bartenders sporting vests. sure, it’s a little cliche but there’s something to be said about a uniform. after all, there’s a sizable market for schoolgirl fetishes, but alas i digress. perhaps the draw of uniforms is the predictability in a world so full of fucked-up surprises. or maybe it’s become a way to combat the ever-growing frumpiness plaguing our society. either way, i’m all for it when it comes to dapper eye candy concocting tasty libations for me; such is the case at pourhouse, a gastown icon when it comes to classic cocktails. but even beyond the vintage decor and those magical little glasses served from the bar handcrafted of reclaimed douglas fir is the perfect bite (or 5)- it’s the gastropub stable of the scotch egg, a soft boiled egg swaddled in fennel sausage. and if that wasn’t already enough, then BREAD IT and FRY IT. i could definitely have eaten enough of those to send myself to the poorhouse, but at least i was left with something to write home about.
sometimes you feel tired. sometimes you feel sad. sometimes you just feel tired of being sad…and that’s when breakups ensue. and leading up to every breakup is the last happy moment you can remember of that relationship, the sweetness leading up to a bitter end. for me, this was hawksworth, the lounge grounding vancouver’s rosewood hotel georgia. emerging from the roaring 20’s, this hotel housed hollywood royalty, british royalty, and yes, even the king of rock and roll. sitting underneath big love (irony?), i sipped on kaj hackinen’s la croix: a cocktail of gin, giffard pamplemousse, fernet and cucumbers. had i known what the future would bring, i might have ordered the louis xiii rare cask 42,6, a rare cognac sheathed in baccarat black crystal and 22k rose gold. instead, i left the building just like elvis had so long ago, leaving behind that heartbreak hotel.
if there’s one thing to know about canada, it’s that canadians are, on average, friendlier and more attractive than americans. and while the american dollar may not stretch as far as it used to, i still make the trip up north every so often to be amongst my fellow socialists. vancouver has cultivated its bartending prowess significantly in the last few years, and what better way to skip the american insanity of black friday than by heading to the motherland for a tasty craft cocktail. vancouver’s magnetic north of cocktail culture seems to reside in the harbour-front district of gastown, with the diamond serving as home base. their cocktail menu is conveniently organized into categories of “delicate”, “proper”, and “notorious”, paying homage to classics while featuring a respectable list of house-made concoctions. case in point: the parliament– cachaca, fernet, lime, and honey; so fresh, so clean, so fucking delicious. and the barware? hands down the most beautifully etched cocktail glasses my lips have ever touched. as we sat at the communal table amongst locals and visitors alike, an evening of great conversation ensued, all of us more beautiful with every sip. you are, after all, what you drink.