Hurrah! Warmer weather is finally upon us! And, of course, the minute I see sunshine, my mind automatically turns to sipping a cocktail with a great view in front of me. A seat on a patio would sweeten the deal even more. If you’re also in the mood for cocktail drinking, you’re in luck, as Richmond boasts some great spots for imbibing, as well as taking advantage of the city’s impressive waterfront areas and other sights.

Your task this spring/summer (if you choose to accept it) is to try the following five cocktails in Richmond. They pair especially well with good weather (or can cheer you up on so-so days) and have flavour notes that are light and refreshing for the hotter seasons.

Raspberry Mojito at Flying Beaver Bar & Grill

Classic and raspberry mojitos; Sourced from Flying Beaver

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill (4760 Inglis Drive) has one of the best patios in the city, with views of the Strait of Georgia, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands. Harbour Air seaplanes come and go, making grabbing drinks there a lovely outing. The vibe is chill and so are the bevies. General manager Mike Halsey-Brandt recommends their raspberry mojito. “It’s a unique spin on a classic cocktail. They’re refreshing and easy to drink, a little too easy perhaps [wink], and, are the perfect solution for cooling down on a hot patio,” he says. They’re made by shaking together ice, fresh mint, raspberries, simple syrup, raspberry infused white rum, lime juice, freshly squeezed lime, and soda water. The result is absolutely thirst quenching! A classic mojito is also available if you want to keep it simpler.

Planter’s Punch at The New Well Tavern

Planter’s Punch; Sourced from The New Well Tavern’s Facebook page

I was sad when Tapenade Bistro in Steveston closed, but was really excited to hear that The New Well Tavern (3711 Bayview Street) had opened in its place. This new casual dining eatery offers a relaxed vibe and an accessible west coast menu (e.g. pan seared steelhead with lemon couscous and seasonal veggies). They also have a great outdoor patio, which faces Bayview Street. Their bartenders craft classic drinks, as well as more modern creations, like the smashed apple mule, with freshly smashed apples, ginger beer, and vodka. For this spring and summer, they particular recommend their Planter’s Punch, a classic rum punch that originates from the Caribbean centuries ago. The version at The New Well Tavern consists of orange and pineapple juice, bitters, and rum. It’s garnished with a slice of orange and cherries. Drink it down and be transported to somewhere tropical.

The Boozy Blanche at Milltown Bar & Grill

Boozy Blanche; Photo Credit: Ayako Turnbull

If you spy a red building on Richmond Island, you’ll know you’ve reached Milltown Bar & Grill (101-9191 Bentley Street). This establishment is unique in that it boasts two patios, one with views of the mountains and the marina, and the other facing the Fraser River and YVR Airport (you can watch the planes take off and land). A refreshing choice would be their classic mojito with Appleton rum, fresh mint, lime, sugar, and soda water, or their raspberry version with raspberry infused rum. Also a winner is the Milltown Mule with vodka, fresh lime, simple syrup, and Bundaberg ginger beer.

Ayako Turnbull

And especially suggested is the Boozy Blanche, with lemonade, house infused raspberry vodka, and Blanche de Chamlby beer. On a hot day, it would be amazing!

Catch the Sunset at Catch Kitchen + Bar

Catch the Sunset; Photo Credit: Tara Lee

One of my favourite warmer weather rituals is visiting the Steveston boardwalk, capping off a walk along it with a meal or drinks on one of the nearby patios. One of the best patios is found at Catch Kitchen + Bar (3866 Bayview Street), located on the second level above Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant. Catch does great white and red wine sangria, with triple sec, peach schnapps, ginger ale, soda water, and tons of seasonal fruit. If you’re fortunate enough be there as the sun disappears into the horizon, you might want to order a Catch the Sunset drink, consisting of vodka, raspberry liqueur, and pineapple juice. It’s refreshing and, even better, visually looks like a sunset.

The Twin Otter at Jetside Bar

Sourced from Fairmont Vancouver Airport

Situated just next to Globe@YVR restaurant, Jetside Bar (Fairmont Vancouver Airport, 3111 Grant McConachie Way) offers sophisticated imbibing in a sleek setting. You’ll enjoy views of the Airport runways, as well as the North Shore mountains from floor-to-ceiling windows. Live music is offered from 7pm to 10pm every evening. Unique cocktails are expertly crafted, with a focus on high quality ingredients. The Twin Otter, named after a successful Canadian aircraft, celebrates Canada’s 150th birthday (July 1, 2017) and is a Canadian twist on the classic whisky sour. It contains two Canadian whiskies, Lot 40 and Canadian Club, lemon juice, simple syrup, and fresh egg whites. It’s topped with Steller’s Jay sparkling Okanagan wine and garnished with chocolate dipped bacon (how very Canadian, eh?). See the recipe below if you wish to create this patriotic concoction at home. Available at Jetside Bar, as well as Globe@YVR all spring and summer.

Recipe for The Twin Otter

1 oz Lot 40 Canadian Whisky
1 oz Canadian Club Canadian Whisky
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
¾ oz simple syrup
¼ oz fresh egg whites
2 oz Steller’s Jay sparkling Okanagan wine

Shake whiskey, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg whites over ice. Strain into a chilled coup glass, top with sparkling wine, and finish with chocolate dipped maple bacon garnish. Happy drinking!