / pourhousevancouver.com
With its vintage style, historic surroundings and speakeasy vibe, this bar is a perennial Gastown favorite, with cocktails based mostly on pre-Prohibition recipes and spirits.
Cocktail: Cold Tea
604-687-8001 / therefineryvancouver.com
Up above the mayhem that is Granville is a taste of West Coast authenticity, with fresh, local ingredients, house-made bitters and a cool, stripped-down aesthetic. Those weary of the classics will rejoice in the bar’s 240 unique contemporary cocktails. Note: Only 10 to 12 cocktails appear on the menu, which is changed monthly.
Tiki Bar at the Waldorf
Cocktail: A Young Coconut
604-253-7141 / waldorfhotel.com
Canada’s original tiki bar has reclaimed the glam of its ’50s heyday. A faux night sky, tiki-rific Edward Leeteg paintings, retro vinyl on the sound system and booze-forward classics make this a must-visit.
Yew Restaurant + Bar at the Four Seasons
Cocktail: Dill Fling
604-692-4939 / fourseasons.com
This airy, modern room has long been the city’s meeting place for suits and celebs. They may come for the socializing and seafood, but they’ll stay for the culinary-inspired cocktails based on local ingredients.