The Best Backpacker Bars In Canada


Last year we discussed the top 19 party cities in all of Canada, but as you may very well know, one person’s party city is another person’s snoozefest.

A city can mean different things to different people based on their experiences. Whether you live in that city, were raised in that city, are tourists to that city or a backpacker just passing through, your wants, needs and expectations of a party may be different from everyone else.

Today we are going to focus on one particular group: backpackers. With youth hostels located in over 85 cities across Canada, the great white north is one destination with the backpacker’s travel budget in mind.

Not only can you find a cheap room at one of the many hostels across the country, but some of these hostels also have their very own bars! Cheap beers and cheap beds equal a fun time in my books.

So without further adieu, here are the best Backpacker Bars across Canada:

British Columbia
The Cambie Pub – Vancouver

When it comes to hostels, cheap, quality, and clean rooms are what is most important to many backpackers, and that is exactly what the The Cambie offers. What makes a stay at the Cambie even better is their onsite pub. Rated as the “#1 place to get wasted on the cheap” the Cambie really knows how cater to the backpacker’s budget. For more ideas on how to party on the cheap, check out our Miser’s Guide To Clubbing.

Alberta
The Storm Cellar – Banff

Billed as a True Traveler’s Pub, the Storm Cellar is the in-house bar for the HI-Banff Alpine Centre, one of the best ski and snowboarding hostels in the Rockies. The pub is a cozy place to unwind after a long day of hitting the slopes. Sip a few pints, play some darts, or take part in one of the many daily events, from Karaoke and trivia to live music from some great Canadian artists. If skiing is your thing, check out our list of the Best Ski Resorts To Party At.

Ontario
Mugshots – Ottawa

One of the more unique hostels in Canada is found in its capital city, Ottawa. The HI-Ottawa Jail hostel is located in the old Nicholas Street Gaol, which was built in 1862. Hostelling International purchased the building after it’s closure in 1972 and converted it into a hostel leaving much of the structure intact. Yes, that means you can spend a night in jail without the embarrassment of a having to call a friend or family member to bail you out. The jail’s chapel, which is typically only used in winter months, has been converted into the hostels on-site bar Mugshots. During the summer months the bar moves out into the courtyard, which was once the gallows and the place of the last public execution in Canada.

Québec
Tiki Bar Barbu – Sainte-Anne-des-Monts

Located 8 hours east of Montreal, right near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River is The Sea Shack, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts festive hostel. Ideally located to take advantage of all the outdoors has to offer, the Sea Shack hosts visitors all year round. Other than the amazing activities this hostel has to offer, from skiing to kayaking, what keeps people coming back for more are the famous parties hosted at the Tiki Bar Barbu. With live music acts from virtually every genre as well as many themed party nights, at the Tiki Bar Barbu the party never stops.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Most Popular Christmas Party Drinks

Even the Grinchiest of Grinches and the Scroogiest of Scrooges’ ice-cold hearts thaw just a little bit when it comes to getting together with friends for a few holiday drinks. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, from the second to third week of December, and well into the New Year, it is a great time to attend or even host a holiday party.

I’ve been to some pretty amazing parties where the host serves an elaborate themed menu, showing of their incredible culinary skills, however where many parties have failed is when it comes to party drinks. Typically BYOB (bring your own bottle) is expected.

It’s understandable of course, after all who really can afford to both feed and supply alcohol to all of their friends around this time of year. However, being able to supply some creative drinks alongside the incredible food would just blow your guests away.

The affordable solution: create a drink menu and assign each guest a particular bottle or ingredient to bring with them. Here are some of our favorite Christmas Party Drink recipes to add to your drink menu:

#1 – Eggnog

What is Christmas without a glass or two of everyone’s favorite treat – eggnog! Whether you purchase it from the store or make it from scratch, everyone loves a little eggnog each year, especially when it’s spiked. Since eggnog is our #1 pick for the most popular Christmas party drink we will not only provide you with a recipe to make homemade eggnog, but we’ll also provide you with two boozy variations. Think of it as our Christmas present to you.

