Christmas Cocktail Crawl VII: Candy Cocktails

YEW’s decadent Buttered Rum (courtesy Leila Kwok).

Sugar, spice and everything nice – the holidays wouldn’t taste as sweet without the palate-popping flavours of peppermint candy canes, creamy hot chocolate and spicy gingerbread. When these treats are enhanced by rum, sparkling wine, chocolate liqueur and other boozy indulgences, the yum factor rockets to a whole new level. Inside Vancouver’s seventh annual Christmas Cocktail Crawl unearths some of the tastiest candy-inspired cocktails in the city so you, dear reader, can easily find a festive brew to suit your tastes. For more cocktail inspo, view previous versions of the Crawl here. Happy holidays!

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl VII: Candy Cocktails

Christmas Cocktail Crawl V: Reviving the ‘20s

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Bartender: Micky Valens | Bar: Hello Goodbye

Photographed by Nicole Havers.

It’s a special year for Inside Vancouver’s annual Christmas Cocktail Crawl. This December, we commemorate half a decade of refined revelry, carefully curated cocktails… and the exquisite beauty that is drinking.

If these sentiments sound up your alley, go now and re-familiarize yourself with The Roaring ‘20s – an era that axed legalized liquor; increased liquid indulgence via speakeasies and private bars; and inspired an upsurge of curiosity towards spirits, bitters and other alcoholic delights with bartenders exploring how these elements come together in flawless harmony to create a delightfully balanced cocktail.

So – you’ve read up on the ‘20s? Good. Now don your fedoras and fascinators, strap on your suspenders and step with us back in time. We’ll show you seven ‘20s-era cocktails, each with a contemporary twist and all guaranteed to bring out your inner Gatsby. These are damn good drinks – and mighty stiff, to boot – so pace yourself and don’t get zozzled. Let’s get to it.

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl V: Reviving the ‘20s

Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part II

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Photos by Nicole Havers and Jorden Hutchison

Missed Part I? Catch up here, then read on.

Stop 1: UVA Wine Bar

uvaNot even UVA’s pulsing music, purple lights and funky décor can compete with the story behind your first smoked cocktail of the night. Ask bartender Lauren Mote why it holds special significance – you’re guaranteed a crash course in history, a geographical orientation to the Scottish highlands and one hell of a science experiment.

Cocktail The Rhapsody

Bartender Lauren Mote

Tastes like… History soaked in a sharp, smart drink. Orange and juniper bitters, courtesy of Bittered Sling, round out the smoldering scotch, though it’ll take a few moments after that first silky sip for the underlying smoke to hit you. Don’t be fooled by The Rhapsody’s innocuous golden hue – there is rich, deep history here. The base, Ardbeg Ten Years Old, is the peatiest whisky of them all and distilled on the island of Islay, Scotland – but that’s not as far as Ardbeg travelled. Back in 2011, vials of the spirit were launched into space for the world’s coolest science experiment: testing the micro-gravity of whisky production. Just like its star ingredient, this cocktail doesn’t mess around.

What makes this cocktail magical? “There’s something so mysterious about this beautifully smoky Ardbeg whisky made in Islay. It’s pretty powerful to drink a spirit that you know has been there, a spirit that was first distilled in such an ancient place. It moves me to tears, thinking that what we do every day – people have been doing it for thousands of years before us. Whiskies instantly transport you back to a time and place.” – Lauren

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Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part II

Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part I

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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