Traditional recipes

Where to Find the Best Chinese-Inspired Cocktails in Vancouver

Where to Find the Best Chinese-Inspired Cocktails in Vancouver

Van City is known for a lot of things, but foodies and cocktail connoisseurs love it for its unique twist on the cocktail scene. With so many Chinese and Pacific Rim restaurants throughout Vancouver, it's no secret that the you'll find unique, Chinese-inspired cocktails there, too. Here's where to go to find the best Chinese-inspired cocktails (and the food's not that bad, either):

The Keefer Bar

This is where a speakeasy bar brings in the best Chinese Apothecary vibe, shares writer Alyssa Schwartz. Located in the Chinatown neighborhood, the Keefer Bar offers a classic cocktail menu with a Pacific twist. Try the Kalamansi Chili Sour, made with bourbon, Kalamansi chili simple syrup, lemon and egg white, or the Siamese Slipper, with gin, honeydew melon, green tea, dried kiwi and apple, absinthe, and lime.

Bao Bei

This Chinese brasserie has a cocktail menu unlike any other: chrysanthemum-infused tequila? Chinese plum bitters? Lemongrass-infused shochu? Only a few of the amazing infusions you'll find on the list. Not a cocktail person? You'll be plenty happy with the internationally spanning craft beer, cider, and wine list. (And you might even like the food, too.)

Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

No other hotel in Vancouver does cocktails (or sushi) quite this good. While the food stays mainly in the Pacific Rim, the cocktail menu expands worldwide, from Ireland's Jameson to Mexico's tequila. What we love? The Rose Fizz, with Hendrick's gin, rose water, lemon and cucumber, the Silver Age cocktail, with Noilly Prat, Lillet, St. Germain, and lemon.

Here's how to sample creative Chinese-inspired cocktails in Singapore

Brace yourself for a cocktail frenzy on September 6 at The St Regis Singapore Astor Bar. We're taking over the space and throwing a secret cocktail club inspired by the speakeasies of 1930s Shanghai. We've got four bartenders from the city's best bars shaking up a storm. Here's a sneak peek of the drinks these mixology masterminds have come up with.

Time Out Cocktail Club: Shanghai Nights is priced at $88 for four craft cocktails, canapés and beer all night. Book early to enjoy a buy three get one free promotion. Limited time only.


By Andrew Loudon, Tippling Club

Sweet fig-infused Rémy Martin cognac and maple syrup is balanced out with lemon juice and a dash of orange bitters.

Dangerous Romance

By Sam Wong, Mona Lounge

The Asian tipple expert has created a curious concoction of tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and homemade tomato shrub topped with a slice of bak kwa and a bouquet of thyme.

The French Concession

By Ronan Keilthy, Junior

Rising star bartender of the year, Ronan Keilthy's boozy creation of Remy Martin VSOP, The Botanist gin, jasmine-infused bianco vermouth and Kina L'Aero d'Or is one to get the party started.

Astor of the Orient

By Christian Chavez, Astor Bar

To celebrate The St Regis Singapore's 10th birthday, Christian Chavez, the Astor Bar's manager has come up with a refreshing blend of Mount Gay rum, lemon juice, tea syrup and blueberry finished with ginger and ginger beer for a spicy finish.

Delicious Chinese-Inspired Recipes That You'll Want To Make Over And Over Again

Chinese food is undoubtedly my favourite thing to eat. ever. The bold flavours, the variety of dishes, the fragrant smells. And there's so much more to the cuisine than you may know. Whether you're after a 'fakeaway' and fancy whipping up a delicious Chicken Chow Mein, or would prefer something along the lines of Honey Garlic Cauliflower or Szechuan Beef, there's plenty of Chinese-inspired recipes for you to choose from. Warning: the flavours that are rustled up in these recipes are insanely addictive.

Chicken fried rice is the comfort dish of Chinese food. This classic take on the favourite is easy to make and makes the perfect lunch or dinner.

