Best Bars: Two meticulously calibrated elixirs at Brassaii and Barchef (some assembly required)
Brassaii’s Campfire Coffee
461 King St. W., 416-598-4730
Booze slinger Jordan Stacey turns the common specialty coffee into a ready-made winter survival kit, complete with a mini bonfire. A cup of Maker’s Mark–spiked espresso, topped with vanilla-bourbon whipped cream, arrives at the table with all the fixings to make old-fashioned s’mores: chocolate-topped graham crackers, a skewered Jet-Puffed marshmallow and a small pile of rum-soaked cinnamon sticks and star anise that the server lights on fire so you can roast your marshmallow. The sweet sandwich pairs perfectly with the bitter, bourbon-soaked coffee. $18.
472 Queen St. W., 416-868-4800
If a cocktail can be elevated to the status of art, then Barchef’s Eucalyptus is like an M. C. Escher print: mind-bending and slightly nonsensical. The drink has three main components: 1) a flask of cocoa-infused mescal with muddled coriander, coconut and vanilla (the actual cocktail); 2) a dish of coconut foam topped with coriander sprouts set inside a bowl of eucalyptus mist; and 3) jelly cubes—cherry, smoked chocolate and cucumber-vanilla–orange blossom. One by one, the jellies are meant to be dipped in the foam, then swished around your mouth before you take a sip from the beaker. They’re supposed to focus your palate on the flavours of the liqueur (the salted chocolate jelly, for example, brings out the smokiness of the mescal, while the cucumber-vanilla-orange brings out the floral notes). Intermittent whiffs of the mist help prevent sensory overload—which is entirely likely anyway. $35.