Tag Archives: Vancouver Cocktail

Hand Crafted Spirits on Talk 1410 – Healthy Cocktails at The Keefer

Amber Bruce Mixes Up Some Magic In Chinatown at The Keefer

If you been following the Hand Crafted Spirits Show, you may have caught a few segments where Joe Leary and I search for tasty cocktails on TSN1410.  Since it was the New Year, and health is usually one of the resolutions many make, this week I was looking for cocktails that not only contain alcohol but also had a healthy component to them too!

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We checked into the cocktail program at The Keefer, where bartender Amber Bruce crafts her drinks with medicinal ingredients, many of them found in the bar’s Chinatown Neighbourhood. She made us the Dragonfly, a tasty combination of gin and sake, with the health benefits of dragonfruit, ginger, lemon and magnolia bark tincture.


Catch the audio above.

The Keefer Bar


1oz dragonfruit infused gin
1oz nigori sake
0.5oz ginger syrup
0.5oz lemon juice
3-4 dashes magnolia bark tincture.

Shake on ice. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a pear fan.

This drink is absolutely delicious. So well balance, with a nice zip of ginger. I’d say this could just be the solution to the common cold, or it will at least make the sniffles a little more tolerable. Looking forward to working my way through a few more of these healthful drinks on the list at The Keefer. Here’s to a healthy 2017!

Hand Crafted Spirits On TSN1410 – The Emerald And A Brandy Alexander

Rachel Zottenberg’s Brandy Alexander at The Emerald Supper Club

If you been following the Hand Crafted Spirits Show, you may have caught a few segments where Joe Leary and I search for tasty cocktails on TSN1410.  This week we were off for some house-made Kahlua as we catch up with Rachel Zottenberg at The Emerald Super Club.

Catch the AUDIO in this clip. 

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Here’s The Emerald’s version of a Brandy Alexander

Start in a shaker
1.5 oz brandy
1 oz House made Kahlua liqueur
1 oz whipping cream (*soy milk can be used as a substitution here)

Add ice and shake vigorously.
Fine strain into martini glass or coupe.
Garnish with grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.

The Emerald’s house-made Kahlua

1 750ml bottle of Absolute Elyx Vodka
2 cups Havana Club Rum Anjeo
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup of instant coffee granules (make sure this is just straight instant coffee – no flavours)
(and yes instant coffee is the choice here, it offers great flavour and smoothness)
1 vanilla bean scraped out
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup dark chocolate cooking chocolate
1 orange peel (no pith only peel)
6 cups of water

Stovetop preparation
Boil water, coffee, sugar, cinnamon and chocolate together; drop to a simmer.
At simmer, add your orange peel and vanilla and stir for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the vodka and rum; allow to cool.

Strain out items or leave them in depending on how long you plan on using the Kahlua. *Keep Kahlua refrigerated.

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About The Emerald

The Emerald Supper Club and Cocktail Lounge, located in Chinatown, features an old school Vegas vibe, complete with vintage décor. Now in its third year of operations, the restaurant has become known for its eclectic events line-up, spirit-forward cocktails and satisfying mix of snacks and heartier dishes.

The drink menu features a variety of cheers-worthy classic and signature cocktails, along with 16 perfectly-curated beers on tap and many bottles to choose from as well. The wine list features great local and international selections.

About The Emerald’s Brand Alexander cocktail
“At The Emerald, we make a small tweak to the classic Brandy Alexander recipe by using our house-made Kahlua liqueur in place of the dark creme de cacao normally used in the drink,” says Rachel Zottenberg, owner. “This small change adds a delicious nutty, coffee element to the classic cocktail.”

Website: http://emeraldsupperclub.com/
Twitter: @theemeraldyvr
Instagram: @emeraldsupperclub
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Emerald-507093619337170/

Holiday cocktails at The Charles Bar

The Charles Bar, Gastown’s newest hot-spot, nestled in the historic Woodward’s Building, has crafted holiday cocktails to warm and lift your Christmas spirit (pun intended).
Candy Cane Swirl:

Crumpled candy cane rim, 1oz Vodka, .5 oz peppermint schnapps, 2oz cranberry juice, .5 oz grenadine, .5 oz lemon juice. garnished with a small candy cane in a martini glass

Reindeer Bite:

1oz Maker’s Mark, 1oz Disarrono, 2 dash bitters, splash simple syrup, garnished with a cherry

It gets better:

Owners of The Charles Bar, The Adelphia Group, have made it a mission this season to support both the local diners and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank through a program called, “Under the Christmas Tree”. This charity drive will benefit the city’s hungry and lighten the load on patron’s wallets during the holiday frenzy of spending.

