Another year at the Science of Cocktails and it continues to not disappoint. This is a one-of-a-kind drink and food fuelled night, hosted within the city’s most iconic dome. Those gathered are here to support underserved schools, raising funds so that school children can have the opportunity to visit Science World. The monies earned cover 50-100% of their admission and transportation, with an estimation that 9,000 kids will be exploring Science World in wonder between 2020-2021. “By the end of this school year, over 30,000 kids will have benefitted from funds raised in the five years Science of Cocktails has been running”, (as taken from the event’s press release).

“All proceeds from Science of Cocktails, including ticket sales, 50/50 draw, coat check, and silent auction prizes, go to support the Class Field Trip Bursary Program”. With the dedicated event teams, bartenders, and chefs volunteering their time and efforts to make this event successful”. This great cause has already raised $1.2 million dollars cumulatively, thanks in part to selling out the 5 years in a row that they have been doing this.

For those who have yet to attend, this is a great night where guests peruse tables and stands, chatting up the city’s favourite chefs and most talented bartenders. Each of which have created a sensory food or drink experience to be sampled. Each of which showcases science through unique ingredients and/or unorthodox techniques.

This year there were more than 35 cocktail stations and a handful of food stations. So many different stalls that we were unable to visit and cover them all. The following is what we did get to, with a few of my favourites highlighted.

Worth noting is that a lot of the food tables ran out mid way through the night, so you need to work with urgency if you want to hit them all. With a buffet mentality you can pretty much eat and drink as much as you like, tasting it all, and returning for your favourites.

“Empress” gin showcased their colour changing liquor by adding acid in the form of tonic water and lemon. They were able to do this to match Pantone’s current colour of the year: “classic blue” and a purple in “Radiant Orchid”. The colour cards here were a nice touch.

“Monkey Shoulder” whiskey teamed up with Nespresso for a spiked coffee shot, sweetened with pineapple flavoured cotton candy for extra whimsy.

I am forever a fan of “Hendricks” and their romantic branding coupled with a little tongue and cheek sensuality.

“Bombay Sapphire” and “St. Germain” made a cocktail that glowed in the light of a black light bulb.

A robot bartender took precision mixing to a whole new level by making White Russians for its audience.

“Maestro Dobel Tequila” put on a show by adding a lot of smoke to their cocktail.

A similar technique and trend was also used in the “Bubble and Pop” cocktail with flavour adding smoke.

But why drink your cocktail when you can chew it? Especially if they are gelatine shots served by a lucha libre.

“Nutrl vodka” had a three storey tea drip that was eye catching.

And for those who wanted a break from mixed drinks, they could look to “Road 13” for either their red or white pours.

Feeling a little peckish? “El PLTR” impressed your eyes and your stomach with their expansive charcuterie platter. A collection of finger foods in savoury and sweet from meat balls and hummus to fresh fruit and chocolate with nuts. A help yourself smorgasbord that saw a continuous line.

At the “Lazy Gourmet” booth guests had the black ink risotto with salmon crudo, citrus pearls, and fennel dust.

“Emelle’s” catering offered up easy to eat “elemental salad spoons”. Beet and balsamic spheres with an infused extra virgin olive oil and freeze dried plant-based “chèvre”.

“Hapa Izakaya’s” vegan edamame roll was a popular one. A fully loaded sushi roll with edamame, avocado, shiso, oshinko, green beans, rice puffs, and a torched miso sauce.

“Peake of Catering’s”, Chef Michael Chan won best overall dish for his Lobster Terrine with Crystal Bread and Miso Powder. A surreal looking hors d’oeuvre that had you doing a double take, wondering if you were going to be eating plastic.

And as you sipped and nibbled you have the option of taking in scientific demonstrations like the “Reuben’s Tube, where sound waves create spectacular columns of flames”. And at the centre stage there were a variety of shows at predetermined time slots, like the tricky bartending. All the regular exhibits were also open for interacting with as well.

Like the feature exhibit, which is the new “LEGO Towers or Tomorrow”. This has been transformed to the VIP lounge. A special area with additional activities, live music, and catering for special ticket holders. The extra cost in the ticket gives you extra. And it is well worth it for the ability to sit and relax in a calm space, alone. A respite between the hustle and bustle of this multi-storey event.

It included a stage with live performers, and a lengthy bar offering specialty mixed cocktails only available within.

Here, VIPs could get professional head shots to take home as souvenirs, by “The Near and Dear”. Andrea our artistic director was great at posing her models, and recreating their vision for themselves in black and white.

VIPs also enjoyed additional food the likes of a seafood grazing platter hosted by “Boulevard”. An impressive spread that included fresh shucked oysters, crab legs, and large shrimp. So impressive that it won Chef Roger Ma and his team the title of “Best Presentation”.

There was also a circulating collection of small bites that include foie gras macarons, and later desserts when the night drew to a close. Two bite sponge and mousse, panna cotta, chocolates and gummies.

In short, there is no other event like this, and many reasons why I look forward to it every year. If you have never been, make sure you bookmark the link below to attend next year’s soirée. And if you have, upgrade the experience with a VIP ticket, which is well worth it. Because remember, 100% of your ticket goes towards a great cause.

Check out the more telling vlog, now up on my YouTube Channel: MaggiMei.

Presale tickets are already available for next year’s event:
When: February 4, 2021
Where: TELUS World of Science | 1455 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC
Price: Presale General Admission tickets cost $135 with a charitable tax receipt of $30. Presale VIP tickets cost $225 with a charitable tax receipt of $125
Tickets: Presale tickets are available until February 28 at https://www.scienceworld.ca/science-of-cocktails/tickets/
Hashtag: #ScienceOfCocktails