What to drink: Three cocktails to go from Toronto bars

These refreshing local concoctions will add summer heat to your spring outdoor hang

It’s shaping up to be another summer of picnics in Toronto, namely because hanging outside is still one of the few ways we can safely convene. Spice up your outdoor dining experience with some bottled cocktails to go from local restaurants. You get a perfectly balanced drink without dealing with the hassle of a whole bartender kit. Just twist off the lid and pour one out al fresco, but don’t forget the ice. These three cocktails have tequila and mezcal as their base spirits to incite a bit of summer heat.

Donna’s Mezcal Paloma

This flirty mixture dances on the tongue with layers of citrus and herbal notes that tantalize and swell. The Campari and Aperol give it deep floral and herbaceous flavour, the mezcal provides a bit of smokiness and the tequila rounds things out with sweetness. It comes with two bottles of bubbly grapefruit Ting and grapefruit wedges to garnish. Ice is an optional add-on that you should definitely consider. Ideal for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Serves four. $27. Get it at Donna’s (827 Lans­downe, donnas.ca). Available for pickup and local delivery.

Peter Pantry’s Oaxacan Square

Named after Oaxaca, the capital of mezcal, this cocktail doesn’t pull any punches. It’s a slow sipper poured over ice. Tequila reposado, mezcal, brandy, sweet vermouth and Bénédictine (a French liqueur made of a blend of 27 flowers, berries, roots, spices and herbs) come together seamlessly. Indulge while watching a particularly vibrant sunset.

Serves two. $16. Get it at Peter Pantry (373 Queen West, peterpanbistro.ca). Available for pickup and local delivery.

Maison Selby’s Mule

Crafted by Selby’s resident mixologist Raj Rijhwani, this mule mixes tequila blanco with mezcal and a housemade black pepper and raspberry syrup. Basically it’s nice and spicy with a hint of sweet. Ginger beer always reminds me of the Caribbean, so drink this near a body of water and pretend you’re on a beach.

Serves two. $24. Get it at Maison Selby (592 Sherbourne, maisonselby.com). Available for pickup and local delivery.

Get more drink recommendations here.


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