Belly up to the bar at the Granville Room, site of one of the festival’s mixology dinners.

Credit: Tourism Vancouver

It’s back. Tales of the Cocktail on Tour, a mobile drinking fest, returns to Vancouver next week. It’s a spinoff of the annual New Orleans event, which celebrates its ten-year mark this summer—but from February 12–15, the Canadian city will host its second annual flurry of shaken and stirred seminars.

Our former Food and Drink editor, Jessica Voelker, toured last year’s Vancouver festival. She discovered what makes good ice and was introduced to something called a whipped cream-charger. Her verdict? Tales of the Cocktail is "entirely too much fun."

Most of next week’s events take place at the host hotel, the Fairmont Pacific Rim, but the Spirited Dinner series will be in restaurants all around town; each features local chefs and mixologists. Classes will include one on Colonial American Drinks (the brew made from "beer, rum, molasses, and a red-hot iron poker" sounds promising), and a bar tending trio will discuss tequila’s rather classy lineage. Tickets are $195 for the entire event—a deal that includes tasting rooms, opening and closing parties, and a bartender’s brunch.

Check out Voelker’s travel tips from her outing, then pack your own cocktail shaker for a trip north. But remember: Never, ever lie to a border agent about how much booze you’re bringing through customs. Guantanamo just isn’t worth it.

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