5 holiday cocktails to try in Toronto this season
The festive season is finally upon us in Toronto, and everyone's dragging you out for that holiday drink. There's only so many ways to look sophisticated, and the fancy sweater you bought just got eggnog on it. What's the next move? I've come up with a list of five drinks to go hunt down at Toronto bars to make you look like someone in the know during holiday time. Just make sure to call ahead and make sure the bar's got some mistletoe above the door.
The Geraldine - The Doc Holliday
The Geraldine opened this year with a phenomenal cocktail program (featuring a heavy absinthe focus) from Bar Manager Mike Mooney. The Doc Holliday just launched as part of his winter list and features Wild Turkey rye shaken with smoked cedar syrup, fresh cranberries, and Dr. Heather Duncan's Xmas Bitters. It combines a welcome spice and smoke, and is reminiscent of one of those great Boxing Day sandwiches we all like to make.
Home of The Brave - The Wet Bandit
When the guys behind La Carnita opened their new space this year, they pinched the talented Veronica Saye from The Harbord Room to work the wood. She's been a staple at many of the city's top cocktail competitions over the last year, but she's enthusiastically joined with local legend Taylor Corrigan's snappy bar program for the Southern US homestyle joint. Her cocktail features Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Briottet Curacao, orange juice, a house-made cranberry compote, egg white, and is garnished with fresh nutmeg.
Boehmer - The Xmas Pick Me Up
Mike Birdsey's cocktail is for those feeling a bit more jaded after being dragged around on a shopping trip. The cocktail is composed of fresh espresso, house-made gingerbread syrup, and 360 double chocolate vodka. He's been slinging his Northern British charm at Boehmer for a while now, which should be a stop on any Ossington shopping trip.
Reposado - Acapulco Gold
Heading further up the Ossington, you'll find Reposado. Whilst most don't associate tequila with winter, head bartender Megan Jones begs to differ, using the season's favourite citrus fruit (no, not satsumas), grapefruit, with pineapple-infused mezcal, Cynar, and simple syrup to create something bright and refreshing to take away the winter blues.
The County General - Peppermint Sour
Fashioned after the flavours of a Christmas candy cane, the bar team at the County have worked bourbon, cinnamon syrup and peppermint bitters together with lemon juice and egg whites. It's a fabulous way to get in the spirit of the season.
Crazy Uncle - Blood Orange, Rosemary and Maple Punch
If you don't feel like leaving the house, Barchef's Frankie Solarik has been working on a pre-made holiday cocktail to pick up at the LCBO. Add soda and ice, and turn the lights down really low, and you can pretend you're hanging out on Queen West, from the comfort of your bathtub.