Reasons to Love Vancouver: Bartenders are the New Chefs

Because you just can't get a bad drink in this city

Lauren Mote

Lauren Mote (Photo: Grant Harder)

Vancouverites were early adopters of the idea that a bartender could be an artisan. Making magic with an arsenal of elixirs, shrubs and bitters, today’s YVR barkeepers are more akin to the famously precise chef Thomas Keller in their exacting approach to creating that perfect sip. They use only top-shelf booze, study flavour profiles and design revelatory tastes. And when the ingredients don’t exist, they invent them. Lauren Mote (pictured above), the head honcho at UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar and winner of Canada’s Bartender of the Year at the esteemed international Diageo competition, is also the genius behind the small-batch bitters company Bittered Sling, for which she’s created such fantastically weird flavours as Shanghai Rhubarb and Western Elderberry.

Vancouver Cocktail Bar Drink

The Loup-Garou at UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar blends Johnnie Walker Platinum and 16-year-old Lagavulin with rare tinctures and bitters (Photo: Grant Harder)

But Vancouver’s bartenders are no slaves to fancy. Evelyn Chick at Blue Water Cafe and CinCin’s David Wolowidnyk can both make a Grapefruit Boulevardier (the love child of a Manhattan and a Negroni) with their eyes closed while conducting a master class on the drink’s genealogy, but they’ll also do up a simple vodka soda if that’s your jam. All of which adds up to one wonderful truth: you have to look hard to find a bad drink—or bad service—here.

See All the Reasons to Love Vancouver Now:
Meet Our West Coast Bloggers
Shopping, Shopping, Shopping
Everyone’s a Beer Geek
Leisure is a Serious Pursuit
Relaxation is an Art
The Art Scene is Booming
China is a Short Drive Away
Chill at World-Class Restos
Small-Batch Fashion Thrives
Vancouver Invented #healthyliving