The Cosmo is dead. The Appletini has bitten the worm. The age of the classic cocktail has returned. Manhattans. Negronis. Campari, Pernod, Fernet Branca. These old friends have returned. And thank God for it.
None have heralded this return more so than Toronto restaurateur and activist Jen Agg, whose little universe on Dundas West centred around her showpiece restaurant, The Black Hoof (affectionately known as “Hoofland”). Other stars in this constellation include Rhum Corner next door, a Haitian food paradise, and the cocktail bar across the street, known simply as, Cocktail Bar.
Its plain name belies the complex and masterfully crafted cocktails that are served within. These are indeed among the best, if not the best, drinks in town. With whimsical names and inventive descriptions, there is a cocktail on the menu for absolutely everyone. Sweet, sour, boozy and light; the expert bartenders will work with you to find something to suit your palate. I personally love anything with gin and touches like lavender and elderflower.
The place itself is crafted like a jewel-box, with a copper plate roof and dim lighting that shimmers on the bar. It is cozy and intimate, seating only about 30-40 (more with the patio), but this only adds to its exclusive allure. The crowd it draws are an eclectic mix- flirty couples on romantic nights out, trendy bearded hipsters and girls dressed head to toe in chic black. The tie that binds is the love of a good drink. Cocktail Bar draws them all in.