Did someone say cocktail? Hello Fall and cosy booths, stool-lined bars and long share tables. As the lights grow low, it’s nice to hunker down with a loved one, a bestie or your crew and have a few cocktails or mocktails. Whether you’re sitting at the bar watching the mixologist juggle, zest, pour and concoct or having a tête-a-tête tucked away in a corner, downtown Victoria has a long list of hot new venues and solid time-tested options.
Clives Classic Lounge, Little Jumbo, Veneto, Q Bar and Fiamo may be top-of-mind for downtown cocktails, but many, many more venues have top selections to persuse and taste. From pubs to cafes, bistros and restaurants, everyone’s doing it.
Onside to explore the world of cocktails? You’d best grab a ticket for the 10th The Art of the Cocktail on October 13. This popular fundraiser for the Victoria Film Festival’s theme is Old Hollywood this year, with prizes for best dressed. The VIP tickets are already gone, but there’s still much to enjoy. Check out the Grand Tasting at Crystal Garden and also Cocktails Up Close, two high-energy workshops, where participants learn how to improve their cocktail-making skills to impress their friends at their next gathering.
“Set for Success” features Vancouver’s The Keefer Bar’s Gez McAlpine introducing the classics, his favorite being the Old Fashioned, and how to integrate them into your home menu. The “Swiss Army Bartender” covers handy and vital tools for your home bar, thanks to The Nimble Bar Co.’s Kyle Guilfoyle and Nathan Caudle and Vessel.
With over 900 attendees, 40 exhibitors & over 60 spirits being served, The Art of the Cocktail is a hot ticket. “It’s a great opportunity to discover and rediscover cocktails and spirits from local distilleries,” says Kinga BInkowska, Communications and Events, Victoria Film Festival.
With bartenders flaunting their imaginations, expertise and flair, the spectacle can be as compelling as the flavors. “We love how creative bartenders get and we celebrate it by our Most Popular Cocktail contest. Last year’s winner, Central City Brewers + Distillers, has already crafted for this year’s menu a Queensborough Gin Edible Passionfruit toothpaste and a Nutella Old Fashioned. That should be interesting!” shares Kathy Kay, Director, Victoria Film Festival.
So many options, flavors, both classic and new, all right here in downtown Victoria. Cheers!