Vancouver Bartenders Create New Spring Cocktails With Local Spirits

Juniper for Retouch-2

Shaun Layton of Juniper in his natural habitat.

Some of the city’s best barkeeps are serving up spring in a glass, using locally-made mixers, tinctures and elixirs, and of course world-class spirits. We caught up with a few, who shared their secret recipes, and where you can enjoy them.


Award-winning beverage manager Shaun Layton, formerly of L’Abattoir, and now dazzling us at Chinatown’s Juniper Kitchen & Bar; Layton has created what he calls the N.V. Mule. “NV means North Van, where I’m from. Also where Woods Spirit Co. Amaro is made, plus rhubarb is so hot right now.”

NV Mule

The N.V. Mule

N.V. Mule

  • 45 ml Sid’s Vodka (Vancouver-made)
  • 10 ml Aperol
  • 10 ml Wood’s Amaro
  • 10 ml Rhubarb syrup
  • 30 ml Fresh lime juice
  • 75 ml Dickie’s Ginger Beer (Vancouver-made)

Build ingredients over ice in a copper mug or rocks glass. Serve and enjoy.

Hy’s Steakhouse

Bar lead at Vancouver’s recently renovated upstairs (and seriously old-school stylist) cocktail bar, Ryan Shimozawa has created the Summer Song. He tells us this is “a bright, refreshing take on a Gin Sour where tart citrus and cucumber are balanced with Hendricks’s Gin and St. Germain elderflower liqueur.” The secret Vancouver-made ingredient? Bittered Sling grapefruit and hops bitters.

Hy's Summer Song Web Res

Hy’s Summer Song, light and refreshing

Summer Song

  • 1.5 oz Hendricks Gin
  • 0.5 oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz Cucumber simple syrup
  • 1 Fresh egg white
  • 3 Drops of Bittered Sling Grapefruit & Hops bitters

Add all ingredients to shaker tin except bitters. Dry shake vigorously. Add ice and wet shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Donnelly Group

Trevor Kallies, Bar & Beverage Director, created his Russian Spring Punch with Absolut Elyx vodka, Vancouver’s Odd Society cassis, lemon juice, and the BC Okanagan’s Haywire ‘The Bub’, sparkling wine. This recipe is adapted from one created by legendary London cocktail icon Dick Bradsell. Kallies discovered the recipe at Saxon & Parole, in NYC on one of this cocktail “research” trips.

Russian Spring Punch

Pretty in pink, the Russian Spring Punch

Russian Spring Punch

  • 1.5 oz Absolut Elyx vodka
  • 1/2 oz Odd Society cassis
  • 1/2 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Simple syrup
  • 4 oz Haywire ‘The Bub’ sparkling wine

Shake and strain all but sparkling into a wine glass. Fill glass half with ice and top with 5oz Haywire. Garnish with lemon zest and 3 raspberries.

Royal Dinette

Kaitlyn Stewart has tended bar at Cactus Club, Black & Blue and Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, and won the top West Coast placement in the Speed Rack Canada Female Bartending Competition. Now at Royal Dinette in downtown Vancouver, she created a summery, Creamsicle-inspired cocktail that features local distiller Odd Society’s East Van Vodka.


Katilyn Stewart, photographed by Fred Fung

Cream Sh-Boogie Bop’ Cocktail

  • 1 oz Milk liqueur
  • 1/2 oz East Van Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Orancio
  • 1 oz Orange juice
  • 1/2 oz Lemon juice
  • 1 oz Whey
  • 2 Dashes of orange bitters

Combine all ingredients into a shaker tin, shake vigoursly for 10 seconds, and find straine over ice into a rock glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

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