Who doesn't love a good healthy snack? These little guys have just enough crunch and flavour to keep us going.

Roasted broccoli with a delish kick!

When we're looking for a spicy, flavourful side to brighten up our dinner, we turn to Bang Bang Cauliflower. Not only is it quick and easy, but the dish is super adaptable.

Cocktails, from left to right:

“Celtic Tiger,” Estragon

At this South End tapas haven, bartender Sahil Mehta enjoys introducing guests to traditional spirits from around the world. His Celtic Tiger shows several stripes: malty poitín meets the sweet-savory notes of Dutch-developed kümmel, flavored with caraway seed, fennel, and cumin, as well as falernum, a Caribbean staple spiced with clove and ginger. A little lime juice ties it all together.

“Irish Blood,” Cunard Tavern

To represent the melting-pot heritage of Eastie’s Jeffries Point, one of the neighborhood’s oldest residential sections, head bartender Joe Camiolo mixes Glendalough poitín, made from malted barley and sugar beet, with the crimson Italian and French cordials Campari and Lillet Rouge. The cocktail, garnished with blood-red beet sprouts, has a light sweetness that’ll leave you feeling sanguine.

24 Orleans St., East Boston, 617-567-7609,

“Poitini,” Bar Boulud

When bar manager Iveta Dragomirova needs poitín, she turns to Ireland’s
Glendalough Distillery, whose cofounder lives here in Boston. This month the swishy French bistro starts pouring a delicate Poitini, combining the whiskey with dry white vermouth and a shot of fresh green apple juice for some natural acidity,
plus lavender and orange bitters.

“Mad as a March Hare,” La Brasa

The name of the Irish-made poitín Mad March Hare was inspired by an idiom about competitive male rabbits brawling during mating season. But avoid bar fights, please, after sipping the spirit in beverage manager Mary-Margaret Gallup’s similarly named herbaceous cocktail. It’s enhanced with vermouth, bergamot oil, and rosemary syrup, and garnished with a rosemary sprig.

“Fist Full of Dollars,” Trina’s Starlite Lounge

Named for a Clint Eastwood flick, this drink packs a serious punch: After all, poitín is “raw in nature,” says Trina’s co-owner Beau Sturm. “It comes out of the still and there is a lot of complexity and character.” His Manhattan riff combines it with orange bitters and Amaro Montenegro, accentuating the nuttiness of the latter.

“Dying Paddy,” Olde Magoun’s Saloon

For the brunch menu’s lineup of “Hangover Drinks,” this neighborhood pub softens the potency of poitín with the sweetness of pineapple juice, then makes use of its strong craft-beer list by adding a topper of crisp, refreshing Hefeweizen. Consider it a much lighter hair of the dog that bit you.

Here's the summary: Last week I had a chance to compare tacos from two mexican restaurants. Don Guacamoles and La Taqueria (just newly open at 322 W. Hastings St). They both are good. But I persona.

Where to Find the Best Chinese-Inspired Cocktails in Vancouver - Recipes

Since opening its doors in the heart of downtown Vancouver's cultural and entertainment district, Uva has garnered the attention of Vancouverites and industry professionals as one of Vancouver's top wine and cocktail bars. Winning numerous awards over the years for its seasonal cocktail and varied wine program, it has solidified itself as one of the best place to get a drink!

Enticing cocktails, refined wines, eclectic import beers &mdash Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar is downtown Vancouver&rsquos enclave for connoisseurs of wines and spirits seeking a sanctuary that caresses the eye as well as the palate. From the finest charcuterie, to artisan cheeses, hard-to-find wine selections to hand-crafted cocktails, indulge in Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar&rsquos cosmopolitan, yet relaxed atmosphere.


