Written By Elizabeth Nyland Cocktails / Libations / Spirits Oct 23, 2012 Art of the Cocktail 2012 Recap SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter PinterestVICTORIAFor the last two years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a spectator at Art of the Cocktail. The three day festival is a journey into the art, craft, and tradition of the cocktail with all proceeds going to the Victoria Film Festival. Each year, I’ve come away with a new favourite spirit, knowledge of new cocktail haunts in Victoria, and up and coming stars of the cocktail scene. Victoria’s appetite for all things cocktail has come a long way in the last ten years. As cocktails come back into fashion, bars and restaurants are working diligently to direct resources to staff training and bar programs. Trained “artists of alcohol” can craft a story through layers of flavours muddled, stirred or poured into every drink. Another element to Art of the Cocktail, is the people. Not your average drinkers, this festival brings out an entirely different social animal than the booze festivals that you may be used to. Dressed to impress, these hip imbibers are out in their finest threads and on their best behaviour. Suits, ties, hats, little black dresses and even the odd fascinator can be seen strolling through the masses. The spectators are not the only ones out to impress however. Each station set up in the Crystal Gardens main hall is vying to snag your attention with a signature creation, a flare of fire, a fog filled pumpkin or even a machine that carbonates your cocktail on the spot. Purveyors are also there to pitch spirits, switch Scotch drinkers to a tumbler of absinthe, or convince Manhattan lovers that there is more to life than just the classic cocktail. The Marina's carrot cake: White chocolate and mascarpone mousse, orange blossom gel, Grand Marnier "plumped" sultanas and lemon balm. Photos by Elizabeth NylandEach booth puts forth an original cocktail creation, some of which are paired with an accompanying bite. (Often incorporating the main ingredient of the cocktail). Stand outs for me this year were the “Harvest Martini”, a beautiful gin, peach, cinnamon and candied ginger concoction from Spinnakers Gastro Pub and the PB & J hors d’oeuvre from Darcy’s Pub, a pork belly and cider jelly masterpiece served on small squares of toast. Aside from the Grand Tasting, there are events all over town and range from the Home Bartenders Competition, to Tiki in the 21st Century, to the coveted Best Bartender of the Pacific Northwest event. This year the contenders for Best bartender were tasked with creating a unique cocktail involving foods by the Whole Beast Artisan Salumeria. The winning bartender was Victoria’s own Josh Boudreau from Veneto Tapas Lounge, the defending champion from last year. The 25 year-old created a cocktail titled “John Coffey” as a tribute to the character played by the late Michael Clark Duncan. The cocktail consisted of a savory blend of duck confit infused tequila, balsamic vinegar, apricot, Averna (Italian bitters) and Bianco Vermouth served to resemble an espresso with a biscotti garnish. The biscotti was glazed with a duck fat icing. Year after year, the cocktails, people, food and fun only get stronger. As Victoria continues to expand on its culinary festivals, I will continue to expand my collection of ticket stubs. Kampai! CocktailscompetitionsVictoria SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Elizabeth Nyland ... Read More You may also like Cocktails / Victoria November 13, 2016 A Conversation With Super Caesar Fan: Liz McArthur Different cocktails have different philosophical traditions attached to them. At least this is how I see it. I still reject the notion that, just ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits November 8, 2016 Aging and Infusing Liquor Now Allowed in BC Restaurants & Bars British Columbia’s licensed restaurants, bars, manufacturer lounges and caterers will be able to age and infuse liquor in order to create their own ... Read More Cocktails / Drink This May 19, 2016 It’s National Caesar Day – You Know You Want One “Celebrating Caesars: Canada’s Signature Cocktail” If you enjoy sipping on a caesar get ready to raise your glass on May 19th, to ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits March 31, 2016 27 BC Distilleries Showcase Their Craft at BC Distilled The local spirits industry is growing and if the showing at BC Distilled on Saturday is any indication, it’s growing in the right direction. ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits March 18, 2016 Meet Akvavit – the Obscure Nordic Spirit Akvavit is misunderstood, an obscure Nordic spirit where every country in the region has its own rules and standards on production, aging and ... Read More Cocktails February 26, 2016 Sherry in Cocktails Sherry in cocktails is not a new thing in any regard. Lorded a century ago in precursory drinks of the 1800’s; punches and cobblers listed sherries ... Read More Comments are closed.