Ray Loy, owner of Vancouver’s hottest nouveau-Chinese restaurant, Bambudda, has a serious passion for creative drinks. Here is Ray’s Top-5 “Wild West” Drinks from around the world.
It’s a truly eclectic mix of martinis, shots and cocktails from bars and restaurants all around the globe, and in three giggle juice categories, “Decadent and Sweet” (for the sweet tooth), “Smoke and Fire” (for those who like it hot), and “Knock-Out Punch” (for those looking for efficiency). The fun part about this list is that you can actually try most of these on your own. The Klondike theme was more of an afterthought: bacon, scotch, sandstorms, gun powder and Crown Royal. Hey, Ray! your pioneer spirit is showing!
“Decadent and Sweet”
1. Bacon Martini
Where to find it: Double Down Saloon (New York City, USA)
A cocktail that consists of bacon-infused vodka and is served with a garnish that can include ingredients such as strips of bacon, bacon bits and olives.
2. Chocolate Truffle Martini
Where to find it: The Donovan Bar (London, England)
For $120, you’ll get a heady combination of black Alba truffle-infused vodka and chocolate liqueur, garnished with paper-thin truffle slices.
“Smoke and Fire”
3. Spicy Sandstorm
Where to find it: 11 Manliest Alcoholic Drinks Ever
This shot consists of 1 ounce of your favorite scotch, 1 ounce gin, ground black pepper, and a splash of Tabasco sauce.
4. Gunpowder Plot
Where to find it: Zeta Bar (Sydney, Australia)
We’re not really sure what ‘gunpowder flavours’ means, but that’s what these guys infuse their gin with. Then they shake the gin with fernet branca (a traditional herbal digestive) and egg white. By doing this they create a thick layer of froth on the top. When the cloche is closed and smoke is added the froth is infused with a smoky, wooden flavour giving the drink a completely new edge. This smoking technique takes the drink to a whole other level. It comes served in a smoking cloche amid a pile of twigs and oak-scented fog.
“Knock Out Punch”
5. The Duck Fart
Where to find it: All over Alaska, USA
This creamy shot is made by pouring different layers of liquor, that when combined deliver a potent sucker punch. Made with a half-ounce of Kahlua, a half-ounce of Baileys Irish Cream and a half-ounce of Crown Royal Canadian whiskey, the Duck Fart can be layered like a shot or on the rocks if you prefer. Don’t add ice cubes after-the-fact as they can muddle up the layers. Invented in Alaska, “the Duck Fart is to Alaska what the Mai-Tai is to Hawaii and the Margarita is to Mexico.”
Ray Loy: From Blended Life to Blended Menu
A passion for a solid bar program isn’t something Ray Loy picked up along his journey in bringing Bambudda to Gastown. He’s been playing with fluid flavours since his early childhood. Like many Chinese Canadian kids living in Strathcona, his father was a cook. This meant “the restaurant” was sometimes his after-school program. It was here that his love of food began, but it was also where he began mixing and creating his own drinks. As a child he was mixing simple drinks like juices and soda pop. With adulthood came adult ingredients, but his nerd-like enthusiasm for uncovering innovative palate sensations was deeply established.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in the Vancouver community of Strathcona, Ray experienced a commonly heard Asian Canadian story of not being considered Chinese in Hong Kong while not being considered fully-Canadian in Canada. His blended identity was his inspiration for taking a leap and starting his own restaurant was to blend his two cultural beliefs together; the food at Bambudda was neither conventionally Chinese nor North American – it was Hong Kong inspired dishes with French techniques. Before getting into the restaurant business, Ray’s first dream was to be an actor; he even hosted a local TV show called “TV Fusion”.
It wasn’t until Ray worked at Shangri La in Vancouver that he realized he wanted to own his own restaurant. His conviction was to revitalize Chinese food; his main goal was to serve Chinese-inspired food with service on par with the industry’s highest standards. As part of his vision, Ray incorporated a strong bar program into Bambudda as en extension of his childhood passion for mixology.