drink canoe: contemporary cocktails with a view
Explore the art of mixology as our latest cocktail creations take the stage for spring
When it comes to seasonality, changing temperatures often dictate when our lunch and dinner menus begin to transition, resulting in a delectable showcase of what’s on offer at harvest time. The same is true for our bar menu. As melting snow and sunny days make way for bright flavours, fresh fruit, and floral garnishes, we deliver on palate cravings in the early days of spring and summer.
Just as complex and considered as Executive Chef Ron McKinlay’s menu of culinary creations is our bar program — one of the most unique in the city, given the sweeping city views that accompany a 54th-floor cocktail (or two). At the hands of our talented mixologists, each carefully crafted beverage is planned in painstaking detail, often requiring weeks or months of preparation before the final product comes to life.
From infusions via sous vide to fat-washed spirits and acid-adjusted citrus, our techniques match our flavour profiles: they are far from simple. While classic cocktails remain a staple, there’s nothing quite like an afternoon drink, pre-dinner cocktail, or late-night libation that challenges creative boundaries while connecting people to place. With the help of Bar Manager Bishop Wierzbicki, we’ve broken down a selection of artfully designed creations available just in time for Toronto’s budding spring, to be enjoyed whenever cocktail hour calls.
Named after a neighbourhood in Peggy’s Cove, Fox Point is our take on an East Coast tiki-style drink. In a nod to the Maritimes, Screech rum is infused with pineapple for a punchy, acid-forward kick that remains Canadian at its core. In another tropical twist, pineapple juice is acid-adjusted (meaning citric acid is added to enhance the acidity), delivering the flavour of pineapple with the backbone of lemon. Adding chocolate bitters, simple syrup, and coconut water, this satisfying East Coast-inspired sipper is served in a Nick and Nora glass and topped with a slice of dehydrated pineapple drizzled with chocolate for garnish.
Have you heard of a French martini? What about a French Canadian martini? This Montréal take on the classic cocktail, named for the city’s Pont Champlain, brings the elements of a chocolate martini to new heights. While its first sips are strong to start, Grey Goose vodka and crème de cacao are balanced with a showstopping foam made from egg whites, acid-adjusted pineapple juice, cinnamon syrup, and Chambord, which slowly sweetens the cocktail as it melts, changing the flavour profile with every passing moment. Atop the fluffy, aerated cloud, dehydrated raspberry dust adds a sprinkle of pink to finish.
For something light and lively, why not cheers to warmer days with a Lavender Collins, offering delicate floral freshness that’s indicative of spring in the city. Using a sous vide machine, stalks of lemongrass are used to infuse Georgian Bay vodka with the plant’s mild citrus and ginger notes. Adding a housemade lavender syrup made from dried lavender sugar, lemon juice, and artisanal grapefruit liqueur, it is topped with soda for a beautifully bubbly and crisp refreshment. Finished with a grapefruit twist and a floral sprig, this picture-perfect cocktail is almost too pretty to sip.
Our version of the Paper Plane, a cocktail Torontonians have come to know and love, this innovative red elixir gets its cherry colour from Select Aperitivo, a cross between Aperol and Campari. While the original cocktail gets its name from the M.I.A. song, we’ve named our iteration The Actual Plane, a playful way to poke fun at its precursor. In another incredible infusion, bourbon marinates with tart cherries, resulting in a punchy complement to the St-Germain’s light, elderflower notes. With the addition of lemon and baking spice cordial made using cinnamon, nutmeg, black cardamom, ginger, and vanilla, its undeniable kick will wake you up. Served with or without ice à la drinker’s choice, a bourbon-soaked cherry provides the final flourish. Fittingly, it’s the perfect drink to sip while watching the action at Billy Bishop Airport from our buzzing sky-high bar.
And let’s not forget about the classics! While our menu features a number of delightful drinks like Penicillin, Aviation, and the Canoe Old Fashioned, a crowd-pleasing suggestion comes in the form of an Old Cuban — or as we like to call it, a mojito, only better.
How do you improve on a mojito you might ask? You swap out the soda with sparkling wine! The result is the same, distinctive rum flavour paired with sour lime and fresh mint, only now with bubbles. Also swapping light rum for a darker, aged El Dorado, the Old Cuban is a little spin on something most guests are familiar with. Satisfying cravings of fresh citrus for spring, it delivers on all fronts, as does any classic cocktail our powerhouse team mixes up behind our contemporary yet cozy bar. Hot tip: our classics menu is just a small selection of what we can do, so if you’re in need of some more inspiration, just ask!
When it comes to our spirit-free options, the same amount of attention, creativity and care is built into each drink’s design, reinforcing our belief that zero-proof cocktails can be just as complex and layered as our booze-branded beverages. Sans spirits but full of spectacle, try the Cigarettes + Alcohol (counterintuitive, we know). Appearing like an espresso martini, it blends fresh grapefruit juice and cold brew with a housemade syrup of cloves, anise, and wintery spices for a unique citrus-meets-coffee creation.
For something a little different, order the Ambrosia, a twist on milk punch that takes its name both from the Canadian apple and the nectar of the gods. Featuring apple and lychee juice, Earl Grey tea crushed with cardamom and cloves, lime juice, bitters, and maple syrup, milk is added and later strained, resulting in a flavourful, clarified concoction that delivers on bitter tannins. One more cocktail for the sober curious is the Royal Canadian Bicycle Gang, an artful blend of orange juice, heavy cream, and housemade grenadine topped with soda. Reminiscent of a creamsicle, this highly sippable summer staple will have you craving another.
We welcome you to stop by the bar to try our team’s latest creations for yourself. Whether you’re looking for something light and fresh or brazen and bold, our cocktails are designed with a variety of tastes in mind. Delivering on presentation with layers of flavour to match, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and allow us to make you a drink. View the full bar menu here and book now to join us today!