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Vancouver Cocktail Week 2023

With the gloomy weather in full swing and the sparkle of the holidays behind us, I am already looking to warmer and brighter things. This mindset coincides with the advance preview of Vancouver Cocktail Week for 2023. running from March 5th to the 11th, VCW 2023 is presented by The Alchemist Magazine and will celebrate the city’s cocktail culture with seven days of events designed to appeal to industry, consumers, visitors and media alike.

And on this day we were invited down to Medina Cafe to get a sneak peek of some of the sponsored spirits and the talent behind some of the events being offered during the week.

This is the second year that they are hosting this city-wide event designed to put focus on all the sips and spirits we pair with our food and outings. The focus is put on the city’s vibrant food culture and all the multi-award-winning bartenders and ambassadors that add lustre to this community. Not only is this the perfect platform to showcase the talent behind the city’s drinking trends, but a fun one for those who get to reap the awards of their drink slinging.

The week will host signature events that function more like feasts, seminars that will have even the most serious of experts walking away with learning something new, dinners that perfectly pair drinks and food through multiple courses, and a slew of elevated happy hour offerings. Details and how to purchase tickets are available in the official link below, but I have also copied the bulk of the information for easy reference here. Although please note, more events will be added as they are confirmed, but the following list will not be.



VCW 2023 Signature Events

Punch Brunch
Botanist Restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
March 5, 2022
11:30 am to 2 pm
Join us for the third annual Vancouver Cocktail Week brunch at Botanist featuring cocktails created and handcrafted by the city’s top bartenders and paired with courses from executive chef Hector Laguna’s dynamic brunch menu. This event is a delightful discovery of flavours as top bartenders create surprising and inspired cocktails, and one of Vancouver’s most talented chefs matches their creations with new spins on classic brunch dishes.

Golden Era Cocktail Revival Gala
Pacific Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
March 11, 2023
6 to 7 pm VIPs • 7 to 11 pm Partygoers
Raise your glass to the fall of Prohibition and enter the golden era of cocktails at an epic party that takes you on a glamorous journey through tipsy traditions. Throughout the ballroom—designed in 1939 and with more than 800 hours of hand-painted details—stations featuring local bar stars and global brand ambassadors will offer drinks representing different eras in cocktail culture past and present.

Come early and enjoy our VIP hour, where you can mingle with our international and national VIP guests while enjoying passed canapés and cocktails.
Following the VIP hour, cheer on the finalists in the World Class Canada bartender competition during their speed-round hour before we announce the 2023 Canadian Bartender of the Year.
Then enjoy the food stations, live music and DJ, and cast your bids in the silent auction to support the BC Hospitality Foundation and its scholarship program. And don’t forget to visit the pop-up Legacy Liquor Store where you can pick up the products from the bar stations.


VCW 2023 Seminars
These educational events feature a combination of sessions for industry and consumers. There is serious education and training that goes into every cocktail. Learn about spirits, their history, cocktail techniques and more from some of Canada’s greatest experts in the field. Note that some seminars are designed for industry professionals only, while others are open to everyone.

The Impossible to Tell (Mostly) True History of Citrus
Copperpenny Distilling Co.
103 – 288 East Esplanade
Sunday, March 5
7 pm
Citrus is an indispensable component of craft bartending. Imbibe five distinct cocktails as you discover everything you need to know about citrus fruits, their uses and great stories of the evolution of cocktail culture from acclaimed bartenders Tarquin Melnyk and Robyn Gray. A must-attend event for cocktail enthusiast and professional bartenders alike, set in the stunning space of North Vancouver’s Copperpenny Distilling Co.

Classic Cocktail Master Class and Workshop
Mount Pleasant Vintage & Provisions
67 West 6th Avenue
Monday, March 6
3 to 4 pm
Learn the classic cocktail serves and about what’s #trending from Diageo World Class bartenders.

Coffee Cocktails Master Class
Their There
2042 West 4th Avenue
Tuesday, March 7
5 to 8 pm
Led by Diageo World Class bartenders, learn how to make and enjoy delicious coffee cocktails using Ketel One vodka, Roe & Co Irish whiskey and Don Julio tequila while you indulge in Their There’s famous Mochi donuts.

