Chinatown’s Bestie needs no introduction - purveyors of fine sausages and beer, they’ve made currywurst a household name in East Vancouver. We are longtime fans here at the shop, and on any given day you can probably find a member of the Old Faithful crew sitting at the copper-top bar, fork-full of bison sausage in one hand, cold stein of White Bark Wit Beer in the other.
While Bestie’s culinary praises are being sung by food critics and local food lovers alike, their bar is still something of a hidden gem: with inventive beer-based cocktails, fresh takes on the classics, and featuring an impressive and delicious schnapps list, Bestie’s drink menu boasts the same simple ingenuity that the restaurant’s kitchen is known for.
We brought resident drink slanger Colin Spensley a few of our favorite cocktail ingredients from the shop to see what he could whip up, and the results were so good we had to share.
Just in time for summer, here’s the seriously refreshing Pool Party, an off-menu Bestie original. Morris Kitchen’s lively Preserved Lemon Syrup is given free reign here; Tangy and sweet, this is distilled sunshine in a glass. Best enjoyed with sand between your toes and a breeze at your
1.5 oz. Tanqueray Dry Gin
1 oz. Barenjager honey liqueur
1 oz. fresh lemon
1 oz. Morris Kitchen Preserved Lemon Syrup
Here’s a Bestie twist on a classic - the Old Fashioned, which we’ve appropriately dubbed the Old Faithful. Bestie takes the sophistication of the original and throws a pair of coloured socks on it with Snap, a gingersnap and blackstrap molasses liqueur from Philadelphia’s Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. The addition of Noble’s Tuthilltown Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup completes the ensemble, adding a hint of sweetness and that special brand of complexity
that only a fine maple syrup can bring.
Orange peel to start
½ oz. of Noble’s Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup
3 dashes of Angostura bitters
2 oz. bourbon
A bar spoon of Art in the Age’s Snap gingersnap liqueur floated on top
Lemon peel to finish
Since our introduction to Jack Rudy Cocktail Co.’s Small Batch Tonic, it’s become an irreplaceable bar staple for us. Light, fresh, yet beguilingly complex with it’s bouquet of citrus notes, Jack Rudy’s Tonic is an ace in the hole for anyone looking to elevate even the simplest of cocktails. Here we’ve paired it with it’s soulmate, gin, and added a dash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur - a combination that truly wowed all those in attendance.