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What the VanMag team has been sipping this month (you know, now that we're actually allowed).
If you’re one of the few who actually made it through Dry January, congratulations! Now get out there and celebrate with one of these local brews and cocktails (if you haven’t done so already).
Who am I kidding? I didn’t do Dry Jan, but if I had, it would have made my first sip of Tacofino’s Coconut Mint Margarita—available only at the Gastown Taco Bar—that much sweeter. The vanilla salt rim that comes stock with their house margaritas makes perfect sense in this happy-hour exclusive featuring coconut milk and mint leaves. And contrary to what you’d expect, it’s not super sweet, thanks in no small part to the balancing wallop of El Jimador blanco. —Julia Dilworth, Associate Editor
Sour beer is supposed to be a summer thing—or so I learned this past Christmas when my partner and I developed an inexplicable, intractable passion for pucker-inducing brews. This resulted in our braving the Great Snowpocalypse to prowl specialty liquor stores in search of our out-of-season obsession. The object of my particular affection? Nectarous Dry-Hopped Sour by Four Winds Brewing. With just the right hit of tartness and a light, tropical-fruit finish, this beer got me through this most frigid winter by invoking the feeling of warmer climes. Now that spring is (hopefully) on the horizon—and New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside—I’m looking forward to sour beers coming out of hibernation, which should make my Nectarous much easier to find. —Jessica Barrett, Senior Editor
Yes, it’s a month past the season when I tend to be attracted to all things warm and spicy—but I make an exception with the Klondike at Timber. It tastes a little like eggnog, if eggnog didn’t have the equivalent of a Big Mac’s worth of calories in a glass: light, a little creamy, topped with freshly grated nutmeg and stirred with a brown-sugary combo of spiced whisky and bourbon, for a to-the-bone warming effect on a rainy Vancouver night. Plus, egg whites: every drink should be foamy with egg whites. —Anicka Quin, Editorial Director
If I ever did something as out-of-character as not drinking for a month, the first day back on the wagon would be of some consequence. And notwithstanding I spend much of my day writing about spirits and wine, the first golden nectar to hit my lips would definitely be beer. So I’m choosing Parallel 49’s new collaboration with four American craft-brewing hotshots—Gigantic Brewing Company from Portland, Green Flash Brewing from San Diego, 49th State Brewing from Anchorage and Scuttlebutt Brewing Company from Everett, W.A. This is the third go-around for the collabs and each of the past two have been super solid (and not crazy expensive) for four bombers. —Neal McLennan, Food Editor
Okay, so I didn’t quite make it to the end of Dry January. It was my best friend’s birthday on the 28th, and a milestone one at that—what kind of a pal would I be to let her drink alone? But at least I broke my sobriety streak with a cocktail that was almost-maybe-healthy-ish: the Gin Basil Smash from the Emerald. There’s lemon juice and fresh basil (basically a serving of vegetables), and a healthy portion of Beefeater gin, which is made with botanicals in some capacity, right? All in all, a very delicious way to toast both the BFF’s big day, and the early arrival of Not-So-Dry February. —Stacey McLachlan, Executive Editor
I never order martinis, but this supersized nightcap from Chill Winston is hard to resist. The elusive cocktail (I’ve seen it listed on the menu just one time, but the bartenders will make it if you ask), combines equal parts Baileys, vodka, Kahlua and espresso, poured over an exorbitant number of ice cubes. It’s cold, refreshing, can’t-drink-just-one good, so make sure you save room for dessert—and no, I don’t mean cake. —Kaitlyn Gendemann, Staff Writer