Armed with an exhaustive knowledge of cocktail lore and a reputation for shaking up unique, elegant-yet-funky twists on traditional drinks, Sabrine Dhaliwal has quickly established herself as a top-shelf talent not just in her adopted hometown of Vancouver but the world over.
Originally from the Netherlands, Sabrine began to embrace her abiding passion for food, wine and cocktails while working summer stints at the Sunwapta Falls Resort in Jasper, AB. She then found that her enthusiasm for the hospitality industry only intensified after travelling throughout Europe and experiencing the region’s old-world charms firsthand.
After coming to Vancouver in 2009, Sabrine enrolled in Vancouver Community College’s Hospitality Management Program and bolstered her wine knowledge by completing levels 1-3 of her Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma before helping to open Reflections Outdoor Restaurant and Lounge at the Hotel Rosewood Georgia in 2011.
In 2012, she further honed her knowledge of modern and classic cocktails by adding a Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) accreditation to her arsenal, while supporting the bartending team at the renowned West Restaurant, where she helped create an assortment of new seasonal cocktails and apprenticed under much-respected bartender David Wolowidnyk.
The novice became the mentor herself when she stepped into Wolowidnyk’s shoes as bar manager at West in 2015, a banner year in which she claimed top spot at the Global Belvedere Challenge in London, England — a two-day competition that coincided with World Martini Day and pitter top bartenders from North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia against one another — and also won the inaugural Vancouver Molinari Sambuca Cocktail Competition before joining fellow global bartending talent Lauren Mote as lead bartender at UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar.
In 2017, Dhaliwal — a Canadian brand ambassador for Belvedere Vodka who also mentors young up-and-coming bartenders as a WSET Level 2 Spirits instructor when not holding court behind the pine at UVA — was singled out by her peers at the prestigious Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards as Bartender of the Year, becoming only the third woman to claim the Best Bartender crown in the 28-year history of the annual awards ceremony.
Sabrine Dhaliwal, Bar Manager at Uva Wine & Cocktail Bar – Vancouver, BC