The Coffee Shop Meets the Cocktail Bar

The evolution of the corner coffee shop and the local cocktail bar has been impressive, to say the
least. The coffee shop being the cornerstone of old acquaintances catching up, young students deeply
invested in their Macbook laptops, and often the birthplace of a frenzy of ideas motivated by the buzz of
an espresso. The cocktail bar is a place to celebrate creativity, meet and engage a variety of interesting
people from around the world, and, of course, generate your own buzz. They are local allies and are
two examples of progressive businesses fuelled from passion. However, put the ingredients from each
together, and you get a new spin on coffee drinks.

Above photo with Krista Young at the coffee bar of Bows and Arrows.


Ten years ago, the average Islander’s idea of a coffee cocktail would have been a shot of Jamieson’s
in their Double Double at Tim Hortons— that isn’t the case today. Many bars have capitalized on the
realization that the sheer variety of coffee brews from around the world with flavour profiles ranging
from bold and robust to subtle and soft compliment the world of spirits in a beautiful and unique way if
done properly. A Demerara rum can enhance the sweetness of a well-brewed espresso and make for a
great Old Fashioned. The success of the Espresso Martini, which can serve as a sweet dessert or a kick-
start to a party, is evidenced by the different variations found at most good establishments. From the
classic and traditional Affogato to the beloved Irish Coffee, coffee and spirits is a marriage that speaks

Many creative endeavours are popping up using the coffee as the jumping off point. In Monterey,
California, at 1833, MichealMichael Lay is barrel-aging espresso to infuse it with spirits and creating
a spin on the classic White Russian entitled “ The Caucasian”. In Seattle, Washington, at Canon Bar,
Murray Stenson has revised a delicious cocktail combining brandy, amaretto, Benedictine, Irish Mist, and
cold brew coffee.

Here in Victoria, you can pop into any of our fine cocktail establishments and get a coffee-inspired
beverage. Many of the local craft breweries have followed suit with a variety of interesting beers, most
traditional being the coffee stout infusion. Check out High Voltage from Hoyne Brewing for a great beer
and coffee collaboration.
If you’re interested in pursuing a DIY coffee infusion, I would recommend the marriage of Pisco
(Peruvian Brandy) and a good medium-bodied coffee bean. Maybe try it using coffee from a local
roaster and café such as Bows and Arrows, which has an inviting atmosphere and a crew that
approaches coffee with scientific precision.

Espresso Martini Recipe

30 ml Espresso
30 ml Baileys
15 ml Sortilege Maple Whisky
15 ml Vanilla Galliano
Chill the espresso same day.
Add ingredients to shaker. Add ice. Shake hard. Double strain into a martini glass.
Should have a crema similar to a well-brewed espresso shot.
Make sure to garnish with three Coffee Beans – health, wealth and happiness

They also offer subscriptions that allow you to have single-
origin coffee delivered right to your door, twice a month. I would definitely recommend popping in,
saying hello, and supporting a local business.
Have fun and get creative with your brew!


Bows and Arrows are located at: 483 Garbally Road
250 590 7792


By Ryan Mitchell





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