I love Victoria during the holidays. The lights that dress the buildings, the boughs on the lampposts and carols drifting out into the streets impart a sense of magic that can only be felt in December. During the holidays, I find downtown Victoria equally as special as Dr. Seuss’s Whoville. If only I had Cindy Loo’s epic hairdos! Seriously though, I love to get bundled up in my favourite wool coat and explore the streets alongside the glow of the city’s lit up legislature.

As those winter afternoons comes to a close, I love the feeling of coming in from the cold. The envelope of warmth of the indoors, combined with the festive decor and holiday spirit convey a new sense of magic that lingers well past December’s early sunsets. I love to wander through The Bay Centre‘s Festival of Trees on levels 2 & 3 in their atrium adorned with holiday lights, to explore a few of my favourite shops and then head to Earls Kitchen + Bar for a delicious holiday cocktail.

With a warm ambiance and smiling staff, Earls Kitchen + Bar is festive in itself, but to enjoy a drink with friends and family during the holidays can feel more special than ever. As a toast to the enjoyment of a holiday cocktail, I’ve teamed up with The Bay Centre and Earls Kitchen + Bar to share the recipe for their Grapefruit Negroni. With a nice balance of bitter and sweet, backed with gin and combined with the festive colours of Aperol and Campari, Earls’ Grapefruit Negroni is a perfect holiday treat.

I had a wonderful time with Earls’ friendly staff, as I learned to mix my very first cocktail. After much gigging and patience on behalf of everyone, I successfully made a truly delicious Grapefruit Negroni. Please follow along for the recipe, as well as fun tips & tricks imparted by Earls’ talented bartenders.

With Happy Hour specials for after work drinks, as well as a Complimentary Private Dining room for parties, Earls Kitchen + Bar at The Bay Centre is a perfect place to come in from the cold this holiday season. You also know I love The Bay Centre‘s shopping – I found this dreamy holiday outfit at Dynamite.

Earl’s Grapefruit Negroni


0.25 fl oz Grapefruit Juice

0.25 fl oz Aperol

0.5 Campari

0.75 fl oz Cinzanno Rosso

1 fl oz Tanqueray Gin

3 dashes of Fernet Branca Bitters.


1.       Add ice to mixing glass

2.       Measure all ingredients into mixing glass

3.       Using a mixing spoon stir cocktail in mixing glass for 20 seconds

4.       Strain cocktail into a rocks glass filled with ice

5.       Garnish with Grapefuit zest

Bartender Tip: Line up ingredients in sequence of volume,
so you can remember how much to pour.

Bartender Tip: Hold the measuring glass between your index and middle fingers (see image below). Give it a twirl to change volumes!

Bartender Tip: Rub orange peel around the rim of the glass, then give
the peel a twist and drop it in for a zesty garnish.

Bartender Tip: Lift the mixing glass as your pour to truly look like a pro.

Blogger Tip: Enjoy, of course!

Blogger Tip: Pose with Earls’ mirrored walls
for some
 seriously cool photos.

Many thanks to The Bay Centre for partnering on this post. Although it was sponsored, all opinions and drink mixing skills are my own.

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