It’s late and you’ve spent five minutes trying to push your way to the front of the bar. Leaning on the counter you finally manage to get the bartender’s attention. They walk over to you overworked and in a rush, begrudgingly they ask “what can I get for you?”. Suddenly, all knowledge of any remotely adult sounding drinks escapes you. It’s too dark to read the menu written on the wall behind them and the person next to you is beginning to look annoyed so you squeak out something cliche like a Vodka Cran or a G&T. As you bring it back to your table, you pass other people with drinks that look much more delicious than yours and silently promise to yourself that next time you will do better.
Like all things in life, preparation is key. So we’ve done the research for you. Here are five unique cocktails for you to try in Toronto. Cheers!
The Location: 1479 Dundas St. W
The Drink: Better Beer
The folks at The Lockhart have brought all of your Harry Potter fantasies to life in this themed cocktail and tapas bar. “Better beer” is based on Wizarding World classic Butterbeer which was a favourite at The Three Broomsticks. The Lockhart’s version combines flavor notes of ginger and cinnamon and tops it off with whipped cream and a toasted marshmallow.
The Location: 647 College St.
The Drink: Augusta
Nightowl‘s “Eglinton West” cocktail seems to garner all the attention with its mango rum goodness, however, the “Augusta” is what really deserves the spotlight. The “Augusta” may appear to be just a fancy G&T, but it’s the elderflower that really pushes this cocktail over the edge. It is light, refreshing and aromatic.
Cactus Club Cafe
The Location: 77 Adelaide St. W
The Drink: Dirty Vegas
The “Dirty Vegas” cocktail encapsulates everything you would want from a fancy and unique drink. The Cactus Club Cafe is known for its creative and classy dining experience, and this cocktail incorporates those vibes. It has a sweet and light strawberry lemon base, but its creativity lies in the black pepper that’s sprinkled delicately on top. Sweet and spicy, just how we like it.
Spirit House Toronto
The Location: 487 Adelaide St. W
The Drink: Netflix and Chill
Reading Spirit House Toronto’s menu is like the Choose Your Own Adventure of drink menus. Each cocktail is named so aptly that it sounds like it could completely transform your night. Drinks have names like “Dark N’ Stormy,” “Man of Legacy,” and “Boozy Jacuzzi.” However, the best named cocktail goes to “Netflix and Chill” which has a classy take on a questionable act. Its name comes from the brown butter and popcorn infused bourbon. Oh and it’s served in a glass with popcorn on top.
As part of tonight’s shenanigans, make sure you 'NetFlix and Chill’. Brown butter and popcorn infused Bourbon, Amaro, fresh lemon, orange reduction, apple cider, egg white, black walnut bitters, house popcorn. #netflix #chill #netflixandchill #spirithouseto #cocktails #cocktail #craftbartending #mixology #torontobest #instagood #toronto #cocktailporn #craftcocktails
The Location: 797 College St.
The Drink: My Favourite Ex-Girlfriend
Bar Isabel is a staple in Toronto and for good reason. The bar has a beautiful, classic interior and undeniably sexy vibes. It’s just the kind of place you’d want to run into an old flame. For this reason we highly recommend their “My Favourite Ex-Girlfriend” cocktail. This eclectic drink is equal parts sweet and sour, at times even a little bitter. Remind you of anyone? That’s where the vodka comes in handy.
The Location: 60 Kensington Ave.
The Drink: Buk Chai
Cold Tea is a favourite of the indie crowds, here in Toronto. This gem is tucked away as a mock speakeasy in the back of Kensington Mall. It’s location is not so much of a secret anymore as it has become quite the local hot spot. If you haven’t had a chance to head out there, or are just looking for something different to try, then we recommend the Buk Chai. It is the perfect combination of lime, spices and rum, leaving with a refreshingly exotic cocktail.
The Shameful Tiki Room
The Location: 1378 Queen St. W
The Drink: Pago Pago
The Shameful Tiki Room is a Vancouver export that has found a Toronto home in the West End. The name says it all — this relatively small venue will transport you to a tropical local. They have an extensive “grog” menu that includes a variety of drinks that would be most at home at a pool bar. We recommend channeling your inner Beach Boys with the nostalgic 1960’s inspired “Pago Pago.” This drink combines rum, various citrus fruit, bitters and tops it all off with some honey. They also offer a variety of tropical bowls designed for sharing. While not technically a cocktail, the Mystery Bowl still manages to peak our interest.