Edmonton spots to enjoy an excellent cocktail

It’s summertime, and the living is easy. It’s the perfect time to sip on a delicious cocktail, or three. The ideal cocktail is a mix of presentation, pizzazz and taste – and some places do it better than others. We sat down with Edmonton writer and editor Omar Mouallem, who happens to also be something of a cocktail aficionado, to find out where he goes for a cocktail after a long day. Here’s what he told us.

Woodwork Restaurant

10132 100 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 0N8

The bartenders really look the part here, dressing up in the style of the speakeasy age. They also know they're on display, so the way they shake it and stir it is worth watching. As far as cocktail culture goes, Woodwork was the first in Edmonton to take cocktails very seriously. Before Woodwork came along, we had heard about the $12 and $15 cocktail in other cities but they were the first ones to bring that kind of high-level cocktail to Edmonton, and then prove that such a cocktail could actually be worth it.

BLVD Bar x Kitchen

10765 Jasper Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 2A5

I like stiffer drinks, but if you’re looking for a good summer cocktail, that's what they really focus on here. I had the Pleased as a Peach cocktail last time and it’s really good. It’s got peach puree and cinnamon in it. It’s designed by Brendan Brewster, who designed many of the cocktail menus in town. I'd also recommend the Kingston Cocktail, which has angostura bitters, lime juice, pineapple juice and mint.

El Cortez Tequila Bar and Kitchen

8230 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4B2

El Cortez is probably the most beautiful room in Edmonton. When it comes to drinks and sweet food, I’m a sucker for coconut. So, faced with their margarita list last time, I went for the coconut margarita. It’s delicious, with a shredded coconut rim on the glass. Next time though, I'm trying the Oaxaca Old Fashioned, an Old Fashioned made with tequila, mescal and chocolate bitters.


102-10359 104 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5J 1B9

Rostizado may have been the first restaurant in Edmonton to take mescal seriously. They use it in bebidas, which is the Spanish word for tropical cocktails. If you like beachy cocktails, theirs are done really well. Their tamarind margarita is great. I know tamarind is kind of an acquired taste but I like its sourness and grime. I want to try the La Bonita cocktail next. It uses both mescal and tequila, fresh pineapple, cilantro, lime-chili infused mango nectar and agave syrup.

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

10065 100th Street, EDMONTON, AB T5J 0N6

It’s the best view in Edmonton. They have a good cocktail menu and probably my favourite sangria. As far as having a cocktail with friends on a patio goes, you’re not going to beat that view. It serves up the whole west river valley, northern skyline and southern skyline view. And it’s very classy, too.

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