3 Manhattan Cocktail Facts that are Sure to Impress

Perhaps second to the Martini, the Manhattan is the most iconic cocktail in Vancouver. Our classic Manhattan's are composed of:

  • Whiskey Rye
  • Sweet Vermouth
  • Bitters
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The birthplace of cocktail has sparked rigorous debate amongst enthusiasts and historians. Moreover, variations of the Manhattan recipe surged with it's popularity.

But what else do you know about our classic cocktail?

Here are 3 little known facts about the Manhattan cocktail:

1. Manhattans are more Canadians than you'd think

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Manhattans have been around since the Vancouver cocktail scene gained momentum back in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Most Vancouverites would be surprised to know that the cocktail has ties to Canadian history during the Prohibition.

The blend gained traction in the New York core and Brooklyn areas early in the 19th century but was later suppressed after America's nationwide ban of alcoholic beverages. 

In the underground bars, patrons found that American-based Rye was expensive, if not impossible to get their hands on. So mixologists opted for available Canadian Rye that was smuggled over the boarder.

Nearly half a century later, it is not unusual to find Canadian Ryes blended into Manhattans in both countries.

2. Unknown Origins

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The actual birthplace of the Manhattan still remains hazy at best.

Miraculous stories of English genius and mysterious bartenders cloud where the actual ingredients were first combined.

What is known, is the Manhattan Social Club's influence in popularizing the cocktail during the turbulent years of the American prohibition. Later, the club helped heighten the Manhattan's reputation and legacy when Prohibition was repealed.

3. The Manhattan is Stirred

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Cocktails that involve clear liquid should always be stirred, not shaken. Rebelling against Mr. Bond, shaking your cocktail actually dilutes the flavors and ingredients put into the drink. Stirring maximizes chill while avoiding watering down the elements.

Usually, the longer your bartender shakes or stirs, the weaker the original flavors.

A properly crafted Manhattan is a complete balance of the ingredients that also include the bitters!

Sorry 007

A Manhattan is guaranteed to show class, elegance and style to impress visitors, business partners or that special someone this new year. The cocktail has inspired an abundance of variations that our mixologists would love to design for your pleasure.

Click here for more information on Vermouth-based cocktails

Most popular things to do in Vancouver – January edition

With 2017 officially behind us, it’s time to usher in 2018 with celebration, memories and most likely, umbrellas. And while Vancouver doesn’t have the best Spring forecast, that doesn’t mean you have to be indoors or strategically moving between puddles this season.

Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or looking to try something new in the city, Vancouver boasts all kinds of activities for every occasion.

The following list includes the oldies but we’re big fans of trying something new, and who knows, you might have a little fun!

1. 2018 Polar Bear Swim - Ongoing 2018

 The latest swim

The latest swim

Since the first plunge in 1920, the Polar Bear Swim continues to be a popular and chilling way to meet locals for a good cause this January. Costumes are optional, as are participants if you were just curious what your typical polar bear lover enjoys doing in January.

Plunging into English Bay requires you bring nothing but your favourite swimwear. Prizes are available for a wide variety contests plus swag can be bought for a good cause.

Click here for more scintillating info.

2. Hot Chocolate Festival January 28 - February

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If jumping into English Bay during the coldest time of the year isn’t your thing, don’t worry. This January the annual Hot Chocolate Festival returns to Vancouver.

The Hot Chocolate Festival combines local and foreign chocolatiers, bakery chefs, pastry shops, gelato masters, and ice cream enthusiasts for an international experience unlike you've ever tasted.

Nothing kills the cold like a warm hug in a mug

3. Vancouver’s Escape Rooms

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What is an Escape Room?

A real life adventure game that incorporates puzzles, clues and other environmental elements within a time limit. Teams must solve the mysteries and escape before time’s up!

It’s classic team-building at it’s finest. Each Escape Room around Vancouver hosts different atmospheres, puzzles, combinations and clues to keep you guessing.

Better teams are composed of positive individuals, coordinated leaders and logical thinkers who enjoy a challenge in a unique setting.

Tip: Clear headedness plays a critical factor as time winds down and you try and escape.