By day, Uva is an authentic European-inspired caffé bar offering traditional Italian flavours with a modern flair. Combining the need of amazing coffee and great food for when you are on the go or in need of a break to unwind. Serving up a simple, yet flavourful menu of well-crafted coffees, daily fresh juices, baked goodies, and small plates &ndash all made with the freshest local and seasonal ingredients. Start your day off the right way as life is what happens between coffee and wine.

A cocktail with a mummified human toe in it?! It exists at this Canadian saloon

A saloon in Canada serves up the "Sourtoe Cocktail," which includes a mummified human toe. Video Elephant

If you're looking for a drink with an extra kick, the Sourtoe Cocktail has just the ingredient: a human toe.

Served up at the Downtown Hotel's Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City, Canada, the cocktail is connected to a legend that dates back to the 1920s about bootlegging brothers who placed one of their frostbitten toes in moonshine as a memen-toe . In 1973, the preserved toe was discovered and the Sourtoe Cocktail Club was born.

Nowadays, people from all over the world stop by the seemingly typical saloon in the Yukon territory to become part of its history.

Jacob Schutte, 29, from Perth, Australia, first heard about the cocktail on social media and quickly added it to his travel bucket list.

"It was just one of the things I had to go do," Schutte, who did the Sourtoe earlier this year, told USA TODAY.

And he isn't alone – Schutte says his certificate, which drinkers of the cocktail are gifted after completing the challenge, listed him as the 91,373rd person to drink it.

The Sourtoe Cocktail recipe is simple: "1 ounce (minimum) of alcohol, 1 dehydrated toe, garnish with courage," according to the website.

You first pay for your shot of choice, then pay an extra $6 ($8 CAD) to one of the "Toe Captains," the servers who administer the toe-filled drinks and go over the rules: You must let the toe hit your lips but no biting, chewing or putting the toe in your mouth is allowed. Swallowing the toe will also land you with a fine of about $1,900.

“(The Toe Captain) holds the toe in his hand and says, 'You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch this gnarly toe,' " Schutte recalls. "He waives it in front of your nose as well, and then he just drops it in your drink and you just do the shot."

The Sourtoe Cocktail (Photo: Richard Galloway)

Adam Gerle, the general manager of the Downtown Hotel, reassured USA TODAY that the cocktail meets sanitary standards.

"We've had the chief medical officer of the Yukon look at it and give it a clean bill of health," he explained. "As long as we keep the toes mummified, which we do by keeping them on salt and serving it in 40% alcohol, that keeps everything legal."

Gerle also explained that the toes are donated to the hotel – and they have about 10 in rotation as of October 2019.

One of their big toes (any toe is allowed) came from a British Marine who lost it to frostbite during the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon last winter. More recently, another man donated a toe that he lost to gout.

"So that'll be up and running for next summer," Gerle said of the gout toe.

And they're always open "new toe-nations" to keep their stock up, either in person or by mail.

"We had one guy swallow one, couple of them have been stolen (and) after a certain period of time, we retire them. We retire them before they start wearing down," he said, adding that they normally get about five years out of each toe before needing to "give it a rest."


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Even if the alcohol cleans the toe, the idea of drinking a cocktail with a mummified human toe still turns people off. Even Gerle, who has served the drink, has never drank it personally.

"I don't know, it seems kinda of a gross thing to do," he laughed.

But the novelty of the drink still draws large crowds, especially in the summertime, Gerle says.

"It's a wide segment of people from all ages and backgrounds. . We have a direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany, in the summer, so we get a lot of Europeans who have heard of the toe and want to do it," he said. "A lot of Americans, Canadians, even locals if they have family, friends visiting."

Lindsay Wilson's first experience with the drink was during a work banquet in the area in 2018, where she didn't believe it was real at first.

"I started Googling it and went down this rabbit hole," she said. "Then I called my friend actually who got me the job and was like, 'Do I actually have to do this? I don't want to do this at all,' and he was like, 'Yeah, you kind of do . (or) we're all going to say you're a big loser.' "

The 34-year-old from Vancouver said it took her some drinks beforehand to work up the courage to take the Sourtoe but admits "it's not as bad as you think it would be."

