“Located in Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Botanist provides an elevated cocktail experience which entices patrons to stray from the familiar. While Botanist’s cocktail menu provides ample opportunity for exploration, the most curious creations can be found in the “Cocktail Lab” category.
This section features four signature cocktails, each of which embodies a different element: Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. We met with Creative Beverage Director, Grant Sceney, along with Head Bartender Jeff Savage, and Bartender Regis Simard, and were taken through these four cocktails, as well as the inspiration behind each one.
CANDY CAP MAGIC (EARTH)
Images: Nick Halim
Featuring candy cap-infused rye, sweet vermouth, and a house-made root beer syrup, Candy Cap Magic is a deliciously earthy take on a Manhattan. Prior to serving, dry ice is triggered beneath the bed of moss on which this cocktail sits. The dry ice vapour disperses essential oils which are reminiscent of petrichor, more commonly known as “the smell of rain”, which is released as water hits dry soil.
PRETTY BIRD (WIND)
Focusing on the concept of pollination, this cocktail masterfully utilises seeds and berries in the form of a clarified cordial. Combined with gin, orange brandy, and bubbles, the result is a light and fruity concoction, which pairs perfectly with the glassware it is served in. The entire piece sits in a model bird’s nest for an elaborate sipping experience.
SMOKE ON THE WATER (FIRE)
Smoke on the Water incorporates the element of Fire through various ingredients and methods. A split base of coconut fat-washed rum and mezcal is mixed with a charred lemon cordial and birch sap water to yield a long and smoky drink. The cocktail is then smoked table-side with cedar wood; aromas which escape the smoking box act as an indicator of the smouldering tipple inside.
DEEP COVE (WATER)
A refreshing and herbaceous punch-style drink, Deep Cove may have been our favourite libation to come out of Botanist’s Cocktail Lab. It showcases an island gin (which uses kelp as a botanical), sea buckthorn liqueur, and blue algae syrup. Balanced with lime juice and a touch of saline, this cocktail went down all too easy. The visuals are likewise charming; Deep Cove is served on a chunk of driftwood, and garnished with cucumber ribbons made to resemble waves.
If you are ever in Vancouver and in search of an elegant and memorable cocktail experience, Botanist is a must.”