The Art of the Cocktail, Victoria’s cocktail festival, returns Oct. 24 and 25, with two days of cocktail-centric events around downtown Victoria.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, the Crystal Gardens hosts the annual Grand Tasting with a focus on the thriving ‘Best of the West’ coast distilleries, complemented by a pop-up store from Cascadia Liquor Store. This on-site store allows guests to purchase bottles on their way home.
The Grand Tasting will also offer attendees the opportunity to enjoy cocktail carnival games, while enjoying a variety of cocktails and food samples from local food providers and restaurants.
“We’re excited to highlight thriving BC distilleries, with a special focus on Vancouver Island distillers. This year’s Grand Tasting has some new additions – a pop-up Cascadia store and carnival games – come and see for yourself!” said Fulya Ozkul, Communications Coordinator for the event.
Sunday, Oct. 25 includes a variety of seminars at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. Kicking off the seminars is Meet the Island Makers at 12:30pm. The panel-style seminar will focus on Vancouver Island distillers, including Peter Hunt from Victoria Spirits, Ken Winchester from de Vine Spirits, Jeremy Schacht from Ampersand Distilling Company, Matt Phillips from Phillips Fermentorium Distilling Co. and Jason MacIsaac from Sheringham Distillery.
Additional seminar information is available at artofthecocktail.ca. Seminars are 90 minutes in length and tickets are $35.
Art of the Cocktail will close with the Best of the Pacific Northwest bartending competition. The long-running competition challenges bartenders to compete with unique cocktail creations representing the Northwest region. To highlight BC’s variety of seasonal flavours, the 2015 theme is mushrooms. Bartenders competing must make an original cocktail with a Victoria Spirits alcohol, and incorporate mushrooms into the palate of the cocktail. Prior to the mix off portion, qualified bartenders must complete a written test as well as a blind taste test. The winner recieves a Victoria Spirits prize basket and $250.