With the weather turning to a chill and October right around the corner, it is sweater weather and spooky season, meaning everyone’s favourite excuse to dress up is here! And to mark the occasion, Vancouver has a new Halloween themed pop-up to report on!
This is Black Lagoon, an established goth-metal pop-up bar that is set to debut in nine cities across North America this October, which includes Vancouver. In Vancouver, it will be held at the Butcher and Bullock, the ideal location considering this late-night pub/bar’s regular decor includes a display hearse and horror movies projected on rotation.
We were invited to get a sneak peak of the experience at the end of August, but I thought it only relevant to post now, closer to the season. Especially as the event officially runs from October 11th, 2022 through to Halloween.
In the weeks leading up to Halloween, Butcher and Bullock will be transformed into a “truly wicked environment, with decor queues taken from goth culture and cult horror – think more House of 1,000 Corpses and less The Nightmare Before Christmas”. As for music, Black Lagoon’s playlist will “mirror its more hardcore vibe, throwing in some punk and metal along with a soundtrack of eerie noises”. Depending on the market, you also may find live entertainment that fits with this vibe.
Our preview event did not have the afore-described decor or music, but we did get to play with string lights and a smoke machine. And more importantly we got to sip from a curated selection of themed cocktails. The same ones that will be made available during the actual event, each served in custom glassware with ghoulish names like Screaming Banshee, Lilith’s Cup, Closed Casket, and Hellraiser.
With the show-runners having a strong background in the spirits world (intentional spooky pun), they wanted to pay extra attention to making sure their list of curated cocktails matched their goth-metal theme and were as tasty as they were “blood curdling”. The drink menu is built around Halloween hues with cocktail coloured in blood red, darkest black, and an eerie orange to celebrate the season. And a few of the beverages will be served in custom glassware that guests can purchase to take home as souvenirs.
The Screaming Banshee is made with Botanist Gin, Giffard L’Abricot, pineapple syrup, lime, seltzer, Greek yogurt, and Scrappy’s aromatic bitters. This sharp drink water downs quick if you don’t go at it. I didn’t get the creaminess of the yogurt, but did make out its tang alongside the tropical pineapple.
Hexes For Your Exes is Lot40 Rye, Blanco Vermouth, kiwi, Giffard Melon, and seltzer. The kiwi was an interesting touch, it felt orchard meets tropical with the introduction of melon to the mix.
Blood Rave is a combination of Sombra Mezcal, Hornito’s Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, lime, Falernum, beets, and Scrappy’s aromatic bitters. I didn’t taste the beets, but we saw it red hue. This one was very boozy with a tart berry finish.
Lilith’s Cup is a mix of Mount Gay Black Barrel, Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, Blanco Vermouth, Aperol, passionfruit syrup, and glitter. You get passion fruit at the forefront of this, and the glitter is reason enough to order it.
The Double Cross is Maker’s mark Bourbon, Amontillado Sherry, Rosso Vermouth, and green apple. This reminded me of caramel apples, given the green apple and the warmth of caramel, I thought I tasted from the smokey bourbon.
The Holy Driver has Lot40 Dark Oak, St Remy Brandy, coconut, cinnamon, grapefruit, lime and bitters. The Holy Driver had me craving dinner, the combination of cinnamon and coconut had me thinking curry.
Other cocktails that are advertised as being on the menu and were not available on this day were the Closed Casket with Bruichladdich Classic, St. Remy, Giffard L’Abricot, passionfruit syrup, and miso falernum. And the Hellraiser with Hornitos, Chairman’s Spiced rum, Cointreau, and spiced oat orgreat.
In closing, this should be a fun one for those who loves a good theme like I do, coupled with any reason to dress up.
Butcher and Bullock
911 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC V6C 3B2
October 11-31st, 2022