Toronto Mixologists Are Raising The Bar

Bar Chef

The Mixologist: Frankie Solarek, Bar Chef
The Cocktail: Essence of Fall
“Visual and nostalgic references are my favourite tools to create visceral and emotional experiences. Tactile elements of fresh moss, woods, greens, balsam fir visual elements and red leaves, browns, yellows and oranges create a visual of an autumn morning mist in an Ontario forest. The aromatic component of cedar, moss and soil is activated to encapsulate the guest and pair with the flavours of brandy, balsam fir bitters, rosemary and sweet vermouth. The ice component is spherified granita of Fernet Branca and maple, which provides a transformative flavour profile for the cocktail. After 15 minutes, the flavour of the ice incorporates into the cocktail and the guest is able to eat the ice element with the presented spoon.”

Ritz Bar
Ritz Bar

The Mixologist: John Neil, Ritz Bar
The Cocktail: Pisco Pasión
“A modern take on the classic Pisco Sour. Passion fruit is a natural complement to fresh lime and Pisco. The vibrant yellow colour and signature long-stemmed glass add to the intrigue. Liquid nitrogen adds not only an element of drama, but also of skill, as it takes careful timing and precision. The finishing touch is flash-freezing part of the actual cocktail itself, turning it into a fresh sorbet. This frozen purée is then lightly sprinkled on top, causing a billowing smoke effect, and completing the overall experience.” hotels/canada/toronto/dining/ ritz-bar


The Mixologist: Kirsty Fox, Draco
The Cocktail: Smoked Old Fashioned
“Buffalo Trace bourbon is the base. In a typical Old Fashioned you have your sugar and bitters. Our concept is local flare, so I incorporated a small amount of local maple syrup, and then added Tapped Maple Water to increase the maple flavour. In keeping with local twists, we use a smoked cherry bitter. I was curious to see how the cocktail would taste if we smoked it in cherry wood. This makes all the flavours come together. We use an Ice Sphere Press to make a perfect circle ice cube. We mix the drink and then let it sit in the smoked decanter. Each guest gets to smell the smoke and watch the show as the drink is poured. We then garnish with an orange peel and our own in-house bourbon-marinated sour cherries.”

Civil Liberties
Civil Liberties

The Mixologists: David Huynh and Nick Kennedy, Civil Liberties
The Cocktail: Monkey Shoulder Clarified Milk Punch
“Milk Punch is not a traditional Vietnamese recipe. We use traditional Vietnamese flavours, including NuocNam, zest of lemon and lime, fresh juices, sesame seed oil and a spice ball. This stays in the whole milk for 48 hours while a chemical reaction occurs, separating the milk solids until the liquid runs clear. It’s a particular method created by Benjamin Franklin. This clear liquid is then combined with Monkey Shoulder malt whisky. We serve the cocktail in a teapot, which we then pour into a tea cup.”

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