Luckyrice Cocktail Feast

LUCKYRICE Festival, an American based food event celebrating Asian food and drink, held their inaugural Canadian event in Toronto this July. LUCKYRICE began in New York in 2010 and have since spread to running events in Chicago, LA, Miami and San Francisco, all with the aim to highlight and share Asian food culture. The Toronto Cocktail Festival, sponsored by Bombay Sapphire East Gin, took place at Berkeley Church and featured Asian inspired cocktails from some of the city’s hottest restaurants like R&D, The Good Son, Bent and Brassaii. Chef Susur Lee was in attendance, representing Bent and mingling with guests throughout the night.

Disclaimer: Event tickets were provided complimentary by Luckyrice Festival. All opinions expressed below are wholly mine.

Berkeley Church was a stunning event space, decorated with colourful paper lanterns and lit with string lights, I loved people watching from the second floor balcony. All of the restaurants featured had their own station, except The Good Son who commanded the bar. Each station offered a choice of two drinks and were spaced out on each floor. This didn’t stop traffic jams on the main floor or in front of popular choices. Line-ups did move quickly. Cocktail tables had been set up throughout the venue with napkins, stir sticks and bowls of trail mix. Overall, this was a really well organized event.

For a one-fee ticket, guests were free to enjoy as many cocktails as they could, many of which had a liberal splash of Bombay Sapphire gin. All of the cocktails had an Asian twist, such as lychee liqueur or use of Asian spices like five spice and star anise. Hands down my favourite drink of the night was the Green Dragon from The Good Son featuring Vodka, lime juice, spicy bitters, lemongrass syrup and pickled dragon fruit. I even braved the lineup twice to get seconds.

As the night went on, guests continued to arrive and Berkeley Church filled with music and excited voices. There was no end to the colourful cocktails being mixed and guests having a good time. I can’t wait for LUCKYRICE’s next Toronto event, maybe with a focus on food? A Slurpfest?

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