Sabrine Dhaliwal came to Vancouver from her native Netherlands via Ontario, working her way up through various bar programs (among them South Granville’s storied West restaurant) and ascending – in the six years she has been here – to the Bar Manager role at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar. She earned her level 3 certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) along the way, becoming one of Vancouver’s most learned leading bartenders, not to mention one its most respected competitors, winning both the Global Belvedere Challenge in London last year and Vancouver’s first ever Molinari Sambuca Cocktail Competition). Say hello to…
Coffee or tea? Coffee. Black.
Where were you born and raised? Born in Holland, raised in Ontario.
When did tending bar become a career and not a job? 2013, after being behind the wood with David Wolowidnyk for a year.
Name every restaurant you’ve ever worked at: Crossroad Country Grill, Venice House, Sunwapta Fall Resort, The Marquis, Arbutus Club, Showcase (Marriott Pinnicle), Reflections, Seasons In The Park, Edible Canada, West, UVA.
Describe the bar program at Uva in 10 words or less: Complex without being too complicated.
The cliché that you overuse? “It’s water under the bridge”.
What keeps you up at night? Tomorrow’s to-do list.
Who took the biggest chance on you? My husband.
Dogs or cats? Dogs.
Shoe of choice? Chucks with insoles.
Your three role models? Lauren Mote, Claire Smith-Warner, Anistatia Miller.
Would you ever want to open your own place? Maybe someday, but not in the near future.
Favourite Vancouver building? The Grace Residences, 1280 Richards Street.
If you could open a food cart, what would it sell? Latin-inspired food like arepas and empanadas (little pockets of deliciousness).
The thing that is bad for you that you will never stop eating? Chips, I’ll eat the whole bag in one sitting.
The Vancouver restaurant you wish was open 24 hours? España.
Whose back bar do you envy/covet the most? West.
What’s the one thing about Vancouver’s restaurant scene that you want to see changed the most? Its archaic liquor laws.
The different career path that you could have gone on? Dentistry.
Three films you would gladly watch again? The Secret Life of Walter Mitty; Die Hard (1 or 2); Inside Man.
The Uva cocktail that you want every Vancouverite to taste? Daffodil’s Cup.
Three favourite drinks in YVR? Northern Exposure – Keefer Bar; Gerard – Boulevard; Jumbo Jet – AnnaLena.
Under what circumstances would you join the army? Maybe if Donald Trump was elected President.
Your most regrettable purchase ever? None yet.
What was the luckiest moment in your life? Narrowly missing a moose on the highway.
It’s five years ago. You just clocked out. Where to? A friend’s place with a couple bottles of wine.
What was the unluckiest moment in your life? Being robbed.
What are you the most proud of? My circle of friends.
What are you the least proud of? My unfinished university degree.
The biggest mistake you’ve ever made? Not buying real estate when I had the chance.
The best thing about bartending? Always surrounded by friends.
The worst thing about bartending? Juicing citrus to find all the little nicks in your hands.
The strange talent that you possess? I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.
The strange talent that you wish you possessed? Double jointed.
What is the one animal that scares you the most? Snakes. I think they’re super creepy!
If you had a motto, what would it be? Roll with the punches.
Scariest situation you’ve ever been in? Being stepped on by a horse after falling out of the saddle.
Bartending trend that needs to die? Overly bitter drinks. Not everyone has a bartender’s palate!
Your favourite curse word? “Shit”.
Least favourite word? “Moist”.
The Rolling Stones or The Beatles? The Stones.
What object of no monetary value will you keep dearly until you die? My childhood teddy bear.
The most beautiful place in the world? The top of Mount Robson.
Your first memory? Eating ice cream.
The first album that made you love music? Nirvana’s Nevermind.
The song that you could listen to on repeat for an hour? Never Lost Control – Nomak (Instrumental Version).
The one place that you have the least interest in ever visiting? The inside of a Mexican prison.
The best way to go, in the very end? Surrounded by friends and family somewhere peaceful, maybe along the beach or in the mountains.
How would you like to be remembered? As good hearted and hard working.