How it works:

Donate canned goods or make a $10 contribution to receive an ornament on the Christmas tree at The Charles Bar and any other Adelphia Group establishment and receive %12 off (no dreaded HST) on your meal, drinks or any purchase.

This year’s participating venue sponsors are: Caprice Night Club, Celebrities Night Club, Venue Night Club, The Charles Bar, Dover Arms Public House, The Lounge, Pivo Public House, Crosstown Liquor Store, and Dover Arms Liquor Store. In addition to the ornament and discount offer, special customer appreciation parties will also be held throughout December at participating night clubs, bars and public houses. For a minimum donation of $10 or one canned good, patrons will receive complimentary food and drinks as they dine and dance the night away.

Suite & Sour – Meyer lemon cocktails are in season at The Corner Suite Bistro De Luxe.

The Corner Suite’s “Genuine Article” – a 30-page homage to some of the world’s oldest and most iconic drinks – is Vancouver’s (if not Canada’s) largest and most comprehensive cocktail list … and it just got bigger.

Meyer lemons are in season, and owner/bartender Steve Da Cruz likes them, a lot. In honour of his favourite fruit, Steve has added a page to his list that showcases Meyer lemons in six variations.

Lucien Gaudin (1928)

Gin, Noilly Prat, Cointreau, Campari, Meyer Lemon Twist, Up

In the 1928 Olympics, Gaudin took Gold in both foil & épée. Also medaled in 20 & 24 – no big deal.

The Japanese (1862)

Cognac, Orgeat, Boker’s Bitters, Meyer Lemon Twist, Up

The first namesake cocktail ever. Tateishi Onojirou Noriyuku – famous ladies’ man.

Amaretto Royal Sour (2008)

Disaronno Amaretto, Meyer Lemon, Whole Egg, Short

“This drink is ridiculously good.” – You.

New York Sour (1894)

Wiser’s De Luxe Rye, Meyer Lemon, Sugar, Griottine, Red Wine Float, Short

Traditionally topped with Claret, this is one gorgeous red head.

The Bee’s Knees (1950)

Gin, Meyer Lemon, Honey, Up

Essentially, a Gin Sour, but with Meyer lemons. It’s the Clam’s Elbows.

Joe Collins (1970)

Vodka, Meyer Lemon, Sugar, Soda, Tall

Nothin’ ordinary about it. Think Tom’s silent little brother, who’s a killer.

The feature cocktails will be available from Wednesday, December 8th until the Meyer lemons are gone.

For reservations or more information, please visit www.thecornersuite.com.

Cocktail Apprentice Program Coming to Vancouver

Applications are now open for Canadian bartenders to join the Cocktail Apprentice Program at Tales of the Cocktail in Vancouver

Since 2008 Tales of the Cocktail®, the world’s premier cocktail festival, has been bringing the rising stars in mixology to New Orleans as part of the Cocktail Apprentice program. It’s one way the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society has continued to support the next generation of mixologists. As Tales of the Cocktail takes its show on the road to Vancouver for Tales of the Cocktail on Tour, March 13-15, 2011, bartenders throughout Canada are now welcome to apply to the Vancouver Cocktail Apprentice Program.

“I have seen Tales of the Cocktail grow from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. This Vancouver event makes Tales of the Cocktail a truly international affair,” said Jeff Grdinch, Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Leader. “I’m honored to join to Canada’s rising cocktail talent as part of the apprentice program to help them grow their skills, ensuring a bright future for cocktails from Vancouver to Nova Scotia.”

As the apprentices before them, Tales of the Cocktail Vancouver Apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from the world’s biggest names in bartending during the three-day festival. The schedule of events was developed to give everyone a taste of what’s in store in New Orleans at Tales of the Cocktail 2011 with six seminars held at Vancouver’s beautiful Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel as well as opening and closing events.

