Where to get to-go cocktails in Vancouver

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      There were very few upsides to the pandemic’s shutdown, but the city’s leniency on take-out alcohol and drinking in public parks count among them. A few years later, to-go cocktails are not as ubiquitous as they once were, but a solid selection still remains—as does the ability to drink in some of Vancouver’s many green spaces. 

      With warmer weather quickly approaching, here are a few lightning-in-a-bottle options for enjoying at one of the dozens of parks where drinking is allowed. (Word to the wise: glass bottles are not allowed in public parks, so some options may need to be decanted.)

      Please! Beverage Co.

      Last year, the city’s politest tasting room opened in Mount Pleasant’s once-sleepy, now-trendy light industrial zone. Central to Please! Beverage Co.’s offerings is a rotating lineup of bottled cocktails that feature locally-sourced herbs, botanicals, and other ingredients in a low-alcohol package. Summery picks include the Mango, Coconut, & Pandan (a vodka-spiked version of mango sticky rice). For the indecisive, the mixed pack is a solid option.

      Address: 222 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver

      The Keefer Bar  

      We’re not sure what we did to deserve The Keefer Bar’s cocktails at home—but here we are. To the uninitiated, this apothecary-style establishment in Chinatown has long been slinging some of the city’s best “remedies and cures.” A few caveats: pick-ups are only available on Fridays between 4pm and 6pm, and you’ll have to add your own alcohol. Well worth the chance to take classic mixes like Buffalo Soldier and Blood Moon home (or to a picnic).

      Address: 135 Keefer Street, Vancouver


      In the whirlwind of seasonal menus and changing wine lists, it’s refreshing to see that some things stay the same. At friendly East Van eatery Dachi, that thing is a classic negroni—and they’ve done us all a solid and bottled it. All that’s left to do is add ice and orange zest. The fine print: one bottle has four servings, and it should be ready about four hours after ordering. 

      Address: 2297 East Hastings Street, Vancouver

      Medina Cafe

      This busy brunch spot is known for its Mediterranean-style menu—and the lengthy lineup outside. Jump the queue and have your mimosa, too, by ordering their cocktails to go. (Tip: throw a few of the famous Liège-style waffles in there while you’re at it.) Choose from the classic mimosa with fresh-squeezed orange juice or the savoury Moroccan Maria (a take on a bloody Mary) with a choice of gin, tequila, or vodka. Garnish as you please.

      Address: 780 Richards Street, Vancouver

      Bodega on Main

      The Spanish know how to spend a day in the sun, so it tracks that Bodega on Main would have a solid offering of sangria to go. Its interpretation of the quintessential patio cocktail comes with either white, red, or rose wine; all have a side of fruit to garnish. Note that alcohol orders require an order of food, as well. But that’s more of a perk than a problem.

      Address: 1014 Main Street, Vancouver

      Odd Society Spirits

      In addition to crafting spirits, this East Van distillery has a tasting room that serves classic mixed drinks with a twist, like Thyme for a Gimlet and Modern Hound (Odd Society’s take on a Greyhound). Now you can get all the ingredients—and the necessary instructions—for mixing a batch of your own. Depending on what you order, each kit makes between six to eight cocktails. Be sure to share with friends. 

      Address: 1725 Powell Street, Vancouver