Some restaurants pride themselves on having the best wine list, others on a curated whiskey selection, while others serve up innovative cocktails. Market by Jean Georges takes on a different route, where they have revamped their bar program under the direction of their new bar manager, Gianluigi Bosco. On the innovative menu you can discover experiential cocktails and spirit-free creations, botanical waters, and aromatic wines, all infused with the transformative powers of hydrosols.
Hydrosols are non-alcoholic concentrations that are produced by distilling water infused with fresh herbs, fruits, and spices, such as peppermint, cloves, cinnamon, rose, and lavender. Market works with Canadian distillers who produce a variety of hydrosols, which Bosco and his team use to create Market’s own signature blends that are incorporated into in all aspect of the drink menu, including aromatic wines.
Market’s line of fortified wines are prepared and bottled in-house and come in three distinct blends: Spiced is red wine, Calvados, ginger syrup, with a spiced hydrosols blend; Botanical is white and Juniper-infused vodka, fennel syrup and a botanical hydrosols blend; Citrus is rosé and Pinot Noir Marc, which is infused for up to a month with oranges, lemons, grapefruits and vanilla.
Our favourite from the fortified wine lineup has to be the Citrus, with just the right amount of zest and the scent of creamy vanilla. Though usually not a wine drinker, we have already set a date to return just to enjoy the in house wine with our holiday meal.
Their innovative cocktails takes cocktails to the next level with changing flavour notes.
Order an Old Fashioned, Gin and Tonic or Negroni and you can expect a singular tasting note with every sip. In comparison, when you order a cocktail from the new bar menu at Market by Jean Georges, you can expect some exquisite cocktails where the flavour note changes with each sip. Take for example the “Bering Tea”, which uses a rich blend of carbonated oolong tea – from Vancouver-based favourite O5 Rare Tea Bar – yuzu juice, and birch syrup; your palette first registers the bitterness of the tea, and then the sweetness of the yuzu.
Bosco has invested a considerable amount of time and effort to devise these new additions to the drink menu, resulting in more than a few cocktails with these engaging flavour profiles. The most notable thing for us during our visit was the extra mile he went to create delicious virgin cocktails with beautiful presentations.
Think back to every virgin cocktail you have come across, most are just carbon copies of the cocktail, minus the alcohol - the presentation is usually not extremely thoughtful and most often looks the same as the cocktail.
With the virgin cocktails on this drink menu, we were surprised by the amount of thought that went into these drinks. Why? Because usually it’s not economical for the bar to spend too much time on virgin drinks. That said, it shows that the restaurant understands the needs of customers who want to engage in the social norms of mingling at a bar, but not necessarily consuming alcohol. Being able to order a drink with a sophisticated presentation allows these individuals to socialize without being caught with a glass of water, cranberry soda or Shirley Temple in hand.
Not only are the drinks artistically crafted, they also contain healthy ingredients such as sea buckthorn (hello glowing skin!) and beets.
So the next time your friends or colleagues want to go out for a drink, you will want to steer the crowd to Market by Jean Georges, where the menu has something for everyone (not to mention the absolutely delicious Steelhead Sashimi bites pictured below!)
1115 Alberni Street
Located on 3rd Floor of Shangri-La Hotel (1128 West Georgia)
Photos courtesy of Shangri-La Vancouver
Photos by Leila Kwok