A Very Merry Cocktail Crawl

Get in the holiday “spirits” with this seasonal Vancouver sip-around

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the city
Restaurants were serving mixed drinks that were pretty.
Cinnamon and spices, vermouth and rum
Infused with cherry, orange and hints of sugarplum.

To savour these seasonal brews while they’re here
Follow this self-guided tour with good cheer.
Five Christmas cocktails with their own unique spin
From the pros who designed them –
Now come, let’s begin.

Photo: Jorden Hutchison

Stop 1: Cento Notti at the OPUS Hotel. Cento Notti adds a dash of La Dolce Vita to the holiday season with Italian-inspired decor and brilliantly hued drinks guaranteed to create a stylish Yaletown Christmas.

Cocktail The Tipsy Nick

Mixologists Christian Matifat and Jim Shelton

Star Ingredients Bourbon and pressed apple cider

Tastes like… Frothy egg white, cinnamon and a subtle sour kick

Christmas memory that this cocktail evokes? “Savouring homemade apple cider as a kid” – Christian

Photo: Jorden Hutchison

Stop 2: YEW at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Bar staff begin preparations for YEW’s signature Christmas cocktail in June, when walnuts for the nocino liquer are harvested, soaked in vodka and spices and sealed in airtight containers. Months later, on presentation, the cocktail is finished with flaming orange oil.

Cocktail Christmas in Manhattan

Mixologist Justin Taylor

Star Ingredient House-made nocino infused with star anise, cloves, cinnamon and orange

Tastes like… Strong rye whiskey with hints of citrus

Christmas memory that this cocktail evokes? “Watching films featuring the giant Christmas tree and skating rink in New York’s Rockefeller Square” – Justin

Photo: Jorden Hutchison

Stop 3: L’Abattoir. Paying homage to Gastown’s irreverent founder, L’Abattoir’s holiday cocktail upgrades classic eggnog to a smooth brew that’s at once complex, refreshing and utterly sophisticated.

Cocktail Gassy Jack Flip

Mixologist Shaun Layton

Star Ingredients Black chocolate stout, rum, a whole egg and cinnamon-clove syrup

Tastes like… Full-bodied eggnog with a chocolate twist

Christmas memory that this cocktail evokes? “Kicking back with a post-dinner cigar… beside a blazing fireplace, of course” – Shaun

Photo: Jorden Hutchison

Stop 4: Pourhouse. Dim, candle-lit and buzzing with holiday anticipation, Pourhouse is ideal for pulling up a barstool and working through one of the city’s best cocktail menus. Don’t get too comfortable though – there’s still one stop left on the tour.

Cocktal Traditional Eggnog

Mixologist Christopher Flett

Star Ingredient Aged rum

Tastes like… Whipped rum with a lingering nutmeg finish

Christmas memory that this cocktail evokes? “Working at Chow on Granville and consuming 10 of these cocktails in one night. That’s a lot of eggs” – Christopher

Photo: Jorden Hutchison

Stop 5: Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. With sparkling decorations, pine-fresh trees and Yuletide cocktails to make even Saint Nick forget his milk and cookies, the Fairmont Pacific Rim is the perfect place to settle in after a successful Christmas cocktail crawl – or to get your bearing before venturing back out for round two.

Cocktail Reindeer’s Reins

Mixologist Max Borrowman

Star Ingredients Malbec wine, campari, honey vanilla syrup

Tastes like… Crisp cherry bitters

Christmas memory that this cocktail evokes? “Relaxing with friends and family. Being home” – Max

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