You know the old saying that “it’s better to give than receive”? The great thing about gifting food or liquor is that odds are good you’ll be invited to share.
Copper Spirit Distillery Harmony Dry Gin
Fifteen organic and wild BC botanicals go into every handcrafted bottle, giving Harmony Dry Gin a profile that finds the sweet spot between herbal and floral. Added bonus: because Copper Spirit makes its base on Bowen Island, you’ve got a reason to check out one of Vancouver’s most idyllic day-trip destinations.
Instead of grapes, the leaping off point here are haskap berries—cultivated for centuries by Indigenous peoples in Russia, Japan, and China, and now being embraced by North America, including the folks at Echo Haskap in the Okanagan's Creighton Valley. Released in a limited batch, Rara Avis Fortified Haskap Wine has enough complexity to hang with Old World ports and Canadian ice wines, with a subtle tartness making it your new favourite obsession. Add a kiss of baking spices—hello cloves and cinnamon—and you've got a jammy fruit-bombed winner that goes as great with double-chocolate cake after dinner as it does with your pecan pancakes in the morning. Added bonus: family-run Echo Haskap, working here with Kalala Organic Estate Winery, is a certifed organic farm, which means every bottle of Rara Avis starts with clean soil, pure water, and air clean enough to make anyone wonder whey they live in the city. You might want to pick up a spare bottle, because once the word gets out...
The Pie Shoppe pies
The wonderful thing about The Pie Shoppe is that, like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never totally know what you’re going to get. Assuming the homey Powell Street bakery isn’t sold out, first-come first-served options include the Yuzu Citrus Custard Meringue and the Dark Chocolate Tahini Pie with Espresso. But regulars know that the Pie Shoppe often gets special deliveries from local farmers, turning surprise shipments into something truly one-of-a-kind the next morning.
Odd Society Boneyard Whisky
When Odd Society moved into whiskey production back in 2018, the East Van distillery was already thinking ahead, putting a litre aside per year from each new batch. With Boneyard Whisky, that means you get rye, single malt, maple whisky, peated malt, and smoked malt in a single bottle. And, yes, it’s about as fantastically multi-layered as you might dare to dream. Smooth is the key word, with Boneyard Whisky all about the glow. As for what stands out in the glass, the maple gets the win here, but only by a beautifully subtle nose. Here's to the next half-decade of whisky at Odd Society, and the promise of Boneyard Whisky II.
Livia Lemon Danish
As buttery as it is hard-crunch flaky, tart but sweet, and loaded with custard that doesn’t disappoint but also leaves you wanting more—Livia’s Lemon Danish is as sinful as it is stupidly delicious. The ever-styling Commercial Drive favourite bills itself as a “small bakery and Italian cafe, filled with joy and carbs.” Spread that joy, and pick up a half-dozen. And then refuse to leave until that special someone gifts you at least one back for the road.