MY EYES ARE CLOSED. I’VE JUST TAKEN A SIP FROM A DRINK called the Left Bank and it tastes like springtime in Paris: gin topped with light cucumber notes and a punch of Chartreuse. I swallow, and time slows to a crawl. I come to in Mulberry Bar, located on a quiet corner just north of downtown Toronto. It’s a cozy, pretty spot that channels the City of Light with its vaulted arcade ceiling, backlit by LEDs that can mimic sunshine or cast a romantic glow, and a wrought-iron park bench situated indoors, for that strolling-the-Champs-Élysées feel. Framed by lush hanging baskets of ferns, the small counter is where bar staff mix take-you-there cocktails like An Umbrella Over Cherbourg (rhubarb, rosewater, saffron) and Tristes Tropiques (mezcal, Chartreuse, agave). The offerings change often, so just follow the bartender’s recommendations – and don’t hesitate if she suggests the umami-packed caviar chips. Then lounge on that indoor park bench, or outside on the leafy patio that seems a world away from the busy streetfront. Vous ne le regretterez pas.
BELOW, FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Colour-coordinating with a tequila-based, Campari-spiked Extra Loco; a second round on a Sunday night; Mulberry Bar’s pretty-in-pink menu is a head- and page-turner. OPPOSITE PAGE With gin, pine and gentian liqueurs, vermouth and aromatized wine, Geena Lee whips up Something Like Paradise.