October 2011

Northern Exposure Cocktails

  • HAWKSWORTH
  • GRANVILLE ROOM
  • THE REFINERY
  • THE DIAMOND
  • TIKI BAR
  • YEW

by JOANNE SASVARI

Calabash Bistro
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.

The Diamond
Cocktail: Penicillin
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.

Granville Room
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.

Pourhouse
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.

The Refinery
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.