No & Low Alcohol Cocktails & Canapés
Botanist Restaurant
1038 Canada Place
Wednesday, March 8
3 to 5 pm
Led by Diageo World Class bartenders, learn how to make tasty no- and low-alcohol cocktails at home with Seedlip and Ketel One Botanicals while you enjoy some canapés.

Waterford: Terroir in Whisky
The Diamond
6 Powell Street
Wednesday, March 8
3:30 to 5 pm
Join plant scientist and barley expert Dr. Dustin Herb in this rigorous discussion (and tasting) of the influence of terroir on single malt whisky. He will share the latest research, dispel the myths and open our minds to the new frontiers of natural flavour. Influenced by the world’s greatest winemakers, Waterford Irish Whisky obsessively brings the same intellectual drive, methodology and rigour to barley.

Chinese Dumpling Master Class with Johnnie Walker cocktails
Propaganda Coffee
209 East Pender Street
Friday, March 10
5:30 to 8:30pm
Dumplings are not just one of the best-loved foods in China and around the world, they also symbolize good fortune and wealth. Judy, also known as the dumpling diva, passes on this Chinese tradition through her dumpling-making masterclass that has been featured by CityTV, WhereTraveler and Airbnb. This will be a hands-on experience. We’ll discuss what makes a good filling, prep the ingredients (local, organic and free range), fold the wrappers, cook the dumplings and then, of course, we’ll eat them. While learning to be a dumpling-making master, you will enjoy well-crafted Johnnie Walker cocktails.

What makes a luxury rum sustainable: an exploration of luxury rums by Flor de Caña
Legacy Liquor Store
1633 Manitoba Street
Friday, March 10
7 to 8:30 pm
Brand ambassador Chris Mosey will talk about the history of Flor de Caña, its production and its impact. A small food pairing will be offered to taste with each rum.


VCW 2023 Events
Sample the city’s best cocktail and food offerings with these ticketed events. These ticketed events range from master classes to cocktail-paired dinners to drag shows, and represent the wide world of cocktail culture in Vancouver and beyond. Many feature global brand ambassadors and the city’s top bar stars—and all of them offer exciting tastes for those thirsty for new experiences.

Oysters & Scotchtails
Bar Susu
209 East 6th Avenue
Sunday, March 5
1 pm and 3 pm seatings
Enjoy freshly shucked oysters expertly paired with three handcrafted Scotchtails (featuring Talisker, The Singleton and Johnnie Walker) at Bar Susu, featured in the Michelin guide to Vancouver.

Campari Negroni Hour
Homer St. Café and Bar
898 Homer Street
Sunday, March 5
2:30-5:30 pm
Join us for Negroni Hour, featuring a Negroni fountain, DJ and Campari Negroni cocktail list. Ticket includes one complimentary Negroni.

Walktails in Gastown: Vancouver’s drinking history
Meeting point/tour start in Gastown to be confirmed
Sunday, March 5
4 to 7 pm
Take a “walktail” tour of Gastown, Vancouver’s original drink-savvy neighbourhood. This guided walking tour explores the downtown nightlife hotspot that just happens to be the founding location of both the city and its cocktail culture. You’ll discover not only insider secrets from local bar and drinks lore, but also experience some of the Gastown locations and events that made Vancouver the world-class drinking city it is today. Over three hours, you’ll make three to four stops and enjoy bespoke sips—including a very special 90-day-barrel-aged cocktail batch created especially for VCW2023—plus tips from local spirits and drinks expert, The Alchemist columnist Charlene Rooke, on how to wood-age your own drinks at home.


Scotch & Charcuterie Pairing
1026 Mainland Street
Monday, March 6
4 to 6 pm
Explore the different whisky regions of Scotland, tasting iconic single malts (Lagavulin, Talisker, Glenkinchie and The Singleton) with the perfect charcuterie and cheese pairing.


