Vancouver’s Coolest #ChicksWithMixingSticks


Women bartenders are owning the Vancouver bar scene now with Uva/Bittered Sling’s Lauren Mote representing Canada at World Class in South Africa later this month, and West’s Sabrine Dhaliwal winning the Belvedere Challenge in London recently.  With that in mind, the #ChicksWithMixingSticks hashtag which shines a light on the skills of women bartenders is proving to be the hottest cocktail trend this month. Here are eight of the city’s finest, go, seek them out and say we sent you… 


Who: Lauren Mote

Bartending at: UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar / Bittered Sling Bitters

Favourite drink to make: Whatever the guest desires! During the summer months, I love Mai Tai-style cocktails and in winter, I love a low and slow stirred Cognac cocktail like our Charentes-Chanson.

Favourite drink to drink: I’m very easy going when it comes to beverages. I love a classic French 75, Gin Martini or Vieux Carré. Throw in a Negroni and you can be my Valentine.

In 140 characters or less, women bartenders are: It’s been a long road to achieve equal billing with our male counterparts. We are here now and together are all just “bartenders”. No bias.

What’s on-trend to drink this summer: People are creatures of habit, so I think anything goes — bubbles to celebrate, a Rum Punch to refresh, a Manhattan to ponder and a Ramos Gin Fizz for breakfast.



Who: Sabrine Dhaliwal

Bartendering at: West Restaurant

Favourite Drink to make: anything the guest wants

Favourite drink to drink: Proper made rye manhattan

Women bartenders are: Badass women who are truly inspiring, hard working, kind, supportive loving people. We push each other beyond our boundaries in a good way.

What’s on-trend to drink this summer: Bright refreshing, long gin drinks with seasonal fruit.


Who: Lauren Maxwell

Bartending at: Chambar Restaurant

Favourite drink to make: Bourbon Sour, I enjoy the reward of getting lots of froth by taking the time to shake it twice.

Favourite drink to drink: The Vesper, it’s clean, crisp and delicious in its simplicity.

Female bartenders are: Being a young bartender, it’s great to have so many talented women to learn from. Whether it be from cocktail menus, competitions or just watching them work behind bar. Because bartending is such a male dominated industry, I enjoy meeting the challenge of being creative and innovative to do my best to represent the amazing female talent in our city’s cocktail scene.

Photo Credit: Talia Kleinplatz

Photo Credit: Talia Kleinplatz

Who: Katie Ingram

Bartending at: Uva Wine + Cocktail Bar

Favourite drink to make: Chartreuse Milkshake (only available at Uva!)

Favourite drink to drink: Negroni

Women bartenders are: Rad because even in a man’s world we can do it all in a dress, heels AND kill it in pants.

What’s on-trend to drink this summer: Sour beers and Vermouth cocktails, like the Americano!

Photo credit Fred Fung

Photo credit Fred Fung

Who: Wendy McGuinness

Bartending at: Royal Dinette

Favourite drink to make: The Old Fashioned. This cocktail is truly an expression of the bartender. It takes time and patience to make, which also gives me a great opportunity to get to know the guest.

Favourite drink to drink: My go-to is usually the Negroni, but I’ve been leaning towards any type of Rye or Bourbon Sour to get me through this heat wave. At Royal Dinette, I’m mixing up a variation called “The Kentucky Waltz,” which is a Bourbon Sour shaken with Sapo Bravo, apricots and Odd Society Bittersweet Vermouth. I finish the cocktail with 10 yo Ardbeg to give it a super peated and smokey nose.

In 140 characters or less, women bartenders are: Taking over! It used to be such a boy’s club. It’s amazing to see so many talented females running the city’s top cocktail programs now.

What’s on-trend to drink this summer:  I think light, subtle cocktails are really making a mark this summer. At Royal Dinette we’re doing refreshing aperitifs like the Americano, Pastis et L’eau and Aperol Spritz, all of which are available for $6 during L’Apéro (Happy Hour) from 4:30 – 6:00 pm — perfect for sipping on after work!


Who: Carolyn Yu

Bartending at: Bauhaus Restaurant, Gastown, Vancouver

Favourite drink to make: Whatever it is that my guest asks for. I want all of them to get exactly what they want, every time they visit me at my bar. If I’m not familiar with their request, I’d gladly be taught how to do it. I do (not so) secretly love giving my friends a beer and a shot when they ask me to give them whatever I want, though. “It’s called a Boilermaker!”

Favourite drink to drink: It really depends on why I’m drinking. If I’m looking to relax after work, I’ll sip on bourbon neat. When I’m out with friends, I’ll start with a bubbly cocktail, maybe a Seelbach, in which case I’ll usually end the night with an Old Pal. If a friend is behind the bar, I’d ask him/her to make me whatever they’re working on or excited about, then we’ll discuss it. We bartenders are a super nerdy lot.

Women bartenders are: Not shy. We are a crafty, confident, clever and often comical lot. I think that’s all the alliteration I can fit in. Don’t mess with us.

What’s on-trend to drink this summer: I can’t speak for the world at large, but I’d personally like to forage more for ingredients. BC’s archaic liquor laws puts us at a disadvantage when it comes to product listings, but I think if we make use of what we have in our backyards and oceans, we can do some really unique West Coast specific stuff. Also, always pick your Chef’s brain. They’re gold mines when it comes to flavour combinations.


Who: Kylie Bartlett
Bartending at: Odd Society Spirits Lounge
Favourite drink to make: Whatever inspires me at the time, a new recipe I’ve just learned or created. At the moment I’m into the French Passion we have at the distillery, it’s mango-infused East Van vodka.
Favourite drink to drink: Right now I’m into drinking gimlets, great for summer, basically a gin daiquiri.
Women bartenders are: I think its really important to have gender equality –and for that matter equality for all different people. Different schools of thought bring diversity to whatever it is they are involved in, I feel that means growth and development beyond what could be achieved by just a small group, or one gender. I guess that’s why I think women bartenders are important; they bring diversity and another perspective to what used to be a male dominated scene. We still need more!
What’s on trend to drink this summer: The summer trend is always about what’s fresh and refreshing, local ingredients and using what’s around you. Beer cocktails are back in fashion this season, as are cocktails with kombucha!


Who: Fiona Grieve

Bartending at: The Buckstop.

Favourite drink to make: I like it when someone sits down and tells me their mood and I can use our ever-changing stock of spirits, syrups, house-made bitters and whatever is local and fresh to make them a custom drink. That’s the best kind of bartending.

Favourite drink: Does coffee count? I drink beer and whisky. Lots of scotch and heaps of Wild Turkey.

Women bartenders are: You would think that we don’t need to differentiate between women and men as bartenders, I usually feel that we have progressed past where females in hospitality are hired strictly for their appearance and males are given the positions based on skill and knowledge but I see differently every time I go out. Also, the amount of times people have assumed one of my male co workers is the ‘owner’ simply because he’s a guy, that happens daily. I’m actually the owner! But I don’t see a difference in skill sets between females and males, perhaps women are a bit more intuitive and less likely to measure than men who are often a bit more structured and by the book?

What’s on-trend to drink this summer: Every summer I go back to playing with teas; I started with them because of the southern sweet tea aspect and there’s so many amazing new teas every summer that I always return to them when it gets hot out. Less eggs and more egg whites. Also obviously fresh fruit and I am loving the trend of pulling everything from my kitchen that doesn’t belong in a cocktail and throwing it in. Dijon, soy sauce, carrots, dill.  Kitchen bartending is the best.


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