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Goat cheese? Fire? These are the wildest cocktails in Greater Victoria

Horchata foam, goat cheese, fire and more to excite your palate in ways you never thought possible
Citrus and Cane’s non-alcoholic pina colada. (Johann Vincent)

Part of the joy of experiencing a fantastic cocktail can be discovering something new while sharing a moment with someone.

A cocktail should be a conversation piece; it can even get down to a work of art if put together in the right way.

Some local bartenders have gone above and beyond to create something worth talking about. Here are some cocktails in Greater Victoria that will have you looking twice at the menu.


The G.O.A.T at Wind Cries Mary ($17 )

Herradura reposado tequila, sons of Vancouver quadruple sec lime, raspberry, goat cheese.

Have you ever seen a drink with goat cheese in it? Bartender Coleman Grosvenor describes this as a goat cheese-washed margarita inspired by a visit to Salt Spring Island Cheese.

“I just knew I wanted to make a cocktail that used Salt Spring Island goat cheese because it’s a fun experience. It’s one of the first things that I did when I moved to Victoria eight years ago,” he said.

Creating what’s called a milk punch, Grosvenor filters the margarita through a homogenized mix of goat cheese and half-and-half cream. Sweet with a little savoury, this drink’s goat it all.

The Mad Hatter at Fairmont Empress’ Sunset Sips. (Courtesy Fairmont Empress)

Mad Hatter at Fairmont Empress’ Sunset Sips ($26)

Dill-infused casamigos, cointreau, raspberry lemonade tea syrup, lime, pineapple.

Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter is known to throw a good tea party, and a good tea party you’ll find at Fairmont Empress’ Sunset Sips. Thursdays through Sundays after 8 p.m., the tea room Lobby Lounge showcases a menu of playful tea-based cocktails served in tea pots and inspired by the afternoon tea service. The Mad Hatter is smooth and delicious with the unique ingredient of dill-infused Casamigos, which rounds out the sweetness in an unconventional way.

The Freakin Volcano at Tora Tiki ($34)

Rum-based, plus fire

“Do you and your friends dare to try our signature volcano bowl? Don’t say we didn’t warn you…”

This cocktail is a spectacle, arriving in a large tiki bowl with a flaming sugar cube on top. It’s 5 p.m. on a weekday but inside at Tora Tiki, it’s dark and tropical like a nightclub. The staff are tight-lipped about the ingredients other than that it’s rum-based, but it tastes like a concoction of tropical jungle juice.

The Fortune Teller at Clive’s Classic Lounge. (Courtesy Clive’s)

The Fortune Teller at Clive’s Classic Lounge ($17)

Barsol Pisco, Lillet Rose, lemon juice, Giffard coconut and white chocolate syrup topped off with a horchata foam.

“It’s a cross between a Pisco Sour and Corpse Reviver #2,” said Shawn Soole, lounge manager at Clive’s. A Pisco Sour is a silky cocktail that incorporates Pisco, citrus, sugar and a fluffy head usually made from egg whites. In this case, the sweetness comes from Giffard coconut and white chocolate syrup and the topper is horchata foam, a frothy and lightly sweet mix of rice water, almond milk and cinnamon.

The Roasty Toasty at Little Jumbo. (Harry Tham, @_harrytham)

Roasty Toasty at Little Jumbo ($20)

Kazuki Gin, aperol, Lemon, orgeat - with a lemon thyme meringue piped on top, then torched.

The first contact is with creamy lemon-thyme meringue and candied lemon-thyme dust. Then you get sweet, sour and bitter profiles from the lemon, grapefruit and almond flavours, underlined by cherry blossoms from the gin. “Gin and aperol sours are an at-home favourite of mine, so I thought to take it apart and put it back together again,” said bar manager Max Freund. “We had a Mai Tai drink that had roasted toasted coconut as a garnish, and as a result the expression ‘can you pass me the roasty toasty’ was created.”

READ MORE: Behind Bars: Keeping it simple at Little Jumbo


Royal Victoria Lawn Bowling Club at Pagliacci’s ($8)

Mango, lime, Phillips’ cucumber mint tonic, celery shrub.

It’s not every day that you see shrub (a fermented drink concentrate) in a non-alcoholic drink, and it gives this fruity, refreshing cocktail a savoury twist.

Citrus and Cane’s non-alcoholic pina colada. (Johann Vincent)

Co-lyre Colada or the Pina Nerde ($13) at Citrus and Cane 

Either Lyre’s white rum or Lyre’s absinthe, pineapple, c&c coconut cream, lime.

From the chic decor to the fancy cocktails, Citrus and Cane specialize in tropical and their non-alcoholic takes on the pina colada do not disappoint. “Our Pina Colada was two years in the making, from creating our own coconut cream to finding the exact right balance of ingredients,” said co-owner Jessa Gildersleeve. The drink is sweet and creamy, and the Lyre’s blends very smoothly into the mix.

Coleman Grosvenor at Wind Cries Mary created the G.O.A.T cocktail based on a savoury and memorable Vancouver Island experience. (Courtesy Wind Cries Mary)

Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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