While I’ll be indulging my inner beer connoisseur on Friday at the Great Canadian Beer Festival, I’m not immune to the allure of a good cocktail. But it wasn’t always that way.
Back when I was working at the Victoria Film Festival the idea came about from its visionary Festival Director, Kathy Kay, to bring a cocktail event to Victoria — and it could serve as a fundraiser for the film festival. Both the aforementioned BeerFest and the annual whiskey festival (which sells out every year very quickly) have had a strong following and with cocktail culture experiencing a mainstream renaissance, the timing seemed right. And so it became a reality with the creation of Art of the Cocktail.
Since Art of the Cocktail debuted in 2010, Victoria has seen a resurgence in its cocktail scene. While it may simply be coincidental, lounges like Clive’s Classic Lounge in the Chateau Victoria and Veneto at the Hotel Rialto1 have become popular spots to grab a great cocktail and enjoy the ambiance while doing so ever since the event was launched. I’m glad to see that the level of interest in cocktail culture is high Given the choice between a beer and a cocktail, I’ll still generally go with the beer…but thanks to my past involvement with Art of the Cocktail I have widened my horizons on that front. A GQ Gin and Tonic can be seen in hand whenever I visit Clive’s…and I’ve procured a bottle of Cherry Heering for my own home bar (as modest/barren as it is) so that I can imbibe in a Colbert Bump now and then.
I was invited to the Art of the Cocktail media launch that took place yesterday, and it definitely felt strange (and cool) to know that I’ll be able to go to the Grand Tasting this year and actually drink. I partook in a couple of cocktails that were dubbed “Toronto” (placed appropriately in the centre of the menu board) and had some tasty tapas to accompany them. I hadn’t been to the venue that the event was held in for some time, but I’m going to head back to Sauce soon so I can experience all of the great things I’ve heard first-hand.
Just as I’m sure I’m going to have a great experience at Art of the Cocktail as a patron this time around.
Now where is that Cherry Heering of mine?2
1 Man, you should’ve seen what that hotel used to look like back when it was the Douglas. Miracles can happen, folks.
2 Corollary: This post was not written in Markdown. Just in case you were wondering.