Cocktail of the Year

Photo: André Doyon/ lowprofile.ca; Styling: Anne Fillion; Food Styling: Noah Witenoff; Thanks to The Bay and to vinumdesign.com

Overheard at the bar of Yew Restaurant + Bar, at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, from a trio
of fashionable blondes: “We want girly drinks, please.” Bartender: “Ladies, you’ve come to the right place.” Here’s how to make your own Pearfect Times.

1/ 2 oz lemon juice
1 oz pear purée
1 oz cane sugar
1 oz Absolut Pears
1 oz Beefeater gin


Put all ingredients into a Boston mixing glass, with the alcohol coming last. Shake vigorously. Double strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a quarter-cut French baby pear.


Best Bartender
Uva Wine Bar Already a bit of a celebrity in Vancouver (he was voted sommelier of the year in 2006 and 2008), Sebastien Le Goff has found the sweet spot that balances a serious wine list and beer list with sophisticated cocktails, complementary food and polished service. While lots of bars get one or two of the criteria right, it takes a special talent to bring them all together. Le Goff is equally at home discussing the subtle dif­ferences between Italian digestifs Fernet, Averna and Cynar as he is illustrating how his coupe glasses were patterned on Marie-Antoinette’s breasts. The bar has been raised.


Most Comfortable Seating
We could spend the whole day and the better part of the evening sunk into the plush couch in front of the fireplace at Bacchus in Vancouver. Come to think of it, we have.


Best Wine Lists

Uva Wine Bar
The name means “grape” in Italian, after all. The list is exceptional, not for its size but for the cleverness of its offerings.

Bar
Arguably B.C.’s best Okanagan wine list gets high marks for its diverse selection of wines from around the region, including gems like the Sumac Ridge Brut, Inniskillin Bear Cub Vineyard Zinfandel and Blue Mountain Pinot Blanc.

Vauvert
It is, perhaps, not surprising that a Montreal bar should have such a solid list of French producers, with an emphasis on champagne, but the clever selection of Canadian wines offers some intriguing choices.


Best Minibars

The Hazelton Hotel
Complimentary soda and water may not sound like much of a minibar, but it’s only a start. The hotel prides itself on stocking rooms with just about anything guests can dream up, including a pound of smoked meat from Montreal for one homesick guest.

Opus Montreal
In addition to the usual snacks and drinks, there’s an “intimacy kit” (use your imagination) that goes well beyond Q tips.

Adara
To cope with the high altitude of Whistler and the undoubt­edly extreme activities of its guests, the hotel very thought­fully provides canisters of Oxia oxygen.