On my 24th birthday weekend in New York City, my friends and I went to this “secret” bar—actually so secret that I can’t remember anything about it now—where I ended up discovering my favourite cocktail of all time: The Aviation. But finding an Aviation cocktail in Toronto upon my return? Not a simple task.
Turns out, they’re a pretty rare cocktail, with expensive ingredients and a seductive air of mystery. Well, at least to me, which made them all the more alluring. Aviation cocktails are known for their captivating colour, intended to be one of the sky’s many shades. It’s an old-school gin cocktail that was created before the Prohibition by Hugo Ensslin in New York.
So, on my search to find an amazing Aviation cocktail in Toronto, I stumbled across these three bars. Get ready to take flight with the most delicious drink of your life. (No pun intended.)
3 Places Where You Can Get an Aviation Cocktail in Toronto
Although their online menu no longer shows that they serve Aviation cocktails, I’ve had one here. Cluny Bistro in the Distillery District was actually the first place I discovered in Toronto that had them! Perhaps they still have them on their cocktail list at the restaurant—or else, just ask and see if they can make one. If they’ve got the ingredients, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Alternate drink: French 75
D.W. Alexander is an old-fashioned speakeasy bar located in Old Town Toronto. What kind of speakeasy would they be if they didn’t include the pre-Prohibition Aviation? This bar has the priciest Aviation cocktail I’ve come across, but it’s well worth it. The ingredients are top notch and the bar has a classic atmosphere that makes you feel as if you’ve gone back in time.
Ingredients: Boodles London Dry Gin Shaken with Maraschino Liqueur, Creme de Violette & Lemon
Marben is an elegant yet cozy place to go for post-work drinks. It’s tucked away on a quiet street in the Entertainment District in a gorgeous brick building. It’s definitely an under-rated spot in Toronto—and I’d kind of like to keep in that way. After all, I want all the Aviation cocktails for myself. (Only half joking.)
Ingredients: Tanqueray, Briottet Violet, Luxardo Maraschino & Lemon
Feature image courtesy of Platings & Pairings.