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Toronto Cocktail: Where’s the best place to go for a…?

November 14, 2018

Is there anything better than getting cozy and sipping on a deliciously smooth cocktail on a cool fall evening?

Watch the sun say its farewell to the horizon as it sparkles off the surface of a perfect concoction of flavour and zing. Contemplate love, dream of better things. Life seems richer, more beautiful somehow.

Thanks to a growing cocktail culture, Toronto boasts a superb variety of places to find your favourite cocktails.

Below are 11 cocktail bars particularly worth exploring next time you’re the city.

whisky - Toronto cocktail

Best Vegan Cocktail

Hello 123
1122 Queen Street West

This vegan restaurant presents a stunning variety of options right down to the drink menu and provides its patrons with plant-based dishes and refreshing hospitality. A genuine concern for all things green is evident in the organic, biodynamic, and environmentally-responsible ingredients.

Hello 123 creates cocktails that are delightfully creative and inventively presented. The interesting list of
choices here include unique cocktails like the spiced and exotic Hibiscus Manhattan, flavoured with
Bulleit bourbon, chai bitters, vermouth, and hibiscus.

For more information or dinner reservations, feel free to get in touch at hello@hello123forever.com.

Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktail

133 Richmond Street West

Did someone say vegan and Mexican cuisine? Yes, it’s true! There’s no meat here, but you’d never know it by the flavour bursting from each and every taco.

Rosalinda is also by far the best place in Toronto’s Financial District to find a decent “placebo” cocktail (aka prohibition cocktail, aka non-alcoholic cocktail). The non-alcoholic “spirits” from U.K.-based Seedlip add a touch of sophistication to the booze-less cocktail menu — these really are serious cocktails, minus the intoxicating kick.

For more information send an email to info@rosalindarestaurant.com or follow Rosalinda on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Best Negroni Cocktail

875 Queen Street West

The Noce team is on a mission to bring the most detailed selection of authentic Italian cuisine to Toronto. This is most evident in their recreation of a classic
Negroni with a modern twist.

Noce’s team has been at it for 26 years making them one of the city’s oldest and most respected restaurants. The ingredients-led dishes are influenced by various regions of Central Italy and much of the food is cooked over a live wood fire.

Contact Michele Maffei at info@nocerestaurant.ca for reservations, enquiries, and private event bookings.

Best Old-Fashioned Cocktail

smoked old fashion - best places to drink in Toronto

Northern Mavericks
115 Bathurst Street

Featuring an 11,000 sq. ft. brewing facility and a 400-seat restaurant, Northern Maverick Brewery Co. is a contemporary craft-beer establishment near Toronto’s Fashion District.

The menu at Northern Maverick Brewery Co. perfectly compliments the beer offerings and features beer pairings, oyster bar, house-made charcuterie among many other delicious options.

And not only do they craft amazing beer, the Smoked Old Fashion is pure magic!

Try your hand at recreating this delicious cocktail:


2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon
.5 oz Spiced maple syrup
4 dashes Angostura bitters

1. Torch two pieces of cinnamon in a burning tray. Cover the smoking cinnamon with rocks glass.
NOTE: Replace the cinnamon once it becomes charred and ashy.

2. In a mixing glass, add the Buffalo Trace, spiced maple syrup*, and Angostura bitters.

3. Add ice to mixing glass and stir well.

4. Strain over a king cube in the smoked glass.

5. Garnish with orange twist.

*Spiced Maple Syrup Recipe
Yield: 1 litre

1. Heat a saucepan (medium-high) and toast 6 cinnamon sticks, 6 bar spoons of whole Allspice, and 3
star anise pods, Heat until aromatic. Caution: DON'T BURN THE SPICES!

2. Add 1.5 litres of water.

3. Bring the mix to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.

4. Strain out the spices.

5. Add 6 oz maple syrup to a litre container. Add spice mix while hot.

6. Stir until maple syrup is thoroughly mixed into the spiced water.

7. Label, date, and refrigerate the spiced maple syrup.

For reservations contact Northern Mavericks Brewery Co. at restaurant@northernmaverick.ca.

Best Rusty Nail Cocktail

The Caledonian
856 College Street

A Scottish pub with much to offer in the way of satisfying beverages and supremely comforting comfort food, The Caledonian offers private whisky tastings and a fantastic Rusty Nail. It’s still unclear whether the secret ingredient is the Highland Single Malt or the heather honey, but it works.

Best Contemporary Cocktail

Pretty Ugly Bar
1237 Queen Street West

A quirky take on funky and fresh, Pretty Ugly Bar packs a punch in its contemporary Pink Porcelain cocktail from their autumn menu.

Bitter-sweet, savoury, funky, and refreshing - it is a winning combination. Pink Porcelain contains Cynar, Akvavit, ‘Green Stuff’ (which means apple, celery, coriander, and cordial), Lime, Grapefruit and Soda.

Pink porcelain cocktail - Toronto cocktail

Best Signature Cocktail

The Good Son
1096 Queen Street West

This cosmopolitan neighbourhood restaurant embraces the rich cultural diversity of Queen West. The menu has a keen focus on local, seasonal produce and home-made goodness.

The signature cocktail, 93 til Infinity, is a masterpiece! Built in a Julep Cup filled with crushed ice and garnished with dehydrated Hibiscus flower.

It includes:
● 1.5 oz Bacardi (4-year)
● .5 oz Cocchi Rosa
● .75 oz Fermented Lemon and Sorrel
● .5 oz Palm Sugar Syrup
● Molé Bitters

All cocktail ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and made in-house. It is a lovely dining experience too.

For information or reservations contact info@thegoodsontoronto.com.

Best Fall Season Boozy Cocktail

Momofuku Kōjin
190 University Avenue

Kōjin calls itself a ‘celebration of the hearth’ and juicy, grilled meat is most certainly on the menu. Tuck in
out of the nippy fall evening to enjoy a boozy cocktail and an open flame.

Kojin’s Dress Flannel cocktail carries a splendid kick of rum, maple, and grapefruit — it really is all dressed
up and ready to go.

Best Manhattan Cocktail

Rush Lane
563 Queen Street West

When it comes to traditional cocktails, Rush Lane is the place to indulge.

Their fresh approach results in a unique and impressive cocktail menu full of greatness.

They're known to serve the best Manhattan in Toronto!

Best Classic Margarita

cocktail - Toronto Cocktail

783 Queen Street West

Step into the colourful world of a Mexico City-style cantina. The atmosphere, great food and delicious cocktails make it clear why Mexican’s culinary efforts are so loved around the world… and especially in Toronto.

Milagro offers the best classic margarita in town. Boozy, tart, salty and
irresistible… its perfect simplicity is what makes it so memorable.

To find out more or make a reservation, check out Milagro’s website here.

Best Riff on a Margarita

The Painted Lady
218 Ossington Avenue

The Painted Lady really knows how to mix things up! One night you might find a burlesque dancer on the bar, the next night it’s a killer roots-and-blues band laying down the grooves, and another it’s the best DJ you’ve ever heard.

And to top it off, the cocktails are in the 90th percentile. This is good stuff. Try the Cucumber Margarita.

What's your favourite Toronto cocktail? Join us on a tour, and discover some new favourites!

Our tours are for thirsty adventurers who crave something original, unconventional ... and maybe even a bit exotic.