Vancouver Patios

July 31st, 2012

Reflections |  Bitter Tasting Room |  Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company

Summer is upon us and there’s no activity we enjoy more this time of year than drinking on a patio in the sun. For a city that boasts stunning natural surrounds, there are remarkably few patios of note in Vancouver. Here are our picks for some local options that may be a bit under the radar. And these three establishments, Reflections, Bitter and Dockside, have most generously revealed their recipes for some thirst-quenching summer cocktails which you can craft at home – then head to their sundecks to enjoy the real thing while catching some rays.

Reflections @ Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Photo courtesy of Hotel Georgia

Reflections is a bit of a secret in downtown Vancouver. Nestled in a hidden courtyard on the fourth floor of the Hotel Georgia, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the street below, this concrete oasis feels like it could be anywhere – but luckily is right downtown. With oversized teak furniture, fire pits, water features and blankets to cozy up in, it’s a comfortable place to relax after conquering the city at work or play. The wine list at Reflections is global but focuses on the local; they also have plenty of cocktails on offer. On hot summer days, we are fans of the Pimms cocktail – flavoured with mint, chunks of citrus and cucumber, and with a bit of a kick, it’s incredibly refreshing and dangerously doesn’t taste at all like alcohol. Another summer option is their ‘Mexican Fix Cocktail’, instructions below:

‘Mexican Fix Cocktail’, Created by Robyn Gray, Head Bartender at Reflections Lounge

Photo courtesy of Hotel Georgia

1.5 oz of El Jimador (Reposado)
0.5 oz of Chartreuse
Bar spoon of Maraschino Liqueur
2/3 oz of fresh squeezed lime juice
1/3 oz (or to taste) pineapple syrup
1. Add all ingredients to a chilled cocktail shaker.
2. Shake over ice.
3. Pour over ice cubes in a short rocks glass.
4. Garnish with an extra thick lime peel.

Bitter Tasting Room

Photo courtesy of Bitter Tasting Room

We first hit Bitter when it opened late last year, delighted to see a local venture with a deep reverence for craft beer in all its fantastic incarnations, and an equal respect for all things beer-related such as soft pretzels and incredibly indulgent Welsh rarebits. Very recently, they expanded to add an outdoor seating area complete with picnic benches and umbrellas. Since Bitter is located on Hastings at Carrall street, you’ll be grateful for the white picket fence that shields you from the street. Mike Mitchell who directs Bitter’s drink program divulged their recipe for ‘Smoke on the Water’ which was concocted for a contest during Vancouver Craft Beer Week 2012 – it placed 2nd and found its way onto Bitter’s regular menu:

‘Smoke on the Water’, Created by Mike Mitchell

Photo courtesy of Bitter Tasting Room

Pre set:
1 lemon rind
1 oz Smokehead Whiskey (used to soak lemon rind)

Drink set:
In Boston shaker add:
3 dashes Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
1 dash Boker’s Bitters
1 oz London No 3 Dry Gin
1 oz St Germain Liquer
Stir/Strain into Boston
Add 5 oz Rogue Captain Sigs Northwestern Ale
Rim serving glass with ‘soaked’ lemon then pour into glass.
Best served in Belgian tulip glass as seen in picture.

Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company

Granville Island is bursting with fresh produce, as well as throngs of tourists in the summer. So after picking up your market fare, dodge the crowds, duck into the Granville Island Hotel and head straight for its marina-side lounge, which boasts fabulous views of False Creek, complete with boats bobbing just a few feet away. Last summer, Dockside unveiled their newly renovated patio with fire pits, a central heated and covered cabana, and lots of comfortable seating options on their spacious deck. Their wine list focuses on the New World but with an in-house brewery, many opt for beer – their definitive summer beer is the Jamaican lager which is infused with hibiscus and based on a Mexican soda recipe. Dockside generously disclosed their recipe for their watermelon-based cocktail, ‘The Slice’, below:

‘The Slice’ by Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company

Photo courtesy of Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company

Fresh muddled watermelon
Fresh squeezed lemon
1 oz vodka
1 oz peach liqueur

1. Add all ingredients to a chilled cocktail shaker.
2. Shake and strain.
3. Pour into cocktail glass and garnish with a watermelon slice.

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