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Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar

Today I was invited to check out UVA, the downtown wine bar, kitty corner to the historic Orpheum theatre.

We were here to meet their new Bar Manager and the four new artisan cocktails he has created for their updated drink menu.

For those not familiar, UVA is one of the easiest bars to stop in at and grab a quick drink from. They also have Happy Hour specials as low as $4. We would try a couple of bites from this offering, so I will be sure to point them out below. Happy Hour is from 2-5pm daily and 9pm to close Sunday to Thursday.

Drink deals included classic cocktails and high balls from $12-13 depending on ounces, sangria for $13 at 3OZ, wine and sparkling for $8, beer for $7. For food personal sized pizzas are available for $7, fries for $4, and wings for $11.

Today we would start off with pitchers of Red Sangria prepared with red wine, apricot brandy, cranberry, lemonade, and fruit. Fun, fruity, and sweet; only $28 for 9oz during Industry Nights every Sunday. Each serves 3-4people.

Next we got into all of Bar Manager Nitka’s four new signature cocktails. Each prepared in conjunction to small bites passed out below.

The first was Jade, named in honour of his wife and her green coloured eyes. A similar hue to the fresh kiwi that dyed this cocktail green. Diplomatico rum infused with pear, kiwi puree, pear, and lime juice.

Watching it being mixed was a treat, as we witnessed a whole kiwi get juiced into the tumbler, and then struggled to run through the strainer.

I enjoyed how this one felt and tasted healthy like a spiked green juice, and at the same time dangerous because you can’t feel the 2oz hidden behind all the juicy fruit.

Next was the Red Moon or Pink Moon, depending on what you order either Red with tanqueray gin, taylor Ibv port, lime juice, and basil. Or Pink with tanqueray gin, aperol, lime juice, and cucumber. We would have the latter of this gin based drink for a refreshing summer sipper.

The Pink Moon was unique with its foamy fresh citrusy finish offering a fun mouth feel. As for taste, at its base this was a gin and soda mix with the familiar flavour of cucumber in the background. Lovely.

Our third cocktail was the Desert Revival made with montelobos mezcal, apricot brandy, chili mango, and lime. This gave you three flavours in one, almost consecutively. Smokey with the mezcal to start, then spicy with a back of the throat tingle from the chilli, and then finally sweetness from the mango to finish. This was the most memorable of the four and the strongest. This I would recommend and order this again.

And our last cocktail of the evening did not disappoint. Another unique offering that I have seen nothing like elsewhere.

The Pisco Nutcracker with el gobernador pisco, pistachio cream, hazelnut syrup,lemon juice, pineapple juice, and egg white. I have never heard of a pistachio based drink before and was gobsmacked at how well the flavour of the pistachio transitioned in this.

It was creamy and fragrant with the roasted nut, but at its base reminded me of a tangy Persian yogurt drink that I once ordered and tried, not knowing what I bought. Nothing else like it.

And as we sipped and simmered, we snacked on small plates from UVA’s regular food menu. Starting with warm herb and citrus marinated olives.

And their grilled house focaccia with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Next we enjoyed the Caramelized artichoke and white bean bruschetta. I originally thought it was humus given the texture. Topped with a fresh tomato and a red onion mix.

I really liked the Grilled Humboldt Squid with citrus salsa, arugula, and chickpea salad. The squid was perfectly prepared for a tender and substantial chew. The flavour similar to a zesty curry with heaty spices and a salad to refresh with sweet corn and tangy tomato.

Next we had their popular oven roasted beef meatballs with pomodoro sauce and reggiano. The sauce is what makes them, adding flavour and moisture. These are available at happy hour pricing.

The Spring Pea Arancini with its crispy shell and spicy Calabrian ricotta pesto was a nice pairing. The sweetness of the peas contrasting the fragrant spices of the peppery pesto.

And for dessert we dug into their Basque-style cheese cake with berry compote. Both this and the Classic Tiramisu tasted as expected.

In conclusion, a great stop for some classic Italian fare, and now one for unexpectedly exciting cocktails as well.

Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar
900 Seymour St, Vancouver BC V6B 0A8

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