What was worse was what her Toe Captain, which she described as a "total character" and "one of the funniest people on the planet," made her do before the shot, she recalled.

"She made me kiss it first," she said. "That part was traumatizing, it was so gross. . The texture of it was really disgusting, but I don't remember a taste. The feel of it was really really gross. . It was like a greasy raisin."

Lindsay Wilson kissing a mummified human toe before drinking the Sourtoe Cocktail. (Photo: Courtesy of Lindsay Wilson)

Others also had a hard time with the drink. "One girl cried," Wilson laughed. "She did not want to do it."

For Wilson, the best part of the experience was the reactions afterward.

"Nobody could believe it, nobody in my circle had heard about it," she said. "So it was kind of fun to tell people and hear how grossed out they were."

Melanie Chavez, 30, of Toronto said she'll probably not drink the Sourtoe Cocktail again – she's already done it three times! The first time was during her first visit to Dawson City for an internship, another time was during a pub crawl in the area and another was when her parents visited.

"My first time was because I thought I wouldn’t be back to Dawson and wanted to have that story. . I never thought about doing it again until my parents came to visit me," she explained. "My mom was completely grossed out, and my dad wasn’t understanding why it was even a thing. But they had to . so of course I said I’d do it again if they did."

1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice, from about 9 lemons
1 3/4 cups sugar
8 cups coconut water
4 cups water
1/2 recipe Lavender Simple Syrup (see here for the recipe)

Place lemon juice, sugar, coconut water, and water into a pitcher and shake or stir vigorously until all the sugar is dissolved. Pour 1/2 of the lavender syrup into the pitcher and stir.

Serious Entertaining: A Dim Sum-Inspired Chinese Food Party

Niki Achitoff-Gray the editor-in-chief at Serious Eats and a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She's pretty big into oysters, offal, and most edible things.

Why settle on one dish when you can sample dozens? Oh right, NO REASON, that's why. Enter dim sum, the ancient Chinese art of making a whole lot of damn fine food, served small plate-style at exceedingly affordable prices. It is, at least through my humble, New-York-Jew-tinted glasses, the shining jewel in the Cantonese crown.*

*It's these same glasses that are responsible for the not-technically-dim-sum, pu-pu-plattery additions to this menu.

Some might argue that actually going to dim sum is an essential part of the experience, and they wouldn't be entirely wrong. But it's a pretty epic feat to tackle a real dim sum menu in your home kitchen, and one we prefer to leave to the pros. Instead, we've got a DIY menu designed to pack a whole bunch of our favorite Chinese recipes into some delicious, dim sum-sized packages. They may not scratch your dim sum itch, but they will satisfy a hungry crowd and maybe even teach you some new cooking techniques.

What's that? Feeling a little lazy? Host it potluck-style, instead! You can also save time and energy by purchasing dumpling and egg roll wrappers from the store, instead of making them from scratch. Read on for the recipes!

Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

You can buy dumpling wrappers at most grocery or specialty stores, but this recipe walks you through making the dough and filling, in case you want to go the extra mile. Either way, you'll get to do the pleating yourself—an immensely fulfilling accomplishment when all's said and done. Sound overwhelming? Invite your guests over early for a dumpling party. Once everything's prepped, you can par-boil and pan-fry them in large batches for quick, satisfying results. Plus, you know, pork.

Xiao Long Bao (Soup Dumplings)

Oh, soup dumplings, you miraculous little balls of liquidy joy. Lovers of xiao long bao might be surprised to learn just how easy they are to make. That said, they're definitely time consuming, in part because they require homemade stock—none of that store-bought stuff! When you make stock naturally, the collagen from the connective tissue in animal bones breaks down into gelatin, which is why "real" stocks reach a jello-like state when they cool. Without that solidification, it's pretty much impossible to get any soup into those dumplings. Once your stock is good to go, it's just a matter of filling, pleating, and steaming away into soup dumpling oblivion.