Classic Mexican Cocktails & Tacos with Don Julio
Legacy Liquor Store’s “Taste of Legacy”
1633 Manitoba Street
Monday, March 6
6 to 8:30 pm
Learn how to make 3 classic Tequila cocktails (Paloma, Margarita, Old Fashioned) paired with tacos from Maizal. Featuring Don Julio Blanco, Reposado and Anejo tequilas.

West Coast BBQ Dinner
Whiskey Six BBQ
826 Renfrew Street
Monday, March 6 & Tuesday, March 7
6 pm
Whiskey Six hosts a five-course BBQ dinner, each course paired with a cocktail made with spirits from one of our fine B.C. distilleries. Whiskey Six BBQ brings together traditional barbecue and organic ingredients from local farmers and suppliers to challenge the traditional view of barbecue without compromising on ingredients, reinventing what can be created on the grill and smoker. This is West Coast BBQ.


Campari Boulevardier Party x International Women’s Day
The Chickadee Room in Juke Fried Chicken
182 Keefer Street
Tuesday, March 7
Enjoy a complimentary Boulevardier and snacks provided by Juke Fried Chicken. All proceeds going towards Vancouver Eastside Women’s Centre.


Chef’s Table Dinner with Amari Cocktail Pairings
1017 West Hastings Street
Tuesday, March 7
6:30 pm
Campari Canada invites you to an evening of Amari tasting and cocktails at David Hawksworth’s Nightingale restaurant. Indulge in an unforgettable chef’s table dining experience alongside head chef Alan Tam and Campari Academy Canada’s Priya Shah. Priya will walk you through the nuances and flavour profiles of Amari from the south to the north of Italy while you enjoy Nightingale’s farm-to-table cuisine, paired with original Amari cocktails. An incredible way to spend a spirited evening with friends while gaining insight into the historical and hip world of Amari! See you there.

4 Course Sustainable Dinner with Luxury Rum Cocktail Pairings
Straight and Marrow
1869 Powell Street
Tuesday, March 7
7pm and 8pm
Enjoy a sustainably sourced 4 course meal paired with 4 cocktails from Flor de Caña’s luxury range (12yr, 15 ECO, 18yr & 25yr).


Old School Cool with Ford’s Gin
Brass Fish Tavern
385 Burrard Street
Tuesday March 7
7 to 10 pm
A celebration of gin. The iconic gin classics are about as cool as cocktails get. Join us at Brass as we welcome Ford’s Ginfor a night of gin cocktails, Gin & Tonics and, of course, gin Martinis. Explore the botanicals of gin through an aromatic demonstration table, experiment with flavours with a DIY G&T menu and enjoy a selection of classic and modern gin Martini variations. Tickets Include two cocktails (one Gin & Tonic and one Martini) and two West Coast oysters served with accompaniments. Full kitchen menu available as well as a feature oyster menu.


Giffard Hour: Five Generations of Savoir Faire through Cocktails and Fun Bites
Tableau Bar Bistro
1181 Melville Street
Wednesday, March 8
3 to 7 pm
Since 1885, when pharmacist Èmile Giffard created the digestif Menthe Pastille, Giffard has been making premium liqueurs and syrups in Angers, France. Today this family-owned business still transforms top-quality botanicals into products used by the world’s top bartenders—from apricot liqueur and almond syrup to Violette and the new Triple Sec. Sample what they do best at this cocktail soirée where guests can enjoy three craft cocktails along with creative canapés.

Vij’s Private Dinner & Cocktail Pairing
3107 Cambie Street
Wednesday, March 8
6:30 to 9:30 pm
Enjoy the VIP experience at Vij’s, recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, at this private multi-course dinner. Each course of modern Indian fare is perfectly paired with expertly crafted cocktails featuring Johnnie Walker and Tanqueray 10, and enjoyed in Vij’s botanical rooftop solarium.


