Recipes: 8 Chinese New Year-themed cocktails

Eight local bartenders serve up cocktail recipes inspired by the Year of the Rooster

1. Zh?ngchéng (‘Devoted’) by J-S Dupuis, Boulevard

“This cocktail is inspired by the Year of the Rooster. The rooster loves beauty and luxury, but is also somewhat conservative. I went with my favourite cognac and added some very traditional Chinese flavours to create that balance between opulence and conservatism.”


  • 1 oz Hennessy VSOP Cognac
  • 0.5 oz Giffard Ginger of the Indies
  • 1 drop of mandarin tincture
  • 1 gram candied ginger
  • 3 oz sweetened Lapsang Souchong hot tea


  1. Pour the Hennessy VSOP, Ginger of the Indies and mandarin tincture into a warmed tea cup.
  2. Place the candied ginger in the cup and stir to begin dilution.
  3. Pour the hot Lapsang Souchong tea into the cup, and stir to finish melting the candied ginger.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

    As Beverage Director at Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, J-S Dupuis enjoys having access to top shelf products, giving him carte blanche to create unique cocktails and elevate the experience of each guest.


2. The Golden Rooster by Katie Ingram, L’Abattoir

“I wanted to create a cocktail inspired by the rooster’s lucky colours: gold, yellow and brown. The brown is represented by the blended whisky, which provides notes of toffee apples, biscuits and a malty finish, while the nutty Oloroso Sherry brings out the toffee. Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa Cordial is a traditional Chinese syrup made from a blend of herbal ingredients, menthol and honey.”



  • Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and dry shake vigorously.
  • Add some ice and shake again hard for 6-7 seconds.
  • Double strain to a large coupe and garnish with gold flakes.

Katie Ingram enjoys the performance aspect of creating cocktails as much as the opportunity to challenge all the senses to work together. She brings a dramatic flair to the bar at L’Abattoir having trained for a career on the stage at Etobicoke School of the Arts before being drawn into the world of cocktails.


3. Dr. Greenthumb by Kaitlyn Stewart, Royal Dinette

“Chinese New Year is a time to celebrate with friends and family, to share special meals, give gifts and toast to the beginning of a new year. Bringing together the flavours of green tea and lemongrass, the Dr. Greenthumb is the perfect cocktail to sip on while celebrating.”


  • 1 oz Lemongrass Ketle One Vodka
  • ½ oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1 bar spoon of Green Chartreuse 
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • 1 oz green tea
  • 1 dash lemon verbena syrup 
  • Dehydrated lime wheel


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass add ice and stir for 10 seconds.
  2. Strain into chilled coupe glass.
  3. Garnish with dehydrated lime wheel and serve.

A fan of shaking up a wide selection of innovative-yet-approachable drinks, Kaitlyn Stewart loves to incorporate local spirits and seasonal ingredients akin to Royal Dinette’s locavore mantra.


4. The Red Lady by Kris Girard, Torafuku

“This drink is inspired by azaleas, which are kept in homes for good luck during the Lunar New Year. Floral and bright, I went with a local vodka for an approachable cocktail, but with some interesting herbal undertones to keep you warmer in the colder months.”


  • 1.5 oz Sid’s vodka
  • 0.75 oz Aperol
  • 0.25 oz Amaro Montenegro 
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup 
  • 0.75 oz lemon juice 
  • 2 dash mount Fuji bitters from Ms. Betters Bitters 
  • 1 egg white


  1. Shake everything on ice in a martini shaker
  2. Strain then dry shake
  3. Strain into a coupe glass

Currently creating playful yet approachable cocktails at Torafuku as Bar Manager, Kris previously honed his skills at Gastown establishments such as The Pourhouse and L’Abattoir as a cook.


5. Wing Sang Sour by Max Borrowman, Juniper

“The Wing Sang Sour is the perfect combination of smokey, cool and tart flavours. This cocktail is named after the oldest building in Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Wing Sang Building.”



  1. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into your favourite Chinese style cup.

A native of the Okanagan, Max is a rising star on the Vancouver bartending circuit who brings a dynamic energy to Juniper’s locally- and seasonally-inspired cocktail list.



