Lightning in a Bottle

These ready-to-drink cocktails are pushing at-home happy hour to new heights

Il Covo’s Toronto Cocktail

1 Operating out of Little Italy’s Il Covo, Radio Cocktails is the brainchild of bartending couple Luca Cesaretti and Gina Aguilar. Their specialty is large-format libations, and they make a mean Toronto Cocktail, with a base of Bearface Canadian whisky and Fernet-Branca. The cocktails are formulated to last months in the fridge, making it easy to stock up for future functions. $39, serves five., @radiococktails

Grey Tiger’s Negroni Bianco

2 The classic negroni needs little explanation, but its see-through sibling doesn’t get nearly as much attention. So to help get the word out, the artist-run Bloor West cocktail bar Grey Tiger features the Negroni Bianco in its lineup of bottled cocktails. This interpretation pairs gin with two kinds of vermouth and, instead of Campari, a house blend of aperitifs, including a splash of Cocchi Americano. $15. 1190 Bloor St. W.,

Dolly Trolley Drinks’ Groove Machine

3 With her ambitious, disco-spirited Supernova Ballroom shuttered by the pandemic, Kelsey Ramage channelled the cocktail lounge’s vibe into Dolly Trolley Drinks, a home delivery service for classic and original bottled cocktails. An instant winner out of her camp: the hyper-fresh, citrus-juiced Groove Machine, made with tequila, white vermouth, salted pear, lime leaf and lemon. $56, serves six.

Photo by Katherine Holland
Pinkerton’s French 75

4 These canned Dynamite Kid cocktails from Pinkerton’s in Leslieville feature an assortment of classic aperitivo-hour standards, like a strong martini, a bitter (in a good way) negroni and, our pick, a breezily effervescent French 75. For it, gin, champagne and lemon juice are kicked up with splashes of nutty sherry, herbaceous pastis, verjus and—for a little extra fizz—some unoaked sparkling chardonnay. $15. 1026 Gerrard St. E.,

BarChef’s Late Harvest Vesper

5 BarChef owner and mixologist Frankie Solarik has never been one to skimp on the frills behind the bar, and the bottled BarChef Project versions of his signature cocktails are no different. His take on the 007–approved Vesper uses a custom gin distilled through hand-harvested spruce tips, and a single-vintage Niagara vidal late-harvest wine. There’s no shaking or stirring required—just pour over ice. $26.95, serves four. 472 Queen St. W.,

Willibald’s Jutsu Gin and Tonic

6 Ayr’s Willibald Farm Distillery and Brewery and Toronto cocktail whiz Owen Walker teamed up with Bellwoods Brewery to Frankenstein together this concoction. The magic requires Bellwoods’ hoppy, hazy Double Jutsu beer, which is blended with Willibald gin and a dash of quinine and distilled down. The resulting Jutsu Gin and Tonic is a supremely clear, funky take on the cinq-à-sept staple. $20 for four. 1271 Reidsville Rd., Ayr,

The Cloak Bar’s Sumac Pisco Sparkling Cocktail

7 A year into the pandemic, the clandestine Cloak Bar launched a digital cocktail hotline on Friday and Saturday nights, where thirsty customers slide into the bar’s DMs to request a bottled version of whatever drink is on their mind. For the indecisive, the bartenders are also happy to whip up to-go takes on house specialties like the Sumac Pisco Sparkling Cocktail, which gets an extra lift from a little white rum. $9. 488 Wellington St. W., @thecloakbar