Absinthe is one of the most mysterious of liquors, with its origins in 18th century Switzerland. With an anise-flavour and greenish colour, Absinthe is one of the most sought after – and hard to find – alcoholic drinks on the market, popular among bohemians, academics and artists alike. The following is a list of places you can go in Toronto to dance with the green fairy. [Image credit: iStock.com/augustproject]
Montecito is a sleek, bright and airy Adelaide West hotspot, the perfect place to catch drinks after a show at the Royal Alexandra or Princess of Whales Theatre (both located within walking distance). They serve La Muse Verte absinthe, a 68-proof Brodeaux, using the classic absinthe ice tower.
This high-end Distillery District bistro and boulangerie offers scrumptious French fare, which you can consume on their outdoor cobblestone patio. Cluny serves French Lucid Absinthe, either plain with a choice of house-made sugars, or in a Sazerac (the official drink of New Orleans, which at Cluny is a mix of Lucide Absinthe, sugar and Gooderham Rye).
Byblos is a colourful and lively Eastern Mediterranean restaurant that focuses on catering to the specific dining needs of their valued customers – and this includes absinthe fountain service. They also serve Arak, a Levantine alcoholic spirit that is a variant on absinthe with a strong anise flavour. Situated on the first two floors of the Storys building, you can sip your bevvy in one of their grey wraparound booths under sleek industrial lighting.
Cocktail Bar serves a delicious Absinthe Whip, a mix of absinthe, orange, coconut and pistachio. You can sample their extensive selection of cocktails on their compact outdoor patio overlooking Dundas West (it’s got a lovely air of privacy). If you’re peckish, note that cocktail bar is located across the street from sibling restaurants The Black Hoof (charcuterie galore) and Rhum Corner (Caribbean-inspired food and drink).
La Palette is a rustic, wood-clad and cozy French restaurant located on Toronto’s Queen Street West. They have a selection of authentic and rarely seen absinthes, offered as digestifs after a sumptuous meal. For those who like their green fairy served with a side of sweetness, La Palette is also known to feature an absinthe crème brulee.