tea cocktail

The top 10 tea based cocktails in Toronto

The top tea based cocktails in Toronto take full advantage of tea's unlimited array of flavours. With infusions commonplace in the city's cocktail scene, tea seems like a natural solution for adding large amounts of flavour to a syrup or liquor without spending weeks steeping ingredients - not to mention the medicinal qualities it provides.

Here are my picks for the top spots for tea-based cocktails in Toronto.

This cute Parisian-styled bistro in Parkdale is a favourite for a great cocktail, with bar manager Michael Mooney's lists never failing to impress. The Scarlet Carson is made with Tanqueray gin infused with jasmine and rose petal tea, along with Campari, Lillet blanc, grapefruit juice and honey syrup.

Cafe Belong
Happily tucked away at the Brick Works, Cafe Belong makes a Fish House Punch that incorporates Appleton's V/X rum with a peach infused brandy, green tea simple syrup, and sparkling wine. Delicious.

Though Cocktail Parlour is no more, Wes Galloway's excellent drinks can still be enjoyed in the Middle Eastern restaurant that replaced it. Across The Sea starts with infusing Captain Morgan light rum with Moroccan mint tea, which is shaken with fresh lemon, sugar, and a house-made Middle East bitters, before topping the mixture with ginger beer.

Wellington Street's Marben produces the Tea + Sympathy cocktail, with chamomile-infused vodka, ginger syrup, lemon, and egg white, all shaken with dandelion bitters.

Parts + Labour
Next door to The Geraldine, Parts and Labour has become something of a Parkdale institution. The Down By The Bay cocktail mixes Sailor Jerry spiced rum with Amaro Nonino, watermelon juice, and a hibiscus tea syrup.

The Ace
This restored Roncesvalles diner offers the After Ace, made with Wild Turkey bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, and a syrup made from Earl Grey tea and burnt lemon, finished with a splash of Campari.

Red Sauce
Little Italy may have lost a fine dining destination when owner Scott Selland replaced Acadia with his family-friendly Italian sandwich spot, but the bar program remains as ambitious as its predecessor. The Strega Sour incorporates gin, Strega liqueur and lemon with an Earl Grey honey.

The Drake
Few lists involving cocktails in the city are complete without mentioning The Drake somewhere. They offer the Kahlo - Fortuna mezcal, creme yvette, agave nectar and grapefruit bitters mixed with chamomile tea.

Josh LeBlanc's bestselling cocktail is the Tame Impala, featuring tequila, lime, fresh cucumber, and chai tea syrup, all topped with Thomas Lavers' ginger beer.

This cafe and cocktail bar at Christie Pits is doing great things, and the Lady Grey Sour is no exception. Earl Grey-infused rye whiskey, lemon, and black pepper add bite.

Thanks to Pure Leaf for sponsoring our coverage of iced tea day in Toronto (coming up on June 10th).

Photo of the Tea + Sympathy at Marben by Jesse Milns.

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