There’s a drink for everyone in Ottawa’s ever-growing cocktail scene
The Spa Water ($14) — an elegant cocktail of sake, elderflower liqueur, and cucumber water — feels like cool bliss. But if you’re looking for something a little stronger, turn to the bar’s Nightcap ($18). With a frozen sphere of sweet vermouth and gin in a glass of Campari and rye, the Nightcap dances between a traditional Negroni and a boulevardier. Booze-forward and deliciously assertive, it’s one to savour slowly. Sutherland, 224 Beechwood Ave.
With different drink lists in the restaurant and the speakeasy, there’s always an abundance of refreshments to choose from at Union 613. But don’t overlook their standards. The Bourbon Lemonade, a spiked Southern staple, is made with in-house raspberry syrup and fresh lemonade. It’s a bright pink palate pleaser that will go down nicely on their new patio. $12. Union 613, 315 Somerset St. W.
The Uncommon Mojito
Made with gin, Lillet Blanc (a French aperitif), lemon juice, blackberry juice, and mint, this mojito might not be one that you recognize — but the Common Eatery likes to stand out. With moody lighting and a bumping soundtrack, the airy space makes for a cool summer hideaway. $11. Common Eatery, 380 Elgin St.
If it seems strange to drink your gin and tonic in a glass that looks as though it’s meant for a big red wine, that’s only because you haven’t yet enjoyed the pleasures of a Copa Serve. The widemouthed wineglass, called a copa de balón, highlights the drink’s aroma. The Bar Laurel lineup includes seven gins and five tonics, and each pairing is finished with complementary or contrasting garnishes. Take your Copa out to the patio, and you’ll be transported to a Spanish plaza in no time. $8$12. Bar Laurel, 1087 Wellington St. W.
Though Ward 14 is filled with vintage trinkets and curios, the cocktail list is anything but stuffy. Drinks at the consignment bar are light and fruity — the B*tch Belize, for example, is a quaffable mix of rum, apricot juice, and coconut water. You may even want to buy the chalice it comes in (and you can!). $9. Ward 14, 139 Preston St.