Applications to the Tales of the Cocktail Vancouver Apprentice Program will be accepted now through December 29, 2010. For more information about Tales of the Cocktail on Tour, visit TalesoftheCocktail.com.

About Tales of the Cocktail on Tour Vancouver
For the first time Tales of the Cocktail is taking it’s show on the road with Tales of the Cocktail on Tour. Our first stop is Vancouver where we’ll be giving Canadian cocktail lovers a small taste of what Tales is all about. This two-day festival will feature the most renowned cocktail experts from Vancouver and beyond at a series of seminars, parties and more. So join us in Vancouver this March to sample what’s in store at Tales of the Cocktail 2011.

About Tales of the Cocktail®
Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the most respected minds on mixology for five days of cocktails, cuisine and culture. Held annually in New Orleans, this event has something for cocktail professionals and enthusiasts alike with a spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions, parties and special events where brands showcase their latest products. Now in its ninth year, Tales of the Cocktail® returns with another round of events all perfectly paired with some of the best cocktails ever made. Shake things up at Tales of the Cocktail® 2011, July 20-24.

About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society
The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique culture of cocktails and cuisine in New Orleans and beyond. Since it’s founding in 2006 the NOCCPS has supported members of the hospitality industry through educational opportunities such as the Flo Woodward Scholarship and the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program as well as the production of events like Tales of the Cocktail.

For information and email updates on Vancouver dates, ticket sales and more, visit:


Tales of the Cocktail® Coming To Vancouver

For eight years Tales of the Cocktail® has been bringing cocktail lovers from around the world to New Orleans. What began as a small gathering of cocktail lovers has grown to become the premier cocktail festival, serving as an annual meeting place for the world’s most influential professionals.

For the first time, this internationally acclaimed cocktail festival is taking its show on the road with Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour. This first mini-festival will be held in Vancouver, March 13-15, 2011, and will feature a series of parties and seminars designed to give cocktail lovers a taste of what’s in store at Tales of the Cocktail® 2011.

“This is such an exciting step forward for Tales of the Cocktail and for cocktail aficionados around the world,” said Paul Tuennerman, Chief Business Officer at Tales of the Cocktail®.  “New Orleans will always be our home, but it’ll be fun to take what makes Tales of the Cocktail so special to other parts of the world.”

This three-day festival will feature six seminars, held at the beautiful Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel, from some of the world’s top mixologists, as well as opening and closing events. Vancouver was chosen as the first Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour city because of it’s growing influence on the world cocktail industry.

“Vancouver has an authentic culture, a welcoming sense of hospitality and an incredibly passionate group of bar professionals.  All this makes the city an exciting, well deserving destination for Tales of the Cocktail, the global cocktail event,” said Charlotte Voisey, Brand Ambassador for William Grant & Sons and New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society Board Member. ”

For information and email updates on Vancouver dates, ticket sales and more, visit www.TalesoftheCocktail.com


Chambar Restaurant is excited to announce the addition of Justin Tisdall to the front of house team. Taking on the position of General Manager, Justin brings a wealth of bar and management experience amassed at some of Vancouver’s favourite restaurants including Lumière, Boneta and Market by Jean-Georges at the Shanrgi-la hotel.  

“We’re thrilled to have Justin join the Chambar family,” says owner Karri Schuermans, “we’re continually seeking to expand our team with dynamic individuals that will elevate the Chambar experience, and Justin brings all the right qualities to the room.”

Justin will begin at Chambar the evening of Tuesday, September 7th.

Chambar invites you to leave your day at the door for an unpretentious fling with fine dining. Housed in a refurbished brick and beam heritage building, the restaurant’s cuisine is a unique blend Belgian and North African influences with a commitment to seasonal, organic and local ingredients. Chambar is located at 540 Beatty Street in the Crosstown District. Dinner is served nightly from 5:30pm – midnight. For reservations phone 604-879-7119 or visit: www.chambar.com.

The Diamond Preparatory School For All Things Drinks

The Diamond at Maple Tree Square – your neighborhood cocktail parlor – is proud to announce its first range of hands-on cocktail classes.

