The City’s Most Spirited Event
A week-long celebration of Toronto’s cocktail culture
Toronto Cocktail Week (October 16 to 21) made quite the splash when it kicked off its event series at Ripley’s Aquarium. During the sold-out gala, guests enjoyed unlimited cocktails made by the city’s best bartenders before taking selfies with sharks and being photobombed by manta rays. Multiple drink stations were spread out over the aquarium, each representing one of Toronto’s top cocktail bars and mixing up at least two signature drinks. With more than two dozen cocktails on offer, there was something for everyone, including Tanqueray No. 10 gin concoctions, Writer’s Tears whisky drinks and Grey Goose vodka creations. Some were sweet, some were savoury and some were straight-up strong. Thankfully, there was plenty of great food—including fried chicken, Korean ssams and sugary churros—to soak it all up.
The second night of TCW honoured Canadian music icon Gord Downie with a tribute concert held at the Horseshoe Tavern featuring the Tragically Hip cover band Practically Hip. The Hip’s classic hits—as well as a selection of specially crafted Johnnie Walker Black Label and Bulleit bourbon cocktails—kept the crowd in good spirits. Part of the proceeds from the event went to the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, an organization to support reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples of Canada. The rest of the week was filled with special ticketed tastings and seminars at some of the city’s top bars, where Toronto’s celebrated mixologists taught attendees everything from making booze-free cocktails to dancing with the Green Fairy. #TCW18 @torontococktailweek
RIPLEY’s AQUARIUM:For one night only, the aquarium—and all the cool and creepy underwater creatures within its walls— played host to the city’s most unique cocktail party