July 21st, 2011
After our successful first foray into adult popsicles using Caramilk liquor, we started searching around for other icy recipes to help us beat the heat with a bit of a buzz.
We found recipes for mango-mojito popsicles from Erica’s Sweet Tooth, sangria ice-pops from Emily Bites and these fab vodka-spiked ices made with fresh watermelon by culinary goddess, Giada de Laurentiis. We used these stunning stainless steel molds from Onxy Containers to make our ice-pops, but you can go green by freezing your libation of choice in a thoroughly cleaned yogourt container with a lid.
Just make sure that the kids don’t find them, or there might be tears at happy hour. —Jennifer Nachshen
February 18th, 2011
There’s kamikaze shooters, then there’s Omakase cocktails.
The Keefer has taken a service associated with sushi and made it about mixed drinks. The Japanese word for “entrust,” Omakase means you do just that. Put yourself and three to nine of your friends in the hands of master bartender Dani Tatarin and in return you get a flight of four finely-made cocktails as well as a history and health lesson on their herbal ingredients. Our favourite was the White Rabbit, a special citrusy concoction with a surprising dash of Sichuan pepper made for celebrating Chinese New Year.
$50 per person (minimum 4), The Keefer Bar, 135 Keefer St., Vancouver, 604-688-1961 (call to reserve), www.thekeeferbar.com
December 24th, 2010
Still dreaming of a white Christmas?
Looks like a long shot, so here’s your consolation prize: a snow globe for adults. Inside the special edition Malibu Snowflake is the tropical-tinged rum you come to expect plus little flecks of coconut to make it more festive.
To those of us who aren’t spending the holiday on a hot beach and still have last minute shopping to do, drink up!
$23.99 at BC Liquor Stores.
November 30th, 2010
Like your bourbon sours as stylish and your barmen?
For your next big bash, hire the boys of Amy Elliott Cocktails. Friends since grade school, Larry, Josh and Adam have 15 years combined experience working behind bars, including George. They come with their own sleek, all-inclusive mobile set-up made of mod hexagons from Belgium and dark wood serving pedestals they sketched themselves. At a recent event, we sampled some of their libations and can testify to their good 'tending.
But who’s “Amy?” Real last name unknown, she was Larry’s childhood neighbour who moved away after they shared a first kiss. Aw, we’ll drink to that.
More information and bookings at www.amyelliottcocktails.com
October 22nd, 2010
Decorating the house for Halloween needn’t be a headache. Just put your heads together.
A couple of Crystal Heads that is. The premium vodka brand owned by Dan Aykroyd and made in Newfoundland multitasks. The super smooth spirit within spikes the punch and the skull-shaped glass bottle you’re left with displays your candy corn in a goth way.
It’s a graveyard smash.
$54.99, find retailers here.
July 6th, 2010
Vitamin Daily Vancouver reader Kristy wrote, “Hi! I would love your advice on some venues for my friend's stagette in Vancouver. Dinner and dancing, classy and fun but not over-the-top expensive. Thanks!”
Herewith, our picks for a special stagette sans Chippendales and heavy spending:
Keep the party all in one place at Calabash on the edge of Gastown. Dine upstairs on Caribbean fare then move your crew downstairs to its subterranean lounge for cocktails and cutting a rug. Pose for photos in the old elevator car situated conveniently close to the dance floor and DJ booth.
In Chinatown, three hip haunts are all within stiletto distance. Start with supper at Chinese brasserie Bao Bei, followed-up with a post-dinner drink at the Keefer Bar to really loosen your dance legs for a finish at Fortune Sound Club.
Do it a little differently on Commercial Drive by taking an evening Burlesque, Bollywood or Salsa class with the girls at Drive Dance Centre then head up the street to Havana for Nuevo Latino cuisine and pitchers of fresh strawberry mojito.
May 14th, 2010
The devil on one shoulder is coaxing us to stay out late again while the angel on the other begs us to stay in and play Scrabble.
At new Gastown joint Guilt & Company, we can satisfy our angels and demons. Situated in the brick underbelly of Chill Winston, the bar and live venue serves up boozy drinks and classic board games into the wee hours.
Check out their free comedy nights on Wednesdays (while you play chess) and order yourself a “Lying Eyes” cocktail ($12), which comes with a Polaroid picture of you and your crew.
And if Trouble is what you’re looking for, they’ve got that game too.
Guilt & Company, 1 Alexander St. (downstairs), Vancouver, 604-288-1704, www.guiltandcompany.com
April 28th, 2010
Your veggies are domestic and so is your dining table, so how come your vodka comes from France?
Pemberton, B.C.’s new Schramm craft vodka ($50), made by 32-year-old master distiller Tyler Schramm, is the only certified organic potato vodka in the world.
The winner of Double Gold at the World Sprits Awards in Europe, it’s a sipping vodka with a floral nose and creamy finish that goes down more like a French marc.
So now there is less guilt buying all your clothes from Vanessa Bruno and Isabel Marant.
December 9th, 2009
Prep school is meant to prepare you for the rigors of upper academia, but what most of us learned about liquor as pupils was unsanctioned and no more sophisticated than coolers, kegs and shooters. Now that we’re grown, we’ve graduated to The Diamond Preparatory School For All Things Drink.
Known for serving up serious cocktails, the Gastown establishment is now offering courses for aspiring bartenders and amateurs alike hoping to master mixology. In Classic Cocktails 101, we were taught the basics of making six smart drinks—from the proper stirring technique for a margarita to how long a whiskey sour should be shaken—by owner Josh Pape, who first demonstrated (and let us sample) and then coached us through crafting two of our own.
Their next classes, Gin & Gin Cocktails and How to Stock Your Home Bar & Throw a Cocktail Party ($90 each), are this weekend. But if you’re all booked up, they’re also available for private tutoring.
November 16th, 2009
You could wear your Vancouver pride on your sleeve, or you could pour it in your glass.
With its graphic, pop art label designed by artist Douglas Fraser, Absolut Vancouver pays tribute to our city’s biggest assets: sea, sky and snow-capped mountains. The limited-edition bottle is first of its kind in Canada and available exclusively in B.C., making it a less ubiquitous souvenir to gift out-of-towners.
There’s also an artistic after-effect of taking one home—a dollar from every bottle goes towards a local arts project that you vote for.
That’s the spirit!
$25.95 at B.C. Liquor Stores.