Imagine yourself sprawled on an endless, sandy beach, fruity drink in hand. Looks good, right? Well, truth of the matter is that right now you’re probably not livin’ la vida loca on some tropical island. Don’t feel down. Toronto’s an awesome place to be this summer. No, really! Since it’s officially patio season, Toronto’s hottest restaurants are offering delicious cocktails to welcome the warmer weather. From rum with crème brûlée tea to bourbon spice with orange zest, our top picks are guaranteed to help you beat the heat and transport you to the tropical destination of your choice…
The Drink: Queen B
The Restaurant: dBar
dBar’s already pretty well-known across Toronto for their interesting takes on cocktail classics, and their new summer arrivals are no exception. Light and refreshing, their Queen B cocktail has caught our eyes in particular. The delicious combination of prosecco, elderflower liqueur, and fresh blueberry juice is sure to make you feel like a royal and it’s only 80 calories. Queen B indeed.
The Drink: Pineapple Express
The Restaurant: Hudson Kitchen
We love a good Baileys, but this summer, forgo the coffee and alcohol blends in favor of tea-infused cocktails. This natural ingredient adds a fresh, soothing fragrance that’s perfect for summer, and Pineapple Express is no exception. The love child of caffeine and alcohol, it features ingredients such as Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum, salted pineapple syrup, crème brûlée tea, and cream and malt powder.
The Drink: The Original King West Tea’se
The Restauannt: Brassaii
The tea trend continues with this latest cocktail from Brassaii, one of Toronto’s most sophisticated and cosmopolitan dining spots. Just imagine yourself soaking in some much-needed vitamin D on their cobblestone courtyard patio, cocktail in hand. The Original King West Tea’se is a tantalizing mixture of Absolut Elyx, Pimm’s, lemon juice, simple syrup, and crimson berry tea. Rich in flavour, this cocktail is sure to inject some much-needed energy after a day at the ol’ grind.
The Drink: Run Tommy Run
The Restaurant: The Good Son
From Top Chef Canada Season Four participant Chef Vittorio Colacitti comes a new restaurant, The Good Son. It’s no surprise they’ve got a full array of drinks to keep their busy and bustling home on Queen Street West happy. If you’re looking for a great pick-me-up drink after work, we highly recommend Run Tommy Run – with its interesting combination of Tequila Tromba blanco, fresh lime juice, agave, serrano peppers, and basil, it’ll definitely give you the kick you need to make it through the week.
The Drink: Momokawa Organic Sake
The Restaurant: Ki
It’s not as if we needed another reason to love Fridays, but Ki Modern Japanese + Bar is welcoming the summer months with their new special, Oyster Fridays. Enjoy the warm weather out on their beautiful patio and indulge in fresh oysters for $2 each, with a house-made chilled cucumber ponzu sauce and either a $5 Sapporo or $8 Momokawa Organic Sake. We love the latter for its rich flavour and tropical fruit aroma. Hint: Pair it with a sashimi salad for maximum deliciousness.
The Drink: Tea & Flowers Tonic
The Restaurant: Soho House
You probably already recognize gin as being one of the classic staples of a perfect summer cocktail; after all, it’s the base spirit for our beloved martinis. But Soho House is promoting a new take on an old summer classic with their Tea & Flowers Tonic. If the name wasn’t already enough to bring out your inner hippie, check out the ingredients: Bombay Sapphire gin, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, green tea, and soda water. With a combination like that, it won’t be difficult to rediscover your not-so-secret flower child lurking within, just in time for summer.
The Drink: Elderflower Margarita
The Restaurant: Parts & Labour
With its haute cuisine and lower level live-music venue, Parts & Labour is one of Toronto’s hottest dining destinations. And now, to help sweeten your summer, they’re adding a new drink to their menu: the Elderflower Margarita, complete with tequila, St. Germain Elderflower liquor, agave nectar, and fresh lime juice. Yum.
The Drink: La Morena
The Restaurant: Los Colibris
If you could take summer and put it in a glass, we have a feeling it would look and taste a lot like Los Colibris’ La Morena. This tamarind margarita is the perfect mix of sweet and tangy, and is made up of a simple yet sophisticated blend of Tromba Blanco tequila, tamarind, and lime. If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to beat those dry and sticky dog days, this tart concoction will definitely do the trick.
The Drink: Royal Bermuda Polo Club
The Restaurant: Marben Restaurant
Marben is taking advantage of the warm summer months by bringing out a whole list of cocktails with fun and summery ingredients like tea, dandelion bitters, and egg whites. Our favourite, however, is the Royal Bermuda Polo Club. With ingredients like Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, falernum, honey syrup, and lime, you can be sure this tantalizing concoction will be equal parts sweet and hangover-inducing.
The Drink: Ed’s Old Fashioned
The Restaurant: Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill
Obsessed with Mad Men? So are we. Ed’s Old Fashioned caters to our 1960s-era fantasies by re-exploring bitters to add a bittersweet summer flavour to the cocktail. An intriguing combination of housemade brown butter bourbon, spiced orange syrup, house-spiced orange bitters, and orange zest, Ed’s Old Fashioned is the perfect way to wind down and transport yourself back to the Swingin’ Sixties. Pastel-coloured suit and pearl necklace optional.
Which of these drinks are you thirsting to try? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.