Courses on offer cater to aspiring professional bartenders and casual cocktail enthusiasts alike.

The Professional Courses

The Diamond Preparatory School For All Things Drink offers a comprehensive range of programs such as ‘Beginner Bartender Basics’, ‘Cocktail Bartender’ & ‘Master Bartender’ for those interested ina professional industry career.The ongoing courses cover everything from basic cocktail making skills to management programs(depending on the course), with topics ranging from classics knowledge to the current techniques& products, providing guidance on creating original programs and the science behindbuilding a proper drink.

Next Professional Course Dates:

Beginner Bartender Basics – Monday January 4th, 11th & 18th (10am-6pm) The professional bartender, the bar & your tools, basic techniques & practice, spirits, glassware.

Cocktail Bartender – Monday January 25th, February 1st & 8th (10am-6pm) Introduction to cocktails, cocktail families, classics & contempories, modern cocktail evolution.

***Please note that you must complete ‘Beginner Bartender Basics’ before enrolling in ‘CocktailBartender’. Fees are $495 per course.

The Rookie Courses

The Diamond also provides programs for the avid rookie with such classes as: ‘Classic Cocktails 101’ ,‘Gin & Gin Cocktails’, ‘Contemporary Cocktails & Food Pairing’, ‘Whiskey & Whiskey Cocktails’ and‘How to Stock Your Home Bar & Throw a Cocktail Party’.The classes are a mix of demonstration and hands-on with students sampling six different cocktailsand then expertly guided to make two of their choosing. Snacks are provided.

Next Rookie Course Dates:

Classic Cocktails 101 – Saturday December 5th (5pm – 7pm) Overview of classic cocktails, Martini, Manhattan, Margarita, Side Car, Whiskey Sour, Daiquiri.

Contemporary Cocktails & Food Pairing – Sunday December 6th (5pm – 7pm) Tips for creating contemporary cocktails & pairing suggestions.

Gin & Gin Cocktails – Saturday December 12th (5pm – 7pm) Overview of distillation & history, French 75, Pegu Club, Negroni, White Lady, Tom Collins, Martini.

How to Stock Your Home Bar & Throw a Cocktail Party – Sunday December 13th (5pm – 7pm) Learn the key items needed in your home bar and the cocktails you can create with them, tips for hostinga memorable cocktail party.

***Fees are $90 per course.Additional InformationAll classes are held at The Diamond – 6 Powell Street Gastown (Corner of Carrall St).Course materials and equipment are provided but please bring a pen & paper.Fees – 50% is due at time of booking with the balance to be paid by the start of class.

We serve alcohol responsibly and recommend that you do not drive to class.

Gift certificates available.

For more information or to enroll please email: school@di6mond.com

Geoff Robinson of “The Diamond” crowned the winner of the “Craft of Cointreau” at Pourhouse.

Cointreau JudgesVancouver’s top bartenders came out in full force to compete in the “Craft of Cointreau” at Pourhouse on November 3rd. “We chose Vancouver to host ‘Craft’ because this is not your average bartending competition”, says Dan Volway Rémy Cointreau spokesperson, “the bartending talent in this city makes this the Olympics of bartending”.  The event featured ten of the city’s most talented bartenders, hand-selected by internationally acclaimed Bartender, and co-proprietor of Pourhouse, Jay Jones.  The winner, Geoff Robinson, bartender at “The Diamond” took the gold medal with his unique creation, “Auld Alliance” marrying sweet and bitter orange of Cointreau and smoky smooth single malt whisky.  The Craft of Cointreau was designed to showcase both the launch of Pourhouse in Vancouver’s Gastown district, as well as the superior quality and versatility of Cointreau. The prize was a one week trip to France courtesy of Cointreau, and the opportunity to become a national Cointreau brand ambassador.

Each bartender was asked to create a unique and stylish cocktail with five minutes to prepare, and five minutes to perform.  The contestants were judged by Dan Volway, sommelier and Rémy Cointreau spokesperson, Mark Brand, Shaun Layton and Jay Jones, local personalities and bartending entrepreneurs.  Points were awarded based on creative use of Cointreau, knowledge, personality and passion for the bartending craft.

