Where science and cocktails collide in Vancouver

Prepare to have your mind blown at the annual Science of Cocktails fundraiser at Science World

“Would you like to try a Penicillin?”

“Do I look like I need penicillin?”

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And, so began the preview of the annual Science of Cocktails fundraising event at Telus World of Science Tuesday evening. The sneak peek allowed media to get a glimpse — and taste — of what ticketholders will enjoy Feb. 7, when Science World transforms into Vancouver’s largest cocktail laboratory.

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Science meets cocktails at Telus World of Science Feb. 7. Photo Telus World of Science

The event is an opportunity for the city’s most talented bartenders and chefs to get their science on while showcasing the chemistry, biology and physics behind preparing modern cocktails and cuisine.

But back to the Penicillin… I watched as award-winning bartender — and Bacardi Portfolio Ambassador for B.C. — Kevin Brownlee whipped me up a Penicillin cocktail, which includes Dewar’s 12 whiskey, honey ginger syrup, lemon juice and ginger using the application of heat to create an evaporated mist to finish my drink.

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Bartender Kevin Brownlee finishes off a Penicillin cocktail with an evaporated mist created using heat. Photo Sandra Thomas

I’m guessing it’s the healing properties of honey and ginger that account for the drink being named after an antibiotic, but I can promise you it was nothing but delicious.

The open-bar Science of Cocktails event includes 35 stations serving drinks crafted by award-winning bartenders. Food tasting is also included and at 15 stations so guests can check out molecular gastronomy bites from talented local chefs.

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Expect the unexpected at Science of Cocktails at Telus World of Science Feb. 7. Photo Telus World of Science

But Science of Cocktails isn’t just about creative, chemistry-inspired food and drink. Proceeds from the event are used to support Science World’s Class Field Trip Bursary. The program provides kids from underserved local schools an opportunity to visit Science World. An average class bursary to Science World is just under $900, which includes bus transportation, admission and an activity to take home.

The Science of Cocktails, sponsored by New Avenue Capital, also includes a bartender showdown and an award recognizing the best dish of the night.

Here’s just a brief glimpse of what attendees can look forward to Feb. 7.

Ultrasonic Gin & Tonic/Tanqueray No. 10

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Sherry infused with sage, which is used in the Ultrasonic gin and tonic from Chris Enns, bartender at Fairmont Pacific Rim. Photo Sandra Thomas

Bartender: Chris Enns

Fairmont Pacific Rim


Smoked Old Fashioned/Jim Beam Black

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Bartender Yohan Sweetapple prepared smoked Old Fahioned cocktails at a preview of Science of Cocktails. Photo Sandra Thomas

Bartender: Yonah Sweetapple



Gin & Water with Tonic/Boodles Gin

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In this cocktail by Trevor Kallies, the drink is carbonated using a carbonation ring. Photo Sandra Thomas

Bartender: Trevor Kallies

Co-founder of the Canadian Professional Bartender’s Association


Braised Short Rib Wellington

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Braised short rib Wellington from Glowbal. Photo Sandra Thomas

Chef de cuisine Omar Hadi



Vegan Hummus Roll

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These vegan hummus rolls are made with rice puffs and torched miso sauce and finished with red pepper threads, Serrano pepper sauce and crispy onion. Photo Sandra Thomas

Chef Hiroki Hatada

Hapa Izakaya Yaletown


Seared Duck Breast on Spent Grain Crip

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Seared duck breast on spent grain crisps by Chef Sarah Stewart. Photo Sandra Thomas

Chef Sarah Stewart

Donnelly Group: Development and Training




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