I’m lucky enough to have a dad who shares my enthusiasm for food. So before a family dinner in Gastown to celebrate my brother’s birthday, we headed downtown early to grab a few drinks (cocktails for me, cappuccinos for him) and snacks at Reflections at the Hotel Georgia. It’s located on the fourth floor roof, so it’s open to the sky, although for some reason I expected a “rooftop lounge” to be on the very top of the hotel. It’s a very tranquil space, with flowing water and pools and waterfalls, but I can tell that at night it has the potential to transform into a NYC-esque chic space for a reception or something. Unfortunately, the view is a little obstructed by the highrises all around, but this has the added effect of giving a sheltered feeling, like you’re in a private space of your own.
I had an Aperol spritz (Aperol, prosecco, sparkling water). These Italian-style spritzes based on bitter liqueurs and prosecco were a big thing; I noticed several restaurants offering some variation this year. And it’s not a bad thing, because they’re highly refreshing and a perfect introduction to bitter liqueurs like Campari, Aperol, and Fernet Branca(I haven’t seen a Fernet spritz, but I’ll bet that one exists). The bitter is tempered nicely by the prosecco, and the carbonation keeps things cool and light.
My dad ordered some macarons because he wanted to see what the whole macaron craze was about. Not much, said I. After eating them, he agreed. Nothing against Reflections’ macarons; they were great. In fact, some of the best macarons I’ve had. I’d still rather have a cookie or a brownie or something though. I feel like people like macarons just because they’re colourful and photogenic. And photogenic they are…
Of course, you can’t just have one cocktail. I also ordered a mint julep (bourbon, mint, sugar, water), partially because this was the summer of I’ll Have Another, and partially because I noticed the shiny tin cups behind the bar and I’d never had one in appropriate servingware before. I don’t know, I’m not really a fan of mint juleps. The mint isn’t prominent enough compared to the rough bourbon, and the sugar tames the fire a little too much. The crushed ice also dilutes the liquor faster, and it ends up tasting like a cup of faintly minty watered-down whisky. That may be good for the summer when you’re watching horses run their hearts out in the Kentucky heat, but it’s not as called for in less-sweltering climes.
Sadly, the season of Reflections is short, as they only open when the weather is clement enough for rooftop patio frolicking. Fortunately, Prohibition is slated to open (finally) this winter, so the Hotel Georgia will remain a happening spot through the new year!