Is there anything better than a refreshing cocktail come patio season? Toronto’s restaurants are ramping up for warmer weather, which means mixologists are getting creative with all things shaken and stirred behind the bar.
When it comes to cocktails, spring is the season to expand beyond the classics and bartenders welcome the arrival of rhubarb, strawberries and even asparagus. These Toronto bars are slinging some of the most inventive and delicious drinks around.
For a seasonally-inspired sipper, try the P.S. I (Still) Love You at Belfast Love which mixes sloe gin, strawberries, cucumber and ginger beer, a Farmstead Caesar from Café Belong which riffs on the classic by adding crispy bacon and pickled asparagus spears or sip on Strawberry Fields at 360 The Restaurant at The CN Tower. This shaken drink mixes Dillon’s Dry Gin 7, strawberry rhubarb cordial and tarragon and comes with a breathtaking view of the Toronto skyline.
For those looking for spring classics, Toronto’s got a bouquet of offerings. Keep things fresh with an Ontario Rye & Ginger Highball from Maple Leaf Tavern, a blood orange G&T at Montecito or a cask-aged Boulevardier from The Wickson Social.
Springtime also means the return of the spritz! There’s no better place for this classic Italian experience than Little Italy. Start with Puttin’ On The Spritz at Bar Isabel and be sure to add an order of Pan Con Tomate for the full experience. Follow it up with a Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (and a game of cornhole!) from Bangarang. For those living the #SpritzOnlyLife, there are no fewer than four signature spritzes at Grey Gardens in neighbouring Kensington Market.
Spring temperatures not hot enough for you, yet? Visit a Toronto tiki bar for a taste of the tropics. Toronto’s tiki scene is exploding! In Parkdale, sip on Mezcal-laced Volcano Bowls amidst palm frond-laden bar tops at Shameful Tiki or keep things on trend with reimagined classics like the Sea Monkey at Miss Thing’s.
For those not quite sure where to start their Toronto cocktail adventures, there is help! The city is now home to a cocktail specific tour company called Drink Toronto. They want to help you drink and eat at the places that real Torontonians hang out. Join them for one of their two-hour neighbourhood tours and discover what’s lurking behind the bar at some of the smaller, lesser known cocktail spots in the city.