Steamed Buns with Simmered Daikon and Shiitake, Pickled Bean Sprouts, and Spicy Mayonnaise

You'd never think to call out this recipe as vegan, unless you're, well, vegan. Meaty shiitakes and crisp daikon simmer together in an aromatic brew of sake, mirin, soy, sugar, and konbu. The sweet-tart sauce is the perfect foil for the brightly pickled sprouts and chili-garlic vegannaise. You can even make the filling several days ahead of time if you want to keep things extra simple. As for the buns, the frozen variety (most Asian grocers should carry them) require little more than a quick zap in the microwave, and brunch, lunch, and/or dinner is served!

Egg Rolls

This recipe technically calls for pork and cabbage, but you can really pile up your wrappers with whatever you like—meats, seafood, vegetables, and noodles are all pretty standard. Experiment with marinades and sauces you can even have your guests join you in a friendly competition. Once you've settled on the filling, it's a cinch to roll these guys up and give 'em a quick five-minute fry.

Congee (Rice Porridge) with Minced Pork and Crispy Shallots

Congee is traditionally made with broken rice (rice that's unfit for steaming because all the sticky starches will leach out), but you can make it with whole rice if you cook it long enough and mash it while it cooks. It's also a great use for leftover cooked rice—just reheat it in stock until it reaches the desired consistency. Once your rice base is complete, anything goes! Here, we use minced pork and shallots, but you can toss in whatever you're in the mood for, from aromatics to eggs to minced meat or seafood.

Char Siu (Chinese Spareribs)

These ribs definitely don't qualify as dim sum, but holy cow (or should I say pork?), they are freaking awesome. The rack marinates overnight in a simple mixture of Chinese five-spice, hoisin sauce, rice wine, soy sauce, and honey. Come the next day, all these babies need is about 90 minutes in the oven to reach tender, savory perfection.

Scallion Pancakes

Once you get the hang of hot water doughs, scallion pancakes are a breeze (you can try using a stand mixer to speed things up, à la this gnocchi recipe). The trick is to brush each flattened disc of dough with sesame oil before sprinkling them with scallions. Then they're rolled into a rope, coiled up in a spiral, rolled out again, and fried. Why so many steps? That initial brush of oil is now folded into about 25 layers of dough—exponentially more if you repeat the process a few times—to yield crisp pancakes filled with tender, flaky layers.

Dessert: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Oftentimes, Chinese restaurants send you off with a plate of sliced pineapple. But you've already done so much, so why not go the extra mile with something a little more elaborate. No, this recipe isn't remotely Chinese, but this rum-doused skillet cake does make for a pretty stunning presentation.

Drink: Tea

Tea is a must at dim sum. Brew up a batch of your favorite blend or, if you're feeling frisky, give one of these tea-based cocktails a shot.

Where to Find the Best Chinese-Inspired Cocktails in Vancouver - Recipes

Beaches Restaurant and Bar

Good friends, tasty food, great fun

Welcome to the Beach.

Beaches is now open at 50% capacity for indoor dining–Tuesday thru Sunday 11am to 10pm. Mondays are now…BEACH BUM MONDAY!
Our Team has rocked it for over a year & deserves a breather. So, until we get to reasonable staffing levels, on Mondays we will be closed. Give us a call & we will get you in on another day!

Keeping You Safe!

Beaches continues to practice safe Covid strategies and protocols. We prioritize the health of our team & community. Thank you for your support and please continue to order takeout from 11am-9pm daily.

Beaches Giving Table!

Enjoy great views at our Thod Madsen Giving Table and Leslie Durst Giving Table when you choose to sit here! Get the best table in the house when you visit, by donating to the Beaches Giving Fund. $5 minimum at lunch & $10 minimum for dinner.