So, I have a confession to make. I did not successfully complete the 12 Bars of Christmas this year! *hangs head in shame*. I made it to all the bars. I sang all the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas at the appropriate times and in the appropriate locations, as per the rules of the 12 Bars. But I was not able to drink a drink at every bar! Well, I suppose I would have been able to, so I probably should say I was unwilling to given that my body was telling me that I needed a break after 8 drinks1.
I think part of the problem as that I couldn’t stick to the same game plan I had last year – which was to stick with a specific drink2 for most bars, with the occasional shot when we got behind schedule and needed to get in and out of a bar really fast. Why couldn’t I stick to that game plan, you ask? Because the 12 Bars got waaaaay too popular! Last year, we started out at Erika & Paul’s place with something like 7 people and then ended up with about 30 by the last bar, as people joined us along the way. This year, we had somewhere around 30 people at the first bar!! By the end, we have no accurate count of participants as friends of friends had joined up and no one really knew who was with us and who were just randoms in the bar. But there had to be over 50 of us by the end. This resulted in two things: (a) we didn’t get to meet as many new people, as you sort of had to stick with your little group in order to not get totally lost in the crowd, and (b) it’s really hard to get a drink at a bar when 30-50 others are also all trying to get a drink in 30 mins3 – somehow always seemed to be the last people served and so had to take a few shots off the start because there wasn’t enough time to drink an actual drink. I think this set a poor tone for the evening!
My night went something like this.
Bar #0 – Erika & Paul’s place (UNOFFICIAL START) – Vodka & Sprite. I agreed to have a drink here. This was my first mistake!
Bar #1 – Las Margarita’s – OFFICIAL START – Jolly Rancher shot. I wanted a margarita here, but by the time we got to the bartender, it was pretty much time to leave, so we had to do a shot.
Bar #2 – Room 18 – Polar bear shot. Bar #2 was supposed to be Hell’s Kitchen5, makers of the best Amaretto sour at last year’s 12 Bars. When Hell’s Kitchen was called early in the day and asked if they would be open at 4 p.m., they replied “yes.” Apparently “yes” means “no” at Hell’s Kitchen, because when we go there, they weren’t open. So we improvised and went to Room 18 instead. They didn’t want to let us in at first, saying they couldn’t handle 34 people with just one bartender. So we promised that we’d all get the exact same shot and be out in her hair in life 15 minutes, probably the fasted $300 that bar will ever make. So another unplanned shot for me, but a great photo opp!
Bar #3 – Brown’s – Amaretto sour. Finally! Although this one wasn’t like any Amaretto sour I’d had before – it was brown rather than green. Weird.
Bar #4 – Kitsilano Restaurant – White wine. This is the place where we stop to eat. But it counts as a bar, so we have to drink their too. So I enjoyed a much too full glass of wine with my yam rolls, veggie tempura and teriyaki tofu. About halfway through the wine was when my brain took notice of the unnecessary amount of alcohol to which it was being subjected.
Bar #5 – Tatlow’s – Spiced rum & diet Coke6 – I don’t think I have anything special to report about this bar.
Bar #6 – Darby’s – Amaretto sour! Yay! Darby’s makes a tasty A.S. And it was green. Making for a very Christmasy photo of red and green drinks.
Vodka cran + Amaretto sour.
Bar #7 – Nevermind – Spiced rum & diet Coke6 – Unlike it’s sister restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, Nevermind was open. Unlike last year, where we convinced a #84 Express bus to pick us up and drive us to Nevermind despite the fact that Nevermind is not where the #84 bus is supposed to stop, this year we had to walk all the way to Nevermind. Which, by my calculations, is 872 blocks from Darby’s.
Between bars #7 and #8 is where I officially decided to wuss out. My tummy was telling me that it was sufficiently stocked with alcoholic beverages at the moment and any further deliveries would be returned to sender. So, in the interest of not puking, I decided to skip the drinks at the next two bars.
Bar #8 – Gargoyles – No drink!
Bar #9 – The Fringe – No drink again!
Bar #10 & #11 – Coppertank – Spiced rum & diet Coke. We were supposed to go to Elwood’s for Bar #10, but they told us that brinigng 50ish people would put them over capacity, so they wouldn’t let us in. So we decided that Coppertank could have more of our money and decided to stay there for an hour instead of the usual 30 mins, having two drinks (and sing two verses of the 12 Days of Christmas) instead of the usual 1. I felt better enough to have one drink, but decided that I didn’t really need two.
Unfortunately, Coppertank counted as 2 bars, I forgot to take a “Bar #11” pic.
Bar #12 – Regal Beagle – Spiced rum and diet Coke. And thus ended the 12 Bar
Bar #13 – Lola’s – Spiced rum and diet Coke – In celebration of not having died, we went next door to Lola’s to dance, and make fun of the other patrons fashion choices behind their backs.
You can view all the photos here.
1In my defence, I would like to remind everyone that I’m somewhat on the small size. I don’t think 115 lb people are meant to drink 13 drinks!
2In my case, Amaretto sour.
3And the 30 minutes includes travel time between bars. And, given that we were having a blizzard4, travel time was somewhat slower going than one would like.
4To my readers out east: “blizzard” in Vancouver vernacular means “it was snowing out.”
5You may recall Hell’s Kitchen as the location of my brief but celebrated career as a coat check girl.
6I think. If memory serves me, they didn’t have Amaretto here so I had to improvise. But I could be misremembering – memory started to fuzzy for some unidentifiable reason.