Victoria, BC recognizes World Gin Day (June 8)

Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, is a destination where history meets modern innovation, bursting with entrepreneurial spirit and a variety of locally-made creations from this island city! Most notably, Victoria has become renowned for its gins, some of which have even become a household name!

Ahead of World Gin Day on June 8, here is a list of these spirited beverages made in Victoria and the places to try them!

Have you tried one of these locally-made drinks?

Victoria Distillers

For more than 14 years, Victoria Distillers has been producing some of Canada’s finest handmade spirits. Its unique waterfront location in Sidney houses copper pot stills that produce a range of spirits – most notably, their award-winning gins. As one of Canada’s oldest small-batch spirits companies, Victoria Distillers is influenced by history and driven by innovation. True to the ethos of the destination, Victoria Distillers prides itself on reducing its environmental impact

For visitors, take a tour and enjoy a tasting of some of the local spirits created here, including Empress 1908 Gin, or try a taste at their location at the Victoria International Airport (YYJ), which is North America’s first airport distillery.

Sunset Sips at the Empress

Empress 1908 Gin

Empress 1908 Gin was born in 2016, inspired by  “Canada’s Castle on the Coast” – The Fairmont Empress –  which was established in 1908 and is home to one of Victoria’s renowned afternoon tea services. Victoria Distillers’ Master Distiller combined the Empress’ Signature Blend Tea and butterfly pea blossom to create the Empress 1908 Indigo Gin, which is served at the Fairmont Empress itself, but also bars and restaurants across Victoria and around the globe. Just recently, the Fairmont Empress launched the new Sunset Sips cocktail program, which is a new evening cocktail and culinary experience that offers an intoxicating new twist on the traditional afternoon tea.

Sheringham Seaside Gin Mimosa

Sheringham Gin

Locally-owned Sheringham Distillers is on a mission to make the world’s most approachable gin, prioritizing sustainability and quality ingredients with a chef’s approach to distillation. Sheringham spirits include the soft and delicate Beacon (Kazuki) Gin and most notably – the refreshing Seaside Gin, which was inspired by a walk along Vancouver Island’s rugged coast with its refreshing fragrance of Nootka rose, the dewy Pacific Northwest rainforest, and fresh ocean air. While in Victoria, swing by the tasting room to enjoy tastings of these innovative spirits and enjoy a peek into the distillation process.

photo credit: Fancy Frites

The Shaft

Though not originally made with gin, this mysterious concoction shouldn’t be left behind when discussing Victoria’s local cocktail culture. There are many tales of where and who created this inventive cocktail in the early 2000s, but one thing that remains true is that the drink is a Victoria classic consisting of vodka (originally), Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and espresso or cold brewed coffee, served over ice. Victorians like to attribute its origins to Hugo’s Bar at the Strathcona Hotel before the restaurant’s closure in 2008.

 Media release provided by Erin Sinclair, Destination Greater Victoria. Photo credits, except as noted, courtesy of the distilleries and the Fairmont Empress.

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