6. The Cockeyed Rooster by Dave Warren, The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar

“I wanted to use a spirit that pays homage to the rooster. This cocktail is all about balancing flavours. The lychee liqueur gives the cocktail a sweet and floral taste, while the five-spice tea adds warmth and spice. My pear and fennel shrub gives a touch of acidity to the drink while blending flavours together. Finally, the sichuan pepper bitters finish the cocktail with a peppery kick.


  • 1.75 oz Cockspur Rum
  • 0.25 oz Soho lychee liqueur
  • 0.75 oz brewed five-spice tea
  • 0.50 oz pear & fennel shrub
  • Dash of sichuan pepper bitters


  1. Add all ingredients to a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir for 20 seconds.
  3. Double strain into a martini or decorative glass
  4. Sprinkle with edible gold flakes and serve with a star anise on the edge of the glass.

An aficionado of handmade tinctures, unique libations, and spirits, Dave Warren migrates his experience at acclaimed restaurant Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar to The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar, where he curates a wide-ranging and ever-changing bar menu that highlights the very best of the Pacific Northwest.



7. Rum Route by Ron Oliver, co-owner and lead bartender, Mamie Taylor’s


“This cocktail is a great wintertime drink as well as a Chinese New Year tipple.  The herbal bitter and slight smokiness of the Gunpowder Tea is a nice contrast to the rich combo of Nicaraguan and Cuban rums and balances the mandarin and citrus in order to make this CNY inspired flip delicious. Since we are entering the Year of the Rooster, only a Rooster egg will do, but in a pinch, a regular chicken egg will suffice.”


  • 1 oz Ron Zacapa
  • 1 oz Havana Club 7yr
  • 0.5 oz  Gunpowder Tea syrup*
  • 1.5oz fresh squeezed mandarin juice
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 whole ‘rooster’ egg


  1. Combine ingredients in a Boston glass filled with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously.
  3. Double strain into chilled cocktail glass with dragons on it.
  4. Garnish with loose leaf gunpowder tea sprinkled on top.

Gunpowder Tea Syrup

  1. Combine 3 large tablespoons of raw gunpowder tea leaves with 1/2 L of warm sugar syrup.
  2. Leave to steep for 30 mins or until flavour of tea has infused into the sugar syrup.
  3. Strain out tea leaves and syrup is ready to use.

A veteran of the Vancouver restaurant scene manning the bars at Blue Water Café, the Diamond and La Terrazza, Ron Oliver is the co-owner of regional American restaurant, Mamie Taylor’s.


8. The Fire & Ice by Colin MacDougall, Canadian Whisky Ambassador West-Canada

Inspired by the Rooster or Fire-rooster, a little bit of fire and heat to battle the year with its notorious bad luck!”


  • 2 ounces Lot 40 100% Pot still Rye
  • 0.5 ounces Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 0.75 ounces Ginger-Apple Syrup*
  • 1/8 tablespoon of Cayenne pepper
  • A few flakes of chili pepper


  1. Place all ingredients into a Boston Shaker with ice and…shake it
  2. Double strain into your favorite glass on top of slow diluting ice*
  3. Garnish with apple lightly dusted with ½ sugar and ½ cayenne pepper and rim glass with same

Ginger-apple syrup

  1. Skin, muddle, and/or hand blend 2 cups of fresh ginger and 2 cups of ambrosia apples to a pulp
  2. Bring to boil 2 liters of water and add 3 liters of your preference of sugar i.e., raw cane sugar works great
  3. Add the 2 cups of ginger and reduce for 30 min.
  4. Strain off the sediments and place in the fridge for best keeping
  5. To add more staying power to the syrup pour in 2-3 ounces of Lot40 Rye. Helps with the flavor of the syrup too!

Slow-diluting ice

  1. Bring to a boil water and let cool for 10 minutes
  2. Add water to silicone ice molds and place into freezer
  3. Ice will be clear and tenacious

While he’s a dyed-in-the-wool “Bluenoser” who originally hails from Nova Scotia, Colin MacDougall travelled far and wide before settling on the West Coast, where he has become the newest top-shelf acquisition for an already well-respected and dedicated team at Corby’s/Pernod-Ricard.