We love hopping over to Victoria for the great food, beautiful gardens and charming vibe. But most of all we love visiting B.C.’s capital city for its great cocktail scene.
Q Bar at the Empress
One of our favourite places for a refreshing sipper is the swish Q Bar at the Fairmont Empress, especially in summer when the scene spills out onto the hotel’s sweeping veranda. Now the bar team has released a new menu that celebrates all the flowers that bloom around town, with drinks like the Rose Petal Punch (Campari, brandy, rose petal tea, strawberries, honey, lemon, cloves, sparkling water), which you can order by the glass or the pitcher.
But we’re even more excited about The Last Train to Paris, a luxuriously modern take on the classic Sidecar. It’s made with precious Hennessy Paradis Cognac, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Grand Marnier and an Armagnac mist, accompanied by gold-plated cocktail gear, gold-dusted macarons and strawberries served with honey pearls atop an Eiffel Tower spoon. Enjoy it for a mere $399.
Clive’s Classic Lounge
Bar star Shawn Soole is back at Clive’s and promises to make this stylish lounge better than ever. Expect high-quality spirits, premium products, top-notch hospitality and, of course, well-crafted classics and inspired new cocktails.
Citrus & Cane
Blink and you might think you were in Palm Springs. This funky little spot is all about colourful mid-century modern furniture, tropical motifs and the elevated, tiki-inspired cocktails that go with them. Piña Colada? Yes, please.
Clarke & Co.
Don’t let the low-key, friendly vibe fool you—Clarke & Co. is serious about its sophisticated craft cocktails, all made with premium brands and fresh ingredients. It also boasts one of Victoria’s most extensive whisky lists, for those who crave a wee dram.
This has been one of Victoria’s favourite cocktail bars since it opened eight years ago as an homage to two of the great barmen of the 1800s, Jerry Thomas and Harry Johnson. Expect well-made cocktails and gracious hospitality.