Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part I

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By Sonu Purhar
Photos by Nicole Havers and Jorden Hutchison

“The real secret of magic lies in the performance.” – David Copperfield

Christmas is undeniably one of the most magical times of the year. Twinkling fairy lights reflect in small children’s eyes, dancing elves shimmy down chimneys to distribute electronic toys and bars of Toblerone, and families gather round garland-strewn trees wearing sweaters they wouldn’t otherwise be caught dead in.

Indeed, magic abounds during Yuletide – and sometimes you’ll find it in the most unexpected places. For the fourth annual Christmas Cocktail Crawl, we challenged bartenders across the city to design a gobletful of magic, a smoke-infused drink with an enchanting presentation rivalled only by that captivating and utterly memorable first sip. We asked for magic, for smoke and mirrors, and oh yes, they delivered.

Come with us and take a seat at the bar. There’s no wand-waving here, no bag of tricks. Just simple ingredients, an apothecary’s cupboard of worldly libations, and the conjurer behind the bar who whips it together and – abracadabra – reveals a potion worthy of David Copperfield himself. Ready to be wowed? Let’s begin.

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part I

Craft beer + ugly sweaters = one quirky holiday event

Ugly Christmas sweater parties are just fun. Photo credit: Flickr Ramsey Mohsen

Ugly Christmas sweater parties are just fun. Photo credit: Flickr Ramsey Mohsen

Who doesn’t like a good ugly sweater? What’s even better–a whole room full of people dressed in red-and-green woollies. Add in free-flowing craft beer, and well, that’s a party.

Notice that the word “Christmas” isn’t part of this equation. The organizers of Vancouver Craft Beer Week (VCBW) recognize that ugly sweaters know no religious boundaries. Hence, they’ve named their upcoming event A Very VCBW Non-Denominational Holiday Beer Festival.

It takes place on December 5 at Studio East (1480 Frances Street) , and it promises to be much more fun than knitting alone at home.

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Craft beer + ugly sweaters = one quirky holiday event

Hidden Gems: Bon’s Off Broadway

Photo:  cellphotography | Flickr

Photo: cellphotography | Flickr

Everybody loves a fancy breakfast—hollandaise sauce, maple syrup, diced fruit, freshly-squeezed orange juice, espresso— all the fixings. Is your mouth watering yet? Mine too. That said, there’s also a place in most of our hearts for the classic, greasy spoon breakfast.  You know the kind I mean: two eggs, sausage or bacon, home fries, and weak coffee that you drink by the litre. Does this kind of breakfast pack the same taste or nutritional punch as its more elaborate counterparts? Of course not. But that doesn’t diminish our love for it. There’s a beauty in the simplicity of this classic meal: the no frills, no nonsense, hot-off –the-stove breakfast you find at diners all across North America.

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Hidden Gems: Bon’s Off Broadway

2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival Preview

2012_StreetFoodCity1As the weather turns colder in Vancouver, the days get shorter and snow blankets the North Shore Mountains, thoughts naturally turn to … the annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival.

Each winter, 100,000 foodies descend on the city’s restaurants as part of Canada’s largest annual dining celebration. Bargain-priced prix-fix menus, plus a bevy of special food-themed events turn Vancouver into Canada’s culinary capital for more than two weeks each year.

The 2015 festival, Jan. 16-Feb. 1, is still more than a month away.  But tickets for special events, which tend to sell out fast, go on sale Dec. 1. To whet your appetite, here’s a quick preview of the culinary thrills planned for the 2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival:

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2015 Dine Out Vancouver Festival Preview

Discovering Vancouver’s Board Game Bars

Photo credit: thebarrowboy

Photo credit: thebarrowboy

There’s no shortage of great watering holes in Vancouver. From nightclubs, to pubs, to sports bars, in this city, there are plenty of options for the thirsty. But what if, alongside a hankering for a cold beer or cocktail, you’ve also got a craving for Clue, an appetite for Apples to Apples, a yearning for Yahtzee?

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Discovering Vancouver’s Board Game Bars