by Meghan Roberts

Over the past year, I’ve accumulated a few favourite libation haunts in trendy Gastown that I’d like to share with you, don’t judge me too harshly if I get a bit loud. Try one, three, or all my reccomendations in a drunken Tour de Gastown, and don’t forget to take some touristy photos by Gassy Jack. Extra points for salacious poses!

Pourhouse (162 Water Street) – Fancy some old time flavour? At the Pourhouse, men’s mustaches and suspenders aren’t ironic. Brick walls, elaborate booths, and a long, intimate bar pair with upbeat instrumental music for a charming, vintage feel. Don’t be intimidated by the stark white linens, the place is pretty casual. Sidle up to the bar for some tasty concoctions from award winning bartender Jay Jones. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the Hogtown with bacon infused rye

The Diamond (#6 Powell Street) – Up a flight of stairs, The Diamond looks over the bustle of Gastown, letting you experience a view you’ll not often see. The place is usually packed, so you might want to reserve if they’ll let you (they take limited reservations). The cocktail menu is an extensive collaboration between three of Vancouver’s best bartenders: Mark Brand, Josh Pape, and Sophie Taverner. My favourites are the minty fresh Colin’s Lawn and the spicier than normal Moscow Mule. If you’re getting hungry you can order a few Asian influenced snacks, like togarashi peanuts or delicate pork gyoza.

Guilt & Co (1 Alexander, downstairs) – Praise for newcomer Guilt & Co has been exploding on my Twitter feed with good reason. The space is open, and they encourage you to interact with your neighbours by providing ice breaker cards you can use to strike up a convo. When your drink menu comes, be sure to ask for the games menu as well. Guilt & Co offers a selection of your childhood favourites like Battleship and Trouble. They’re pretty much begging you to create new drinking games, so I say go ahead. Start off with a Smooth Criminal (white rum, grapefruit juice, lime, and something called “vanilla ambushing dust”) or the Devil Inside, a reincarnation of the Caesar. I also suggest the Lying Eyes, which comes with a Polaroid photo of you and your friends. Depending on how far into the night you are, this could be an awesome or completely regrettable choice. At least it won’t go on Facebook!

Revel (238 Abbott Street) – Hopefully by this time you should be staggering, not walking, out of Guilt & Co to your last stop. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want another nibble. Not to worry, Revel has your back. Their kitchen is open until 1am, and with a delicious seasonal drink menu. Right now, you must try the Hansel and Gretel with rum and gingerbread syrup. A bit of an odd choice for spring/summer, perhaps, but it’s not to be missed. Also try the Cherry Pie Bellini, featuring Amaretto, black cherry cordial, and Prosecco. It’s both tart and sweet, and will have you feeling the same way after your night out.

Chill Winston (3 Alexander Street) –  The morning after destination. Whether you’ve ended up back home or at some basement suite in Strathcona, you’ll be wanting a pick-me-up following your night out. After you’ve gathered your clothes and dignity, head back for a well-deserved Caesar on the best patio in Gastown. Chill Winston’s patio sprawls into the sidewalk and awards you with a stunning view of Maple Tree Square. If you’re not into Caesars, try the Spooning Jesus (rum, lychee, and triple sec) or Ginzebel (gin, lemonade, and basil). A simple Mimosa works too. As you’re sipping away your hangover and reminiscing (or being reminded) of how much fun you had last night, you can appreciate the beauty and history of Gastown peppered with the occasional request for spare change. Hey, it is Vancouver!