The ten handpicked bartenders did not disappoint.  The creativity and passion put into each cocktail truly showcased why they were selected by Jay Jones. Selecting a winner was not an easy task by any means, further proof that the future of bartending in Vancouver looks bright. The participants included:

Geoff Robinson  of The Diamond |Bobbi Kay of Boneta | Christina Kuypers of Voya | Colin MacDougall of Blue Water | Danielle Tatarin of DB Moderne | Giovanni Giardino of Campagnolo | Mike Parks of The Cascade Room| Trevor Kallies of The Granville Room |Lauren Mote of The Refinery |Justin Tisdale of Market at the Shagri-La.

The Winner:  Geoff Robinson of the Diamond

Geoff Robinson, in his first ever bartending competition walked away as the winner of the “Craft of Cointreau”.  When it came down to making the final decision, Geoff stood out from the crowd apparent that Geoff’s effortless swagger behind the bar, seamless cocktail construction and obvious sincerity that won over the judges.

Jay Jones told reporters that “In Geoff’s first ever competition, not only did he win the whole thing, but reminded us all of the importance of doing things with respect and humility. “

cointreau cocktail

The Winning Cocktail:  “Auld Alliance”

20 ml Cointreau

40 ml Single Malt Scotch Whisky

7.5 ml (bar spoon and a half) Sherry

15 ml pomegranate spice syrup

10 ml fresh lemon juice.

Egg white from half of one egg

One dash orange bitters

Garnish with star anise and serve.

The Granville Room Crafts Olympic-Inspired Cocktails

granvillecocktailAs the Olympic torch makes its way across Canada, the Granville Room shows its spirit with the announcement of its Olympic-inspired cocktails, created by resident bar star Trevor Kallies. Available January 1st until the end of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, each cocktail is inspired by a great Canadian Olympic moment and showcases Canadian liquor and ingredients. Trevor created five cocktails in honour of the five Olympic rings, which sell for $9 each.

The Winner Take All, inspired by Cindy Klassen’s 2006 speed skating performance in Turin, blends Crown Royal Special Reserve Whiskey, honey syrup, Gamay Noir float and flamed orange peel. Lord of the Oval is named for Gaetan Boucher’s three medals in long-track speed skating at 1984’s Sarajevo games, and marries Wiser’s deluxe, muddled red grapes, peach bitters, ginger ale and peach juice. The Gold, Silver and Greene, inspired by Nancy Greene’s 1968 double medal performance in Grenoble, melds Victoria gin, Barnston Island basil, simple syrup, grapefruit juice and orange-flower water. The Double Lucky Loonie, named for the men’s and women’s hockey teams (which both took home gold from the 2002 games in Salt Lake City), blends Canadian Club Premium Whiskey, maple syrup, Whistler Black Tusk Ale and Sortilege Canadian Whiskey & Maple Liqueur. The Golden Redemption, named for Jamie Salé and David Pelletier’s near miss of figure skating gold at the 2002 Salt Lake City games, marries Alberta Premium Rye with applesauce, fresh lemon juice and a dash of Fee Brothers’ rhubarb bitters.

An oasis of good taste and casual elegance in the Entertainment District, the Granville Room is Vancouver’s true speakeasy: little talked about and much loved. Busy with metropolitan locals and a chic pre-club and post-theatre crowd, the Granville Room focuses on excellent service, fine, quality craft cocktails and a boutique dining menu. The richly dark interior is accented by large mirrors, cozy seating and a lavish bar. The Granville Room is located 957 Granville Street in Vancouver, BC (604-633-0056) and is open daily from 10 pm-2 am.

Donnelly Hospitality Management (DHM) is a creative and diverse management company. DHM owns and operates award-winning nightclubs: Pop Opera, Republic, Bar None, and the Modern; popular pubs: The Bimini, The Calling, The Library Square Public House, Smiley’s Pub, and the Lamplighter; the cocktail lounge The Granville Room, and the Metropole. The company’s attention to detail, impressive entertainment calendars, modern designs, community and charity support, and strict policies on patron safety have earned them a reputation as an industry leader in Vancouver. For more information please visit: