Tag Archives: gin

Voya + Dior = fabulous

It was one of those typically Vancouver Saturday nights. It was raining, and I was feeling indecisive. Thank goodness for decisive friends who call and say, “You. Me. Voya.”

My response: “Can I wear my vintage Dior pumps?”

An hour later, Dior pumps in tow, we were comfortably seated at the end of a gorgeous bar in a gorgeous room full of gorgeous people. You could have told me we were at a hotel bar in Chicago, and I would have believed you. Not New York, not Seattle. Chicago.

The drinks menu is an honest cocktail menu. Ask Simon, the delightful bartender, about the history of a drink and he’ll tell you. Laurie kept us sated with homemade breadsticks (one batch was cheesy, the other anise-y) all night. Service hits that perfect mixture of friendly and chatty, without being intrusive.

I started the evening off with an Amaro Rossi, a lovely mixture of Hendrick’s gin, campari, guignolet d’angers (a cherry liqueur), and lime juice. They throw in egg white, shake the whole thing up, and serve it in an frosty cold glass. It’s cold, it’s foamy, and it’s pink. What more can a girl ask for while wearing vintage Dior?

Voya (in the Loden Hotel)
1177 Melville Street
Vancouver, BC
(604) 639-8692

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A drink by any other name…

I’ve got campari on the brain.  For those of you not familiar with this Italian liqueur, it’s glow-tastically red, quite bitter, and packs a punch.  It’s quite nice with soda, lots of ice, and maybe a maraschino cherry.

But my favourite campari drink, hands down, is the negroni (nuh-gr-awe-nee).  For one thing, it sounds a lot like my name, and when you say it fast (as in, “I’d like a negroni, please,”) it totally sounds like I just ordered myself from the bartender.  A negroni is equal parts campari, gin, and sweet vermouth.  Put it on ice and add an orange twist, and you have a lovely aperitif.  The key is for lots of ice, because it’s definitely not a lightweight drink.  The ice helps to mellow it out, and keep it crisp and cold. 

It’s hard to find in this city.  I’ve gotten some strange looks from waitstaff, and a lot of bars don’t have campari or sweet vermouth.  But you can get it at The Cascade Room, Subeez, and Wasubeez.  If you get it at (Wa)subeez, ask for it in a highball with ice.  For some strange reason they do it as a martini, which is…well, it’s just wrong.