Humboldt Bar: Raise a glass to a near-forgotten naturalist

Humboldt Bar: Raise a glass to a near-forgotten naturalist. - Douglas Oct/Nov 2023

Humboldt Bar is an intimate cocktail lounge in the heart of downtown Victoria, with a fascinating backstory. It was inspired by the life and work of Alexander von Humboldt, the 19th-century German naturalist and polymath who influenced our modern concept of nature. 

But don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of him. At Humboldt Bar you’ll find cocktails inspired by his journeys and discoveries, his stories and accomplishments. You’ll find a cozy space graced by art reflecting his works and an esthetic intended to evoke the naturalist’s view of the world.

Leading this vision is bar manager Brant Porter. Porter has led several award-winning bar programs, including Veneto, Bartholomew’s Public House and Little Jumbo. Humboldt combines Brant’s awe of the natural world with an immersive cocktail experience. 

Its Bright & Fresh cocktails include Theory of Colours (gin, rhubarb, Riesling and jasmine) and Desert Sketches (strawberry bitters, banana, cucumber soda).

Savoury offerings feature Cyanometer (Raincoast Gin, pisco, citrus, oolong tea, cyan and egg white) and Life in The Woods (wheated bourbon, candy cap mushroom, maple water, wild blossom honey, cypress, grand fir).

Bold, spiced cocktails include Cosmos-Cola (cachaça, kina wine, yerba mate cola, roasted Brazil nut) and Leaving Lima (pisco, Träkal, chicha morada, grapefruit).

Whew! There is also a small but thoughtfully curated wine and beer list, and Humboldt is a wonderful place to start or end an evening.