· Simple Eggnog Recipe (Serves 20)

1 dozen eggs
12 oz white sugar
2 quarts milk
2 quarts whipping cream

Separate egg yolks and set whites aside for latter use. Combine egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients, mix well and chill in refrigerator. Before serving whisk egg whites and fold into mixture.

· Brandy Eggnog

1 oz brandy
½ oz dark rum
8 oz eggnog
whipped cream
ground nutmeg
cinnamon sticks

Shake brandy and rum in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a mug, add freshly made eggnog, top with whip cream and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon sticks.

· Eggnog Martini

1 ½ oz dark rum
3 oz eggnog
almond extract
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
cinnamon stick

Shake rum, eggnog and almond extract in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into martini glass rimmed with cinnamon. Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

#2 – English Christmas Punch

This Christmas punch is enough for 27 glasses, and best of all it is served on fire! Caution should be taken when igniting the punch; you don’t want to end up with a Griswold Christmas tree.

26 oz dark rum
26 oz dry red wine
24 oz strong tea
1 lb superfine sugar
juice of 1 large orange
juice of 1 lemon
orange slices

Combine wine, tea and the juice of one lemon and orange into a saucepan. Warm the mixture, being careful not to boil. Pour into heatproof punch bowl. Add sugar to a large ladle allowing excess sugar to enter punch bowl. Pour rum over ladle until sugar is saturated. Ignite the rum and sugar mixture carefully pouring into punch bowl. Stir to extinguish flames, add remainder of rum and orange slices for garnish.

#3 – Mulled Beer

Far be it from me to tell you how to drink you beer, I am after all a proponent of warming up with a cold one, but sometimes it’s nice to offer your guests a warm drink. This holiday recipe, which serves 20 of your closet friends, creates a warm and spicy twist on the traditional Christmas beer.

10 bottles of dark ale
5 egg yolks
5 tsp white sugar
2 tsp nutmeg
cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger

Combine beer and spices in a large saucepan and heat until ground spices dissolve. Mix sugar and egg yolks together and add to spiced beer ensuring to stir well. Pour into beer mug and garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon stick.

#4 – Hot Buttered Rum

Speaking of warming up with a warm one, this buttery treat is the perfect drink to hand your guests as they enter into you home from the frigid outdoors.

1 ½ oz of brandy
½ oz dark rum
1 Tbsp unrefined brown sugar
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
8 oz water
cloves
ground cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and warm on low heat. Works best if you make multiple cups at one time. Pour mixture into mugs and garnish with ground cinnamon

#5 – White Christmas

For those guest who wrinkle their noses to the though of eggnog, surprise them with this alternative. The additional flavors do a good job of masking that eggnog taste for those not so inclined.

1 oz Southern Comfort
½ oz white chocolate liqueur
4 oz eggnog
chocolate flakes

Shake all ingredients a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into martini glass and garnish with chocolate flakes.

#6 – Poinsettia

This elegant cocktail is made with Champagne, or sparkling wine, which will add a touch of class to any holiday party.

3 oz sparkling wine
½ oz triple sec
3 oz cranberry juice

Combine triple sec and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a Champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

#7 – Candy Cane

Here’s a fun cocktail to make for those that have a peppermint tooth – they are easy to spot, as they are the ones always stealing the candy canes off of your tree.

¾ oz berry flavored vodka
¾ oz peppermint schnapps
¾ oz white crème de cacao
¼ oz grenadine
half and half
soda water
candy cane

Combine vodka, peppermint schnapps, white crème de cacao, and grenadine into a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a martini glass rimmed with crushed peppermint candy. Fill with half and half, top with soda water and garnish with a candy cane.

#8 – Merry Christmas

Last but not least, here at the BarWhiz Blog we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas with a cocktail of the same name.

1 oz gin
1 oz cranberry juice
1 tsp lemon juice
club soda
fresh cranberries

Shake gin, cranberry and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice, top with club soda and garnish with fresh cranberries.

