Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Cheers to the VCW community

Vancouver Cocktail Week features events for everyone, in support of the city’s hospitality industry Unlike some boozy events, Vancouver Cocktail Week isn’t just a big party (though it offers plenty of opportunities to raise a glass and get your ya-ya

Vancouver Cocktail Week features events for everyone, in support of the city’s hospitality industry

Vancouver’s Kaitlyn Stewart was the World Class Global Bartender of the Year in 2017. Living Room Creative photo

Unlike some boozy events, Vancouver Cocktail Week isn’t just a big party (though it offers plenty of opportunities to raise a glass and get your ya-yas out). And unlike other boozy events, it’s not a trade show where you wander from booth to booth sampling wee sips of things (though it does feature loads of exciting new spirits, bitters and cocktails to taste and try).

What Vancouver Cocktail Week is, is a celebration of community, and not just the community of talented bartenders and industry professionals in this city. It’s also a celebration of you, the guests they serve, the whole reason the industry exists in the first place.

That’s why VCW events take place, not in a convention hall, but in the bars and restaurants where the city’s best bartenders can show you what they do best.

And it’s also why VCW24 has something for everyone, whether you are only just discovering cocktails or want to add to your collection of recipes for your next dinner party, expand your knowledge as an industry professional or simply enjoy a fun night out on the town.

Here are just some of the exciting experiences you can discover at VCW24, March 3 to 10.

Dine and drink across the city in support of Vancouver’s hospitality industry. Living Room Creative photo

For the home bartender who wants to improve their skills:

Join one of VCW’s many seminars and learn how to make better brunch cocktails, brush up on your classic cocktail know-how or discover everything you need to know about vermouth, bitters, tonic or your favourite spirit.

For locals and visitors who want to discover the city’s best cocktail neighbourhoods:

Don’t miss out on the cocktail crawls through Gastown, Yaletown and Main Street, and sample what some of the city’s best bars are shaking up.

For the funster on a budget:

Take advantage of the Cinq à Sept series of elevated happy hours. All week long, dozens of bars and restaurants, from Acquafarina to Zarak, will feature signature cocktails, snacks, entertainment and more at these unticketed events celebrating the playful hours between work and family life.

For the gastronomic imbiber:

Anyone who loves gourmet food (almost) as much as they love cocktails will definitely want to grab a table at the Signature Sunday Cocktail Brunch at the Botanist, one of the VCW’s best-loved annual events, this year featuring the rock-star bartending team from London’s Bar Swift.

There are also spirited dinners most nights at some of the city’s finest restaurants, including the four-course Amaro Lucano dinner at Bar Corso, the Cognac Ferrand cocktail dinner at Tableau Bar Bistro, the Middle Eastern feast with Giffard at Zarak, Campari at Carlino, Flor de Caña rum at Brix and the “Birds of a Feather” collaboration at PiDGiN, featuring Japan’s OWL&ROOSTER and Nikka Whisky.

Don’t miss the Jeff Savage x L’Abattoir pop-up on Tuesday March 5. Living Room Creative photo

For the star-struck world traveller:

Don’t miss the guest shifts and pop-ups led by some of the world’s most famous bar stars, including:

  • Jesse Vida, famous from NYC’s The Dead Rabbit, now partner in the agave-forward Singapore speakeasy Cat Bite Club;
  • Bastien Ciocca and the team at Guangzhou’s Hope & Sesame, No. 74 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list;
  • Diego Cabrera, winner of the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award, whose Madrid cocktail bar, Salmon Guru, is No. 16 on World’s 50 Best;
  • Ronato (Tato) Giovannoni of Florería Atlántico in Buenos Aires, Altos Bartenders’ Bartender 2020 and winner of the World’s 50 Best Bars’ 2023 Roku Industry Icon Award.

For the serious whisky lover:

Many a dram will be poured at VCW tastings, seminars and dinners, including all-Canadian rye, American bourbons, fascinating Japanese blends and classic Scottish single malts from Scotland. Just some of the events not to miss are the master classes studying Laphroaig and the Bowmore, the Scotch Whisky Dinner at L’Abattoir, bourbon dinners at Glowbal and the Parker Rooftop, An Evening with Nikka at PiDGiN and An Omakase Experience with Kujira at Ama

For the person who wants to peek behind the scenes:

Tour local distilleries—Copperpenny Distilling Co., The Liberty Distillery, Resurrection Spirits and Odd Society Spirits—for a first-hand look at how these award-winning spirits go from grain to glass.

For the savvy sipper who also wants to do good:

Attending VCW events supports and promotes the hospitality industry, which is still recovering from pandemic lockdowns, supply chain problems and myriad other challenges. And don’t forget that VCW is a proud supporter of the BC Hospitality Foundation, with a portion of proceeds from the closing night gala going to hospitality workers going through medical challenges.

For industry professionals:

Get career-changing insights from local, national and international experts. Bar star Evelyn Chick shares “A Hospitality Roadmap to Entrepreneurship,” for instance, while three Most Imaginative Bartender finalists (Élise Hanson of Toronto’s Bar Raval, Liz Kalles of Vancouver’s Jungle Room and Dyl Brentwood from Bar Kismet in Halifax) offer a glimpse of the Minds Inside Bartenders. And no pro will want to miss the seminars led by global stars like Cate Bite Club’s Jesse Vida, Hope & Sesame’s Bastien Ciocca, Diego Cabrera of Madrid’s Salmon Guru or World’s 50 Best Bars’ 2023 Roku Industry Icon Award winner Ronato (Tato) Giovannoni of Florería Atlántico in Buenos Aires.

For everyone:

Dress up and live it up at the biggest, most glamourous event of Vancouver Cocktail Week, the closing Green Garden Gala. The Sutton Place ballroom will be transformed into a bower of botanical inspiration as bartenders harvest flavours from the plant world to craft unique cocktails just for you. There will also be fine food to graze on, a DJ and live music to dance to, plus more than 35 premium spirits brands to sip and savour. Note that this event also supports the BC Hospitality Foundation.

The inspiration for Vancouver Cocktail Week was always to celebrate the city’s exciting and dynamic cocktail scene and the community that makes it happen. Join us and raise a glass to the talented professionals who keep the creativity and conversation flowing.

For tickets, schedules and more information, visit

—by Joanne Sasvari

The post Cheers to the VCW community first appeared on The Alchemist.