If you love a good cocktail, you probably will want to check out Victoria’s best cocktail bars, voted by you in our 2022 Best Restaurant Awards, presented by Portofino Bakery. Citrus and Cane has been voted one of the best in the best cocktail bar category, sponsored by Devine Distillery.
At Citrus & Cane, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything left of the old Copper Owl—the beloved club, venue, and karaoke bar that closed in 2019.
Rather than the rustic charm and dive-bar-esque aesthetic, now the first thing you notice is the pink velvet love seats, the wicker chairs, and the brightly coloured impressionist art on the walls. Fresh fruit wafts through the air and the circular bar top that defined the Copper Owl (and offered a stage for this writer to sing karaoke) still sits in the middle of the room. Some things are too good to change.
This relatively new tropical lounge harkens back to a retro age—like you’re between flights as an American Airlines pilot in the ’60s.
But the seeds of Citrus & Cane couldn’t be more humble.
Veterans of the hospitality industry, Tim Siebert and his partner Jessa Gildersleeve started a pop-up tiki bar event out of the Copper Owl space in 2019. When the lease renewal was up, the pair took it over.
In November 2020—after a few trials and tribulations due to COVID-19—Citrus & Cane opened.
The tropical lounge has won over many Victoria residents. The staff makes all of the syrups in-house and freshly squeezes most of the juices. With fun tiki mugs to match the bright decor, Citrus & Cane has cemented itself as a go-to for any cocktail lover in the city.
While you might think rum when you think tiki bar, the Saturn cocktail made with gin is a staple at any tiki bar.
The drink was created in 1967 by J. “Popo” Galsini and named after the Apollo 1 disaster. A booster rocket named “Saturn” was used in the Apollo missions.
With a mix of lemon, passion fruit, almond, and spices, this cocktail holds its own among the fan favourites such as the Pina Colada or Mai Tai. It’s bursting with flavour—sweet enough for a sweet tooth, and a refreshing palate cleanser. It’s a great summer drink, and is a must-taste before the summer winds down.
If you can’t make it to Citrus & Cane for one, here’s how you can make one at home:
While the cocktail itself is fairly straightforward, a few ingredients might be foreign to the uninitiated: Falernum—a thick liqueur/syrup made from lime, cloves, and ginger; and orgeat—a non-alcoholic syrup made from almonds, sugar, and orange flower water.
Both are syrups that can be purchased at most liquor stores.
• 2oz of Sheringham’s Seaside Gin
• ½oz of fresh lemon juice
• ½oz of passion fruit syrup
• 0.25 oz of Falernum
• 0.25oz of Orgeat
• Fill a cocktail shaker with all the ingredients and add 4 oz of ice.
• Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh crushed ice.
• Garnish with lemon zest and maraschino cherry.