The Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas. Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Empress Hotel

This boo-zy concoction is only available at the Fairmont Empress’ Q Bar from October 29 to 31, but with this recipe, you can enjoy its spooktacular flavours all through fall.

• 1.5 oz Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey

• 0.75 oz ghost pepper reduction (or other hot sauce)

• 1 oz lemon juice

• 0.5 oz Amaro Averna

• Garnish: 1 toasted marshmallow, powdered blood orange (available online or at gourmet markets)

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Spirit of Victoria

12 great places to get a drink in the Vancouver Island city

The B.C. Parliament Buildings are the centrepiece of Victoria’s vibrant Inner Harbour. Tourism Victoria photo

You could say that Matt Cooke has distilled the spirit of Victoria into his cocktails. The general manager at OLO Restaurant transforms Vancouver Island spirits and local produce into the kind of creatively food-friendly sippers that complement chef-owner Brad Holmes’ fresh comfort food so well. There’s often whisky or gin—Victorians love the smoky and botanical flavours of the British Isles—and a subtle nod to the classics. At the same time, Cooke conjures flavours that are completely new, and often made from scratch.

And he’s not alone. Despite its relatively small size, with a population about an eighth of Vancouver’s, Victoria has a vibrant cocktail scene that makes it truly a great place to get a drink, especially at these 12 watering holes.

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