A comprehensive list can be found here

4. Comedy Night 

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From Tuesday to Saturday you can get great seats at the Comedy Club. The club hosts Canada’s best up and coming performers and comedians so you’re sure to get a laugh.

Some of the January acts include:

  • Darcy Michael
  • Big Jay Oakerson 
  • Matt Braunger

Best nights are earlier in the week where tickets cost around 8-10 bucks. Booking is also incredibly easy from the website.

5. See Canyon Lights - Until January 28

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Just 20 minutes from the downtown core is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The popular destination is an adventure-magnet during summer months for it’s sublime natural backdrop.

But that’s not all

Imagine suspended atop 230 feet while crossing a swaying bridge. Now magnify that with possible winds and dazzling lights and you’ll have an unforgettable experience.

After your harrowing bridge journey, you will find yourself amongst Vancouver’s treetop walks. Though it’s Vancouver’s darkest month of the year, the decorated Douglas Firs will have you captivated as you traverse through BC wilderness.


Why not top it all off by visiting the Ox Lounge this spring?

Located on Howe street for those refreshments after the Polar Bear Swim or maybe an adventure recap after the suspension bridge. Ox Lounge is the place to be this year and hosts live music, fresh food and iconic drinks.

This January, Vancouver is abundant with things to check out. You’re sure to make some memories with locals from around BC. Last year alone, saw 2500 registered swimmer attending the Polar Bear Swim.

Anything we missed? What are you doing in January?

Vancouver’s 5 most unusual restaurants to check out in 2018

Looking for an interesting restaurant experience to commemorate the New Year? Vancouver has quickly become one of the most sought foodie destinations on the globe. Vancity boasts the best oriental restaurants, outdoor escapades topped with a vibrant nightlife, as it claws out of the “no-fun city” reputation.

There are food options for every kind of food fanatic. Plus something new always seems to be around the corner. Whether you're heading out drinking with clients, friends, or a date you'll find a venue suited to the occasion.  Yet many locals are opting for something a little more unusual for 2018 and these unique venues are becoming more popular amongst visitors, locals and even the famous!

Here are Vancouver’s 5 most unusual restaurants:

1. Dark Table

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Every second is an experience at the Dark Table. Vancouver’s first and only blind restaurant.

The moment you’re ushered inside be prepared to see, absolutely nothing. Your senses become hypersensitive just 10 minutes after walking through the front door as your waiter describes the restaurant as well as what’s on the menu for those of us that can’t read braille.

To add, the restaurant hires blind wait staff. They are the true artists in this environment, so there’s no need to worry about fumbling food or swaying drinks; at least not from the staff. The dinner and drinks is an excellent experience as it requires coordination during the meal.

Don’t worry, the staff are super helpful and patient, giving customers an appreciated perspective that you’ll only at the Dark Table

It’ll add a whole new meaning to blackout.

2. Naked Sushi

 Before you ask - Yes it is Health Inspector Approved

Before you ask - Yes it is Health Inspector Approved

Sashimi anyone?

As the seafood mecca of the west coast, naked sushi has gradually made it’s way into Vancouver’s mainstream. 

There are several companies offering variations of dishes but the one common factor still remains. You’ll be eating fish off naked people.

Body Sushi is one of the more popular businesses with a Facebook page, pictures and a raving fan network.

Oringinally from feudal Japan, it was only a matter of time (albeit a long one) before Vancouver's sushi scene was given a more "personal" touch.

3. EXP Restaurant + Bar

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Video game lounge meets cocktail bar.

EXP is one of the few places in the city where you can order themed drinks, then head over to the nearest game console and play your favourites. Points are credited to regular patrons that can be used online or in store. 

Their themed cocktails include:

  • Nuka-Cola Quantum

  • The Beedrill

  • Portal Gun

Located near the heart of Gastown, EXP always has an event going on. Most recently quiz nights and charity events. You can expect your inner child to feel at home here.

These days, the restaurant has started incorporating board games with their inhouse tournaments where visitors can participate and compete while sipping drinks amongst the city’s nerdiest.