Corey Rozon profile imageAbout the Author
Corey Rozon is a freelance writer from Ottawa, Canada.

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Easter Themed Cocktail Ideas

Drunk bunny

So far this year the mixologists at BarWhiz have provided you a list of saintly drinks, from St. Valentine to St. Patrick, but today is all about Easter.

Easter is a Christian holiday that not only marks the end of lent, but also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also the time of year where children search for hidden chocolate eggs that where scattered around their homes by a magical bunny…

As for why bunnies became associated with Easter, just look no further than Christopher Moore’s satirical novel, Lamb. In his book, Moore’s character Joshua (Jesus) drunkenly gushes his affections for bunnies while at a wedding reception, declaring, “Henceforth and from now on, I decree that whenever something bad happens to me, there shall be bunnies around.” And that’s why we have the Easter Bunny.

From the walking dead to magical bunnies, Easter is one time of year that a tasty drink idea will be appreciated by all, and especially by those that gave up the drink as part of their Lenten sacrifice.

So without further adieu, here are your 5 Easter themed cocktail ideas:

#1 – Easter Bunny

easter bunny cocktail

1/2 oz vodka
1 oz creme de cacao
1 tbsp cherry liqueur
1 tbsp chocolate sauce

Pour all ingredients into a martini glass with ice and serve.


#2 – Easter Egg

Easter Egg Cocktail

1 oz blue curacao
1 oz white creme de cacao
half-and-half cream

Pour blue curacao and creme de cacao over ice cubes in chilled martini glass, float cream on top and serve.


#3 – White Rabbit
Aviary's White Russian

1 oz white rum
1/2 oz amaretto
1/2 oz kahlua
1/2 oz baileys
1 oz cream

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into rocks glass and serve.


#4 – Carrot Martini

Blood and Sand

2 oz citrus vodka
1 oz grand marnier
1 3/4 oz carrot puree
nutmeg and cinnamon for garnish

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.


#5 – Resurrection

Pernod

2 oz pernod
2 oz brandy
2 oz yellow chartreuse

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into a collins glass and serve.

Author: Corey Rozon

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St. Patty’s Day Themed Cocktails

Sex and midgets.

St. Patty’s Day is the one-day of the year where everyone is Irish. This cultural and religious holiday first took place in 1783 to commemorate Saint Patrick, one of the most commonly recognized patron saints of Ireland. You know Ole St. Patrick, he’s the one that rid the island of snakes. Today, the celebration consists of wearing of green and drinking green beer.

Here at BarWhiz, we say forget the green beer, if you really want to drink like the Irish, go for something black, but if Guinness isn’t your thing, maybe this list of St. Patty’s Day themed cocktails will do:

#1 – Irish Flag

IRISH FLAG DRINK S.PAT06

1/3 oz green crème de menthe
1/3 oz Bailey’s
1/3 oz Grand Marnier

Slowly layer ingredients in order to a shot glass and serve.


#2 – Emerald Isle

MINT MARTINI

1 oz gin
1 tsp green crème de menthe
2 dashes of bitters
1 mint leave

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into chilled martini glass, garnish mint, and serve.


#3 – Dublin Handshake

Cocktail glass

1/2 oz Baileys Irish cream
1/2 oz Irish whiskey
3/4 oz Sloe gin

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into martini glass, and serve.


#4 – Dancing Leprechaun

Gin Lemonade

1 1/2 oz Irish whiskey
3/4 oz Drambuie
3/4 oz lemon juice
ginger ale
lemon peel
1 mint leave

Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, strain into highball glass with ice, garnish with a twist of lemon and mint, and serve.


#5 – Irish Trash Can

Irish Trash Can

1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz light rum
1/2 oz vodka
1/2 oz peach schnapps
1/2 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1/2 oz triple sec
1 can Red Bull® energy drink

Add all ingredients to a Collins glass with ice, top with Red Bull, and serve.

Author: Corey Rozon

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