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These are the events you won't want to miss at Vancouver Cocktail Week 2023

These are the highlights to watch out for.
Here are the events happening during Vancouver Cocktail Week that you won't want to miss.

Tickets are on sale now for Cocktail Week 2023.

The seven days of events from March 5 to 11 hosted by V.I.A. sibling publication The Alchemist will cover all things mixology, with masterclasses, seminars, brunches, galas, and special happy hours.

You can find an overview of everything we know so far here but these are the highlights that we think shouldn't be missed.

Vancouver Cocktail Week Pop-Up Soirée in Victoria

Almost a month before cocktail week officially starts, Vancouver Island is getting a sneak peek of the excitement with a special presentation from the World Class bartending team. 2017 Global Champion Kaitlyn Stewart, 2019 Canadian Winner and Global Runner-up Jeff Savage, and 2021 Global Champion James Grant will present their cocktails to the guests at the Fairmont Empress along with the in-house bar team.

Accompanying food inspired by the Pacific Northwest will be served by executive chef Morgan Wilson using local ingredients. Plus there will be live music.

When: February 9, 2023, 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Where: Lobby Lounge at the Fairmont Empress
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Golden Era Cocktail Revival Gala

The final event of Vancouver Cocktail Week will be the biggest and brightest of them all.

Thirty bars will take over the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver Pacific Ballroom, designed in 1939, as part of an epic party paying homage to the fall of Prohibition.

The stations will feature local bar stars and global brand ambassadors pouring drinks representing different eras in cocktail culture. People can shop the products from the bars at the on-site Legacy Liquor Store pop-up.

A live band and DJ provide the accompaniment as people mingle between the bars and food stations and there will be a silent auction in support of the BC Hospitality Foundation and its scholarship program

The most exciting part?

During the gala, following a speed round between the finalists in the World Class Canada bartender competition, the 2023 Canadian Bartender of the Year will be announced.

VIP ticket holders will have the first hour to themselves with passed cocktails and canapés before general admission kicks in at 7 p.m. and those looking to make a night of the event can enjoy a special room rate at the Fairmont.

When: March 11, 2023, from 7-11 p.m.. 6-7 p.m. VIP hour 
Where: Pacific Ballroom, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
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Punch Brunch

The annual Punch Brunch kicks off the week in Vancouver. Botanist executive chef Hector Laguna creates a dynamic multi-course brunch menu to accompany cocktails created from the imagination of the city's top bartenders. Jeff Savage, former World Class winner is sure to have a concoction on the menu. Previous stars also include Amber Bruce of the Keefer Bar and Sabrine Dhaliwal of Juke Fried Chicken and the Chickadee Room.

When: March 5, 2023, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
WhereBotanist Restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
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Cinq à Sept happy hours

This series of happy hours across Vancouver lasts the duration of Cocktail Week and are free to attend. Expect signature cocktails, snacks, and live entertainment throughout the city because 27 bars and restaurants are taking part in the elevated happy hours based on the French concept of an after-work (5 to 7 p.m.) drink. The hours will vary per venue however so check in which each individually. You can find a full list of all those participating here and new ones are still being added.

Oysters & Scotchtails

Freshly shucked oysters are paired with three handcrafted Scotch-based cocktails at a Michelin guide recommend restaurant.

When: Sunday, March 5, 2023, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. seatings.
WhereBar Susu, 209 East 6th Ave
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Walktails in Gastown: Vancouver’s drinking history

Combine craft cocktails with a guided walking tour and you get 'Walktails'.

This exploration of Gastown delves into the history of Vancouver's nightlife and cocktail culture. The three-hour tour will reveal insider secrets from local bars, drinks lore, and The Alchemist columnist Charlene Rooke will share tips on how to wood-age your own drinks at home.

During the tour, there will be three to four stops to enjoy bespoke sips, including a 90-day-barrel-aged cocktail batch created especially for Cocktail Week.

When: Sunday, March 5, 2023 from 4 - 7 p.m.
Where: Meeting point/tour start in Gastown to be confirmed
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West Coast BBQ Dinner

Whiskey Six uses local farmers' and suppliers' organic ingredients to challenge people's preconceived notions of BBQ. As part of Cocktail Week, the restaurant is hosting a five-course BBQ dinner paired with cocktails made using spirits from B.C. distilleries.

When: Tuesday, March 7, 6 p.m.
WhereWhiskey Six BBQ, 826 Renfrew St
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From Cognac to Barbados: A Renegade’s Voyage

This four-course cocktail-pairing dinner is a look through history four centuries in the making.

Cognac, much like Champagne, is named for the region in France where it is made. The French wine-growing Maison Ferrand was first established in Cognac in 1989 by Alexandre Gabriel. He began making Ferrand Cognac, then followed it with Citadelle Gin, Plantation Rum and Dry Curaçao. The diversity in spirits lends itself to a story told through craft cocktails and gourmet dishes from the team at Tableau will accompany them.

When: March 9, 2023. Cocktail Reception at 6:30 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.
WhereTableau Bar Bistro, 1181 Melville St
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