Whisky Den Featuring Lot 40 Canadian Whisky
Clough Club
212 Abbott Street
Wednesday, March 8
7 to 10 pm
The Whisky Den is back! Join us at Clough Club for a night of whisky exploration, education and, of course, cocktails. We will be tasting a selection of Canadian whisky expressions, with a paired menu, canapés and feature cocktails, all hosted by a Canadian whisky expert every step of the way. Tickets include welcome canapés, three-course set menu, cocktail pairings and tasting.


Flor de Caña Rum presents: Late Night Snack x Diamond
The Diamond
6 Powell Street
Wednesday, March 8
7 pm: Doors
8 pm: Show
Just when you thought you were full, Late Night Snack is back, babies, with a cast that’ll leave you hungry for more! Enjoy one of Vancouver’s most celebrated drag acts, “Late Night Snack,” at The Diamond Cocktail Bar with a special Flor de Caña sustainable cocktail list to wash it all down!

Dinner at L’Abattoir with Esquimalt Vermouth & Apéritifs
L’Abattoir (Private Dining Room)
217 Carrall Street
Thursday, March 9
6 pm
Join us for a collaboration dinner with award winning Esquimalt Vermouth & Apéritifs. Hosted by chef Lee Cooper, Esquimalt co-founder Quinn Palmer and L’Abattoir bar manager Dave Bulters, the evening will feature an elevated multi-course menu with Esquimalt apéritifs and cocktail pairings. A truly unique Vancouver Cocktail Week evening awaits—come and experience first hand why these local vermouths and apéritifs need a place at your dinner table!


From Cognac to Barbados: A Renegade’s Voyage
Tableau Bar Bistro
1181 Melville Street
Thursday, March 9
6:30 pm Cocktail Reception
7 pm dinner
This four-course cocktail-pairing dinner takes your tastebuds on a journey that begins in Cognac more than four centuries ago, when the wine-growing Maison Ferrand was first established. In 1989, Alexandre Gabriel made it his mission to breathe new life into the old brand, using traditional craft production methods and premium ingredients. He began with Ferrand Cognac, the followed it with Citadelle Gin, Plantation Rum and Dry Curaçao. Follow the story via craft cocktails using these exceptional spirits, with gourmet dishes to accompany them.


Brunch for Good
Banter Room
1039 Mainland Street
Saturday, March 11
11 am to 2 pm
Brunch for Good! Enjoy a delicious brunch paired with Ketel One vodka cocktails, while supporting those who need a little extra help through the food bank.
A portion of the proceeds go to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

VCW 2023 Cinq A Sept Happy Hours
And if you are looking to partake in Vancouver Cocktail Week, but do not want to commit to a date and purchasing tickets so far away, then make a note to drop into a few of the following bars and restaurants for their elevated happy hour offerings. Based on the French concept of the “cinq à sept”—5 to 7 pm, the playful hours between work and family life. Expect VCW signature cocktails, snacks, entertainment, socializing and more. Note that these events are not ticketed; however, some establishments may recommend reservations, so call ahead to secure a seat.

The 515 Bar
521 Seymour Street

425 West Georgia Street

1029 West Cordova Street

Banter Room
1039 Mainland Street

Bar Susu
209 East 6th Avenue

Bayside Lounge
1755 Davie Street

Brass Fish Kitchen & Tavern
385 Burrard Street

Capo and The Spritz
350 Davie Street

1115 Alberni Street

569 Beatty Street

Clough Club
212 Abbott Street

Copperpenny Distilling Co.
103-288 Esplanade East

The Diamond
6 Powell Street

62 E Cordova St

Guilt & Company
1 Alexander Street

1212 Commercial Drive

Hawksworth Restaurant
801 West Georgia Street

Homer St. Café and Bar
898 Homer Street

217 Carrall Street

Land & Sea
1864 West 57th Avenue

Maxine’s Café & Bar
1325 Burrard Street

Medina Café
780 Richards Street

Notch8 Restaurant & Bar
900 West Georgia Street

1017 West Hastings Street

Per Se Social Corner
891 Homer Street

162 Water Street

Published on Main
3593 Main Street

The Stock Room
1144 Homer Street

Tableau Bar Bistro
1181 Melville Street

Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar
900 Seymour Street

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