Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 20, because we have magicians for bartenders
Toronto has long been a city for the food obsessed, but we’ve only recently brought the same slavish worship to our booze. We now reserve our tippling for house-flavoured spirits with brandy-fermented cherry garnishes. Cocktail Bar, Jen Agg’s modern-day speakeasy, whetted our palates with its frothy lavender pisco sours and barrel-aged manhattans with 10-year-old rye. And in January, bartender Moses McIntee—who’s done time at Toca and Ame—opened Lucid Cocktail and Kitchen, a brasserie serving more than 70 intricate, boozy concoctions, most of them variations on classic recipes. McIntee anchors his drinks with uncommon ingredients like a house-made tamarind syrup, pickled clementines or even gochujang, the sinus-clearing, chili-based Korean condiment. His Gin Dip and Lick is a clever twist on the martini: Bombay Sapphire gets a spritz of Noilly Pratt and an arctic chill from liquid nitrogen, and comes accompanied with powders of three dehydrated cocktails that you sample between sips for an extra flavour hit. Yes, we’ve become a city of unrepentant lushes—and there’s no quenching our thirst.