Cider, gin, and rosé: 3 Vancouver restaurants celebrate delicious libations with new, expanded drink menus

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      Crafting a cider collection

      Fraserhood's Crowbar restaurant turns two this summer, and it’s celebrating with veggie-forward shared plates along with its seafood and nose-to-tail dishes and family-style tasting menus. To go with its seasonally changing menu, it has also launched a craft-cider program, it being among the first local restos to shine a spotlight on these versatile, fruitily tasty beverages.

      Crowbar owner/operator William Johnson is a certified sommelier who has recently become a certified cider professional through the United States Association of Cider Makers.

      Look for up to 14 local ciders on offer, including BC Tree Fruits’ Broken Ladder Cider, Left Field Co’s Little Dry, Salt Spring Island’s Wild Special Blend Plum, Merridale Scrumpy, Tod Creek Coastal Blue, Scenic Coast Razz Cider, and Sea Cider Pippins Heirloom, among others.

      On a separate note, if you happen to order a premium bottle of Champagne at the East Van spot, you get to take in the fine art of Champagne sabering. It entails breaking the top of the bottle neck with an authentic antique sabre from France made of forged steel, in a ceremonial and raucous release of bubbly.

      Fun fact: the restaurant’s name is a nod to Fraserhood itself as well as to a Will Bullas painting depicting amiable crows drinking at a bar.

      Gin with an Indian spin

      Executive Hotel Le Soleil’s signature restaurant, Copper Chimney Indian Grill & Bar, is all revved up for summer with new menus, a “bread bar” (naan, roti, and kulchas [stuffed bread] made in-house in tandoor ovens), and a just-launched extensive gin bar.  

      To go with various types of tonic water, look for 18 local and international gins, including some from Long Table Distillery, Victoria Distillers, Central City, Hendrick’s. Tanqueray, Boodles, Boomsma, Malfy, and more.

      Close to 20 types of gin are on offer at Copper Chimney Indian Grill & Bar.
      Copper Chimney Indian Grill & Bar.

      The spirits show up in house cocktails like the Chimney Sling (Long Table London Dry, pineapple juice, lime juice, black pepper and cardamom bitters, cherry brandy, and dehydrated orange) and Le Soleil 567 (Victoria Distillers Empress 1908, lemon juice, simple syrup, sparkling wine, and dehydrated lemon).

      To have with any number of fancy drinks or more straight-ahead G&Ts, check out the newly launched Indian Happy Hour. Bites run the gamut from house- and hand-made samosas and spiced chips with a jalapeno and cumin raita to lamb-meatball sliders and

      Rosé-coloured glasses

      Provence/TWB—The Wine Bar is pretty in pink with its new rosé collection, featuring 41 different rosés from around the globe. 

      The rosy list includes Dirty Laundry Hush Rosé and Mission Hills Family Estate Rosé, both from B.C.; Close Cibonne Cuvee Prestige Caroline Tibouren Rosé from Provence; Spain’s Hacienda di Arinzano; Tomeresca Calafuria from Sicily; Germany’s Reichsrat von Buhl Spatburgunder Rosé Trocken; and, from England, North Hampshire Downs’ Coates & Seeley Rosé NV, among many others.

      Thirteen of the rosés are sparkling wines.

      Provence Marinaside/TWB--the Wine Bar is thinking pink.
      Provence Marinaside/TWB--the Wine Bar.

      The waterfront resto and wine bar has also launched Sunday Funday, where all rosés (glass, bottle, or magnum) are 25 percent off every Sunday for the rest of the year.

      The new additions to bring Provence/TWB’s by-the-glass offerings to 240 in total—the largest in North America.