4. The Elbow Room cafe

You want eccentric? Then head down to Davie’s Elbow Room cafe.

The cafe pulls no punches in it’s no bullsh*t style and even advertises their service on their menu.

Just reading some of the reviews of praising patrons and perturbed visitors gives you a sense of the cafe’s dynamic. Yet, even with the odd set up and colourful word choice, The Elbow Room cafe hosts one of the most popular brunch spots in the city.

Those of you preferring elegance and class are warned to stay in Cactus Club with the lawyers.

5. Catfe

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As a self-diagnosed cat lover I couldn’t wait for Vancouver to finally open it’s very first cat cafe. These special restaurants have been popping up around the world’s largest cities.

Often popular to tourists and cat people, it’s a great place for the family to come down and play with friendly cats.

Though if cats are your thing, be prepared to spend a little longer at the Catfe than you originally thought!

The cats come are all adopted and vaccinated. You can imagine these cute kitties get a LOT of attention at all hours so don’t feel saddened when you see a few of them tuckered out in the corner.


Then again, if cats or online shooters aren’t you’ thing than come by the Ox Lounge. A comfortable set up and laid back atmosphere without anything particularly unusual or odd. We host live music, down to earth staff and a sizzling menu (without eating off naked people).

Drinks are kept classy as you enjoy Vancouver’s next up and coming cocktail lounge.

8 Cardinal Rules when drinking with clients

For any savvy negotiator, the battle inside the boardroom doesn’t end once you walk out of the office. Lifelong partnerships, company relations and even closing deals are intertwined with how things go in your next arena – the cocktail bar.

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Plus it’s not uncommon for businesses to take clients for drinks to show appreciation for their loyalty. However, it can be daunting if they’re new in town or you’re unsure how to act. This goes double if you’re hoping to close a deal or your boss expects icing on the cake after contract negotiations.

And while drinking with clients depends on culture, it’s always important to maintain an air of suave and elegance for lasting impressions at the end of the night.

Lucky for you (and them!) we’re here to help you seal the deal with 8 cardinal drinking rules while taking your clients out in Vancity.

Rule 1: Make sure they know they’ll be drinking!

Many losses can happen even before the first drink happens at the restaurant or lounge. For starters, make sure client (or clients) know you are taking them to a lounge or nearby drinking establishment to continue talks or celebrate a deal.

And for good measure, ALWAYS SHOW UP EARLY

Rule 2: Choose the appropriate atmosphere

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Many people opt for the new cafe or restaurant that opened down the street. While this may seem like a good decision, be aware that you’re playing with luck.

It’s best to choose a place that’s familiar, where you’ll know the staff and have a relationship with management. This way you know the menu, drink options and what to recommend.

Be sure your location’s atmosphere caters to comfort, relaxation and communication. Here, discussions are less formal but you still have to pay attention and relate.

Rule 3: Two at the Bar

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Along with atmosphere, make sure you NEVER sit at the bar if there’s more than 1 guest. Three at the bar makes conversations awkward, not to mention the piggy in the middle feels like she’s watching a ping pong match.

Sitting in a line makes a trio unnatural for discussions, so be sure you each have an equal spot at an available table away from distracting noise.

Rule 4: Avoid certain drinks

 Jagerbombs bro?!

Jagerbombs bro?!

Seriously though, avoid looking like a clown by ordering shots for the table. First, let your guests select their own drinks first then try and match their order.

Another example, is if by chance you’re sitting with a whiskey connoisseur. Please don’t order anything ending with -tini unless it begins with Mar. If you don’t get the message, colourful drinks are best avoided while taking your client out.

Again, try and follow their lead after they order. This is a subtle way to maintain fluidity and common ground.

Rule 5: Pace yourself

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Sadly, we all can’t be solemn-faced Japanese men we drink. Remember to keep a glass of water nearby and don’t be afraid to order an appetizer that you both can share.

Drink within your limits as you get through the small talk that preludes business details. Probably the second worst thing you can do (more on the first later) is to get shi*t faced in front of potential business.

Calm yourself and stay focused.

