Casey and partner Bill Sweete from Sidecar and cocktail writer, Christine Sismondo are the ones behind this speak easy and have carefully thought of everything including a strict set of house rules with rules such as 'if you order a cosmo, you'd be politely asked to leave' and my favourite is 'please do not speak to a lady at the bar without first being spoken to, it isn’t that kind of a place.'
They make their own juices fresh daily, from grapefruit, pineapple to orange and bar mix. They also made their own tonics which is impressive. Adrian uses cracked ice from a sheet pan that he brings out for certain drinks and machine ice for others to help infuse flavours better together.
At Adrian's insistence, we try their Gin and home made Tonic. While in my usual life, my drink is a vodka soda and I stay away from gin; I was a convert here. The tonic has a lingering sweetness which made the drink go down easy and I would highly recommend. We also try the Toronto Temperance, where Adrian ignites an orange rind to give me a more powerful taste. The Rye Crusta that we try has to be done a particular way where Adrian needs to wrap a lemon rind around the glass and it's a sweeter drink if you're looking for something lighter/sweeter. The biggest hit of the night was the cilantro mule, which is their best seller. Cilantro is one of those herbs that isn't on everybody's favourite list but this drink is executed so well and goes down so easy. What I need to try for my next visit is their original Cubano mojito, which is a perfect cocktail for those steamy nights in Toronto.
OH, and I can't forget to talk about their bar snack- boondi- it's a chick pea rice puff that is infused with indian spices. It's addicting and pairs very well with any drink ... respect the boondi.
*** 1/2 stars
The Toronto Temperance Society
577A College Street, Toronto 416 536 7001