Change of Season


By Julia Diakow

With Carolyn Yu

IMG_4858As the multitudes of haggard bartenders return home to their resident bars in Vancouver, what better time to release a story on the good ol’ Southern hospitality happening over at the Revel Room. As a well known industry haunt and general purveyor of excellent times, Carolyn Yu has been able to bring her own twist to the Revel Room. She has recently put out a thoroughly delicious cocktail list blending highlights from her Asian heritage with the whimsical, fun and bourbon forward approach engrained here.

Taking notes from growing up in Hong Kong, Carolyn utilizes many of the seasonal ingredients available in most Chinese grocery stores; usually choosing the most fragrant produce: Guava, Calamansi, Mangosteen and Kafir Lime Leaf. Of course, she also takes plenty of inspiration for the cocktail program from her last trip (and no doubt her recent one) to New Orleans for the beloved bartender’s Christmas, Tales of the Cocktail. Her favorite nightcap? Sipping on a delicious Absinthe frappe at Lafitte’s Blacksmith bar (If you know, you know).


The Moradita

No doubt that her love of absinthe led to The Moradita, meaning Little Death. This one is a taste bud tingler, bringing subtle spice and easy drinkability together. It is a blend of 45 ml Reposado Tequila, 20 ml Siete Misterios Doba Yej Mezcal, 20 ml Lime juice, 30 ml Black pepper raspberry syrup, shaken together, fine strained, and topped with mint and a heavy spritz of absinthe.

Southern hospitality is as much about enjoying delicious home cooked soulful meals, as it is strong cocktails, as such, they are even planning upcoming collaborations with the kitchen. Carolyn claims that there is a hybrid Mussels dish in the works, served with a Sazerac cocktail base.

IMG_4835And speaking of the heavy Southern influence at Revel Room, and as an avid lover of New Orleans, we asked Yu, if presented with the opportunity to lead a seminar for Tales of the Cocktail, what would it entail? Her ideal class would be influenced by Trash Tiki, the ultra fun, ultra waste conscious bar brain child of Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths. It would look specifically at waste output; taking tossed citrus past its expiration date and turning it into delicious cordials, as well as the environmental impact of used straws filling up landfills past their brim. Also, the dream lecture to sit in the back row of, with a bag of popcorn in hand, the heated debate on the “activated charcoal” trend.

But for now that she is home from NOLA, she is looking forward to getting back behind the bar, and thinking about the next spirit infused trip, perhaps to Tequila and Oaxaca to learn about the history and distillation of all things Agave.


The Tuxedo Mask

The last drink that Carolyn shook up for us was The Tuxedo Mask, a super playful take on a Martini; combining a refreshing sour aspect as well as floral notes. It is made with 45 ml Ford’s Gin, 15 ml Fino Sherry, 30 ml Lemon juice, 30 ml Vanilla syrup, 2 dashes of Rose Water, 1 Egg White, and topped with rose petals.



Find Carolyn Yu @tattoo_giggles

Find Revel Room @Revelroom