Where to drink refreshing tropical cocktails in Vancouver

Do you like piña coladas, and getting caught in the rain? Thankfully you can do both in Vancouver where tropical cocktails are a year-round affair. From alcohol-soaked pineapple sippers to multi-coloured bellini slushies, there’s no shortage of icy drinks in this city. So get ready for a boozy brain freeze at these local bars where the Tiki trend is in full force. [Photo courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts]

The Reef Restaurant

1
4172 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P7

The island vibes are seriously strong at The Reef, where Jamaican patties, jerk chicken wings, and calypso oxtail stew put Vancouverites in a tropical mood even on the greyest of days. Rum is the drink of choice behind the bar – of course – and there’s no better way to have it than served in a coconut shell. Mr. Gee’s Rude Bwoy is a Barbadian drink made with three ounces of dark rum, Triple Sec, Malibu, orange juice, grapefruit, pineapple, bitters and nutmeg. Or go for the OG Jamaican beach punch: a straightforward blend of dark and white rum and tropical juices.

Reflections - Rosewood Hotel

2
801 Georgia St W, Vancouver, BC V6C 1P7

A summertime hideaway above Vancouver’s maddening downtown crowds, this fourth-floor outdoor bar at the Rosewood Georgia Hotel underwent an impressive renovation in early 2016 to reveal a revamped look and new menu. Coastal decor, heated cabana seating, water features and Pacific-inspired tapas all set the stage for a truly unique urban oasis. When it comes to boozy libations, the cocktails range from straightforward classics to oversized tableside punch bowls. Try the Georgia Straits Sling (a riff on the ever-popular Singapore Sling) or the easy-drinking Wreck Beach Lemonade, a gin-based lychee-infused drink that’s sure to be a new summertime fave.

Guu With Garlic

3
1698 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1C7

Vancouver’s original izakaya, Guu continues to attract nightly crowds thanks to its energetic atmosphere and modern Japanese fusion dishes. In the summer months, limited edition frozen cocktails make an appearance on the menu to further liven up the mood. These seasonal refreshers change annually but are always guaranteed to loosen you up (if you don’t mind a little brain freeze). Previous offerings have included a frozen sake bellini with peach puree, frozen Moscow mules served in traditional copper mugs, and frozen beer cocktails, which pair cold beer with mango juice for a refreshing alternative to your usual craft brew.

Wildebeest Restaurant

4
A-120 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8

Classic cocktails get the slurpee treatment at Gastown’s Wildebeest, with seriously delectable results. The venerable nose-to-tail institution has been experimenting with adult slushie drinks for years; the latest incarnation (nicknamed Fresh Prince) is a boozy blend of Cuban rum, apple, spearmint and Fernet Branca. Served with a sprig of mint on top and a straw, this dangerously drinkable cocktail goes down quickly and is a great way to kick off your meaty meal at one of Vancouver’s most celebrated restaurants.

The Union

5
219 Union St, Vancouver, BC V6A 2B2

The Union’s Filipino-style bangas earn a spot on this list for their fun presentation and inhibition-erasing potency. Served in glass jars with crushed ice and a stick of lemongrass, these refreshing concoctions come in four different variations, which means you can pick your poison (gin, tequila, bourbon or cardamom cachaça) and flavour profile. Each incorporates a few Asian-inspired ingredients – lychee, calamansi and mandarin orange to name a few – and is guaranteed to put you in a feel-good mood for the night. Snag a spot on the street-facing patio if you can and enjoy the open air on those warm summer nights.

Clough Club

6
212 Abbott St, Vancouver, BC V6B 2K8

Put a little glitz in your night out and order up a signature pineapple cocktail at the Clough Club. Served in gilded copper pineapple tumblers, these upscale sippers make for a perfect photo op. Drinks feature a base of premium Absolut Elyx vodka (a smooth, highly refined spirit with subtle notes of vanilla and pepper) and are available two ways: option one is a zesty blend of crushed ice, lime juice, lychee, Greek yogurt, kaffir lime leaf, hellfire bitters and cava; while option number two is made with Cointreau, Peychauds’ bitters, sugar and Fat Tug IPA.

Rogue Kitchen & Wet Bar

7
601 Cordova St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G1

Get your frozen cocktail fix on the cheap at this Gastown standby. Two-ounce frozen bellinis are less than $5 when you visit during Happy Hour (between 3:00 to 6:00 pm daily). Made with white rum, peach schnapps, champagne, peach slush and sangria, these seriously sweet sippers are also on special all day Tuesday if you’re looking for a little mid-week treat. Alternatively, top off your frozen slushy with an apricot ale to make it a beerlini. The sprawling patio is conveniently located near Waterfront Station if you need to unwind with a post-work cocktail before your evening commute.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

8
163 Keefer St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1X3

The food menu at this Chinatown fave might be Chinese-meets-European, but the cocktail menu definitely has a south-of-the-border feel. Citrusy margaritas and palomas will put you in a tropical mood, but you won’t want to miss the wow-worthy frozen piña colada. Served in a tall glass complete with a decorative umbrella, this party-ready cocktail is billed as “the best frozen sissy drink you’ll ever have” – and we have to agree. You’ll want to sip slowly when drinking these deceptively delicious cocktails.

Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary festival will see some of the city’s hottest restaurants serving an array of mouth-watering prix-fixe menus. If you want to take your significant other for a special meal, plan a date night at one of these romantic eateries. [Photo courtesy of Boulevard/Leila Kwok]
Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary event will see some of the city’s top restaurants serving mouth-watering prix-fixe menus for lunch and dinner. If you’re looking for a kid-approved spot with a casual atmosphere and plenty of choices for picky eaters, book a table at these family-friendly restaurants. [Photo courtesy of Bufala]
Tourism Vancouver’s annual Dine Out Vancouver Festival is back this winter from January 19th to February 4th. The 17-day culinary event provides foodies with a great opportunity to eat at Vancouver’s most acclaimed restaurants for less. If you want an upscale meal in an elegant setting, these high-end spots deliver a great bang for your buck. [Photo courtesy of YEW Seafood + Bar]
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