Rule 6: Drink Slowly cowboy

The worst thing I’ve seen in a bar was watching a potential supplier spill his drink all over himself. It was 5 PM and we had just ordered beers after discussing a future business relationship.

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The blunder was thanks to the enormous mug that he’d ordered and perhaps a certain amount of over-eagerness on his end.

Suffice to say, the deal didn’t last.

If beer is a must, then don’t be afraid to drink from the bottle and take it slow.

Rule 7: Make sure you cover the tab discreetly

A funny dynamic happens in Canada the moment that bill hits the table. The brief silence before the awkward “How much is it” sequence of thought.

Your time with the client must remain carefree during the discussions. Sporadic fiddling with your pockets or cramping receipts into your tattered excuse of a wallet just won’t do.

Avoid all of this by excusing yourself to the bathroom and grabbing the tab without your client noticing. If you aren’t comfortable leaving your client at the table, call the restaurant before you arrive and arrange for prepay with the server or owner.

Don’t be afraid to guarantee a healthy tip percentage with the waitress for excellent service.

If done smoothly, it’s an easy way to show elegance and grace without trying too hard in front of your guest.

Rule 8: Follow Up

As with all good sales, always make sure to follow up the next day. A short email suffices and shows manners without the hassle of fruit baskets or thank-you cards.

Address any inquiries that were made with solutions and mention that you enjoyed doing business with them and look forward to the future.

Bonus Tip: Avoid the “I’ll order the same” mentality

You don’t look sly, or confident when you say something like this.

Remember, you took them out, you should have a sense of direction the second you walked into the establishment.

The moment these words are uttered out of your mouth is the moment you gave your client the ball and told them to run with it. Working with your client means doing what you do best, and this is translated in your vibe and in your words.

So stop slouching, square up those shoulders, and let the fun begin.

Anything we miss? Comment below and tell us your rules when taking clients out!

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Vancity 100 years ago today

The Vancouver bustle never ceases to amaze me. Even the recent housing inferno and business boom these past few years are mere echoes of a vibrant and distinct past that few cities in the world can compete with.

By 2031, Vancouver will be home to one million more people with 500,000 more jobs. A groundbreaking number for a city developing much faster than some residents would like to admit. And while provincial efforts have been made to cool off development projects for the sake of identity, one can’t help but reminisce to back when Vancouver traffic was bearable and our trip to the corner store would cost around 20 cents.

Already, there are dozens of photos available that highlight the city’s growth these last few decades. The pictures are oddly fascinating as Vancouverites ponder what life must have been like for early contemporaries.

This post is going to take it a step further. We’ve dug up old photos of Vancouver pre 1920 to highlight what Vancouver was like 100 years ago today.

You’ve heard the saying, Some pictures are worth 1000 words.

Well we think these ones are worth 1000 more.

 Picture thanks to the Vancouver Public Library

Picture thanks to the Vancouver Public Library

Vancouver has had a turbulent past with it's bridges. And this was before the 5 o'clock traffic headache. The picture recounts the infamous Second Narrows crash caused by a collision and is one of the 2 pictures in this post that happened after 1920.

 Picture thanks to Vancouver History

Picture thanks to Vancouver History

Back before you could rent bycicles or feed the friendly raccoons. Stanley Park was a swamp that was smartly transformed into one of the most iconic sights in the city. 

 (Picture thanks to Vancouver History)

(Picture thanks to Vancouver History)

It's funny how the old Granville street looks much more inviting, but you still had the occasional jaywalker.

Some things never change.

 Picture thanks to DailyHive

Picture thanks to DailyHive

I'll give you a hint, it rhymes with "gram calorie"

No?

How about another, it's the most popular place in Vancouver during April 20th.

This is the front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The horses were ploughing the land in preparation for the building.

 Picture thanks to DailyHive

Picture thanks to DailyHive

Before you start squinting at what you are swing, yes that is the Vancouver skyline back in 1937. The viewpoint is from none other than North Vancouver's Lonsdale Quay. The viewpoint is still there of course, but I seabus takes a little longer than 15 minutes.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments bellow and don’t forget to come by Vancouver’s original Ox Lounge located at 1180 Howe street.