Toronto’s Best Gin Cocktails –

Nothing says summer quite like a gin and tonic. Gin is the summer drink of choice for visiting islands, yacht days, and country clubs. Premium whisky may be the drink for winter, but it really has nothing on a glass of lavender-infused gin on a hot July day.

This junction hotspot offers a fancy twist on the old classic. Its G&T is made with lavender-infused gin, homemade tonic and soda. While it’s only available during the warmer months, this spiced up version of the classic cocktail is one of the most refreshing drinks I’ve ever had the pleasure of sipping.

With gin, fresh lemon, and cucumber soda, the Cucumber Collins is less about creating something fancy and more about creating the most refreshing cocktail possible. By replacing tonic water with cucumber soda, SPIRITHOUSE manages to create something truly special and completely delicious. There’s something about a Sloe Gin Fizz that makes me think of old timey bars and Mad Men-era advertising.

The County General doesn’t do anything spectacularly new to their Sloe Gin Fizz; they just make the classic exceptionally well. Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon juice, absinthe drop, and an orange disk. It’s hard to make a list of the best cocktails in Toronto without mentioning BarChef; Frankie Solarik’s unconventional molecular experiment is widely considered to be one of the top bars in the city.

Will you be swapping your vodka for gin cocktails this summer?

The Strawberry and Lavender is no exception. With strawberry-infused gin, strawberry and elderflower bitters, lavender-infused orange liqueur, and fresh lemon, this cocktail should be on your must-try list for the summer season. Northwood has several incredible gin-based cocktails on the menu, but it’s the Choupette that brings me back time and time again. The Choupette has gin, St. Germain elderflower, lemon and thyme, and while it sounds simple the flavour profile is deceptively complex. Will you be swapping your vodka for gin cocktails this summer? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.

While the Junction Conductors Craft Ale at the LCBO is currently brewed in Guelph, the company also has a small brewery right in the heart of the Toronto neighbourhood it’s named for. While you may have seen some Kensington brews (such as Augusta Ale, Fisheye PA, or Watermelon Wheat) around town or at the LCBO, those are brewed under license elsewhere.

Still, Kensington founder Brock Shepherd is hopeful he’ll finally have his own brewery up and running in the heart of Kensington Market some time this year. Retail shop: No (but some brands available at LCBO and Beer Store, as well as on draft at various bars). Don’t miss: Fisheye PA, Watermelon Wheat.

Pale Ale) are brewed under license in Cambridge, but founders Mark and Mandie Murphy moved into a former industrial building in Leslieville earlier this year. Retail shop: No. They’re available on tap at various bars. Don’t miss: Eephus Oatmeal Brown, Resin Bag IPA. The original Distillery District location now focuses on seasonal offerings and one-offs, leaving Mill Street’s more well-known brands to their Scarborough packaging brewery.

By 2006, Mill Street had outgrown its Distillery District location, and set up a brand new brewery in Scarborough, which handles all its larger scale production. Don’t miss: Tankhouse Pale Ale, Coffee Porter. Remember those giant brewing tanks that were shipped in a convoy down the road from Hamilton a few years back? They wound up here, at what is unquestionably the biggest brewery in Toronto.

It cranks out hundreds of millions of bottles and cans of beer per year. Don’t miss: If Coors Light or Molson Canadian are your thing, you’ll find them here. Yes, there’s a functioning brewery in this pub at the ACC. Not that long-suffering Toronto sports fans need the occasional beverage or anything.

Don’t miss: Something that was actually brewed onsite. It’s not up and running yet, but this East York brewery will start up production this summer. Visiting a brewery as fun for the whole family? Absolutely, when it’s within a stone’s throw of the Rogers Centre, CN Tower and the Ripley’s Aquarium.

  • The Rosedale Diner
  • Dundas Street West | 416-588-0307 |
  • Floors, 27 rooms
  • The Glutton: Holy Chuck/
  • Jarvis St. 416-964-6609;
  • O.Noir(620 Church St.)

Oh, and they make a pretty mean pilsner, too. Don’t miss: The free samples after the brewery tour. Not the most adventurous brewpub in town, but there’s a reasonably solid lineup of brews at the Toronto outpost of this French-based chain. Retail shop: No. You can only drink them onsite.

Fire officials say a six-alarm blaze that tore through a historic three-storey athletic club in midtown Toronto and forced the evacuation of surrounding buildings is not considered suspicious. At approximately 5:45 a.m. Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg said during a media briefing at the scene Wednesday morning.