New Years Eve: Bartender Tips for Your Countdown Drinks

Michael Carruthers, bartender at Darcy’s Pub. Photo by Ellie Shortt

Ringing in the New Year with a celebratory drink is a long standing tradition worldwide. Perhaps one of the biggest celebrations of the year, many people choose something special to sip on as they count down to midnight. Whether your style is fun, fancy, tasty or intense, these local bartenders have your New Year’s drink recommendations covered.


Michael Carruthers, Darcy’s Pub:

Michael Carruthers has been gracing the Victoria bar scene with his talents for over 18 years. With such experience one might think this veteran bartender would have some special tricks up his sleeves, but Carruthers likes to keep things simple. His recommendation? Start the night off was a warming Jagermeister shot that will no doubt set the tone for a fun New Year’s celebration.

1127 Wharf St Victoria, BC (250) 380-1322 Website


Josh Boudreau, Veneto Tapa Lounge:

Josh Boudreau’s name has been a fixture in the Victoria drink scene even before winning the first place title at this year’s Art of The Cocktail bartender competition. For a fun New Year’s drink, this champion mixologist recommends anything with bubbles. While a simple glass of champagne is a great start, Boudreau suggests spicing things up with a Kentucky Waterfall, which consists of bourbon, Campari, Giffard Creme de Peche de Vigne “Tradition” and topped with Prosecco for a delicious and extravagant looking drink, served in modern glassware to signify the start of a new year.

1450 Douglas St Victoria, BC (250) 383-7310 Website


Ryan Malcolm, Sauce:

Ryan Malcolm also had success at this year’s Art of The Cocktail bartender competition, claiming third place. This fellow winner suggests a Classic Champagne Cocktail with bitters-soaked sugar cubes, sparkling wine, and a twist of lemon. Simple, delicious and classy, Malcolm asserts that there’s a reason this drink has been a New Year’s staple for over 200 years.

1245 Wharf St Victoria, BC (250) 382-8662 Website


Paul Visser, Bengal Lounge:

Another tried and true sparkling drink is the French 75 – a staff favourite at the Bengal Lounge. A perfect compliment to the ultra plush Empress environment, bartender Paul Visser feels you can’t go wrong with this delightful drink, a perfect fit with almost everything on their spiced menu. A wonderful mix of house made Tanqueray Gin, Moet et Chandon champagne and freshly squeezed lemon, Visser makes his French 75 with house made simple syrup which he says offers a smoother mix than the sugar cube alternative.

721 Government St Victoria, BC (250) 389-2727 Website


Kate Gilgunn, Vista 18:

Overlooking downtown Victoria, Vista 18 is a truly special spot to bring in the New Year. For a romantic drink to accompany this romantic setting, Kate Gilgunn recommends a glass of Italian Mondo Vino Prosecco, which they offer on tap. Or if you’re looking for something with a little more spunk, Gilgunn suggests any of their original cocktails, all named after movie quotes such as the “I’ll Be Back” (Terminator), consisting of raspberry vodka, Chambord, Limoncello and lemon juice.

740 Burdett Ave Victoria, BC (250) 382-9258 Website


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