Christmas Cocktail Crawl IV: Smoke and Mirrors – Part I

christmas-cocktail-1

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

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend
Performing arts, historical walking tours, diving, circus, food festivals… this weekend is full of things to do for everyone in the family.  Check out our top picks for events happening around Metro Vancouver! Continue reading:
Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

From Shangri-La With Love

Bond Night Shangri-La Hotel poster image

The Shangri-La is throwing a James Bond-themed party with great prizes, cocktails and entertainment.

Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond movie, opens this Friday, Nov 9, in North America. It’s already doing boffo box office internationally, and racking up mostly rave reviews.

Just prior to the movie’s opening, the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver is hosting a Bond-themed party. On Nov 8 in the appropriately exotic XiShi Lounge, From Shangri-La With Love celebrates Ian Fleming’s gentleman spy with wine, women and song. Well, make that cocktails, women and song.

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From Shangri-La With Love

Hungry? Guided Foodie Tours of Vancouver

Photo Credit: VancouverFoodTour.com

So here’s a classic traveler’s dilemma:  You’ve just arrived in Vancouver and you’re starving.  You know the city has a reputation for incredible food and can’t wait to chow down.  But where to go?

You could do a quick, desperate search on the Internet, but we all know how unreliable those TripAdvisor reviews can be.  You could ask the concierge at your hotel, but he might just send you to some boring bistro around the corner.   Or you could just venture out on your own and hope for the best, but the clock is ticking and your stomach is growling.

The solution:  a cool, relatively new offering called Vancouver Food Tour.  This local company offers regular, guided eating tours of restaurants and bars in different neighborhoods around the city.  One price includes all your food and drinks, plus expert commentary and an introduction to some of the local hidden gems.

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Hungry? Guided Foodie Tours of Vancouver

Dining at West Restaurant – Vancouver Dining Par Excellance

In Vancouver—a city with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to world-class cuisine—it’s difficult to name a single restaurant as the “best.” But if that title could be claimed, West Restaurant + Bar would certainly be among the very top contenders.

The recipient of an enormous array of awards (including AAA’s Four Diamond Award and four consecutive wins for Restaurant of the Year by Vancouver Restaurant Magazine) and famed for its outstanding contemporary cuisine by Chef David Gunawan, perfect service, and bartender extraordinaire David Wolowidnyk* (himself a frequent winner of Bartender of the Year), West has a grandiose reputation. But it takes just one visit to this South Granville institution to confirm that that reputation is well-earned.

Or, to put it more simply: After dining at West last night, my partner and I declared it one of the best meals we’d had in our life. (And as someone who often writes about food, we’ve tried a lot of restaurants!)

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Dining at West Restaurant – Vancouver Dining Par Excellance