Long day at the office + rainy Vancouver evening = the perfect excuse to stay in on a weeknight. But, instead of yoga pants and the Real Housewives of Everywhere, I was ‘dragged’, as it were, out for a cocktail recon mission the other night.
On the hunt for someplace that would pique my interest and lift my mood, I realized I still hadn’t checked out (what potentially promises to become my new favourite place) – Juniper. Located on what is quickly developing into the best block in Chinatown… Juniper sits along with the Keefer Bar and Bao Bei and adds to what it already a near-perfect evening series of hot-spots.
It’s charming and bright, with subtly-quirky décor, friendly (and talented) faces to greet you from behind the bar with general “get-outta-the-rain” good vibes. Moreover, and most importantly, (no offence to this city’s beloved bourbon,) but a menu centered around gin is right up my alley.
Seriously, what’s better than a perfect gin and tonic? A gin and tonic, with added essentials, of course. Juniper’s well-cultivated cocktail list boasts a varied selection of botanical elements, flavour profiles, and finished with Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic.
The cocktails are beautiful, and created with care. And while I normally roll my eyes a little when the tweezers come out and the details venture into the land of being a bit too “precious” – even I can attest that every element to these works of art – from the carefully selected pink peppercorns to the thinly sliced radishes (radishes??) – are, amazingly, important components of the whole experience.
The whole vibe is upscale but friendly, straightforward and with a twist. Exactly like a solid G & T. When Emilio, the manager, introduced himself to us, he insisted that when he was looking to open Juniper, he wanted to emphasize his Mexican heritage , without opening “a taco place.” So, instead, the focus is freshness – with local produce and fresh, seasonal ingredients being replenished every few days.
A crisp take on the Vancouver cocktail scene – Juniper definitely hits my hotspot list. Get out of the rain and take a seat at the bar for a little breath of fresh, delicious, gin-spritzed air.