yongehurst distillery

Distillery and tasting bar opening soon in Toronto

Toronto is about to get boozier thanks to the Yongehurst Distillery Company that's slated to open in the new year.

Located at 346 Westmoreland Ave. N., the Yongehurst Distillery will start by slinging out its locally made spirits, including gin and amaro, says co-owner Rocco Panacci. He and his business partner, John-Paul Sacco, started working on their project more than two years ago. Now, it's finally coming to fruition.

"I've been a huge fan of classic cocktails for many years and have a pretty extensive collection of cocktail-friendly spirits that you can't get here in Ontario," Panacci tells me via email. He and Sacco are trying to expand that market and will also harken back to their Italian roots.

"My partner and I both grew up in Italian homes where making/consuming wine and spirits was the norm - the more bitter, the better," he writes. Along with gin, Yongehurst is looking to make a myriad of unique spirits including spiced rum, Canadian apple brandy, aquavit, Canadian apple brandy, herbal liqueurs and of course, amaro.

Eventually, Panacci and Sacco hopes to run a bottle shop, tasting bar and distillery tours. They're also planning to serve up coffee, snacks and spirit-flavoured ice cream in the summertime. And, Panacci notes, there's enough space for a patio as well.

While the Yongehurst team is planning for a soft-launch in February, Panacci expects to open up in March.

Along with the incoming distillery, Westmoreland is already home to Blood Brothers Brewing; Bellwood Brewery is set to launch its second location nearby too.


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