Science meets nature at the Botanist Bar and cocktail lab at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver. In a sophisticated space that feels as bright and airy as the surrounding restaurant, the tight-knit bar team (led by beverage director Grant Sceney and head bartender Jeff Savage), draws inspiration from the natural bounty of the Pacific Northwest, sourcing and foraging local ingredients to mix into drinks that are equal parts showpiece and storytelling. Take the Council of Trees cocktail, for example. Made with blended Scotch, fino sherry, oak moss, birch sap, and a Canadian alderwood and cherrywood smoked tea cordial, the highball is head bartender Jeff Savage’s imagining of a deciduous forest when it rains. Thanks to its superlative service programme, Botanist Bar is the winner of the Michter’s Art of Hospitality Award 2023.
As the seasons change, so does the cocktail menu, and the featured spirit-free options are just as inventive as the booze-fueled ones, employing some of the same technologies (think rotary evaporator and centrifuge) to extract the best flavor from ingredients like apple, birch sap, and aromatic orange and cherry blossom. If cocktails aren’t the plan, stop by the Champagne lounge for an engaging selection of sparkling wines from around the world, and don’t miss out on the highly seasonal cuisine at the restaurant, which has been awarded its own stunning array of accolades.