Serving custom-designed drinks is the latest wedding craze, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without a champagne toast. Below, four of Toronto’s most creative bartenders riff on the classic sparkling cocktail
THE SPARKLING BOUQUET
Brad Gubbins, bartender at SpiritHouse
This elegant emulsion blends 1 oz Lillet Rosé with ¾ oz gin, a spoonful of simple syrup and 2 dashes of rhubarb bitters. Gubbins tops up the flute with chilled champagne and a grapefruit twist.
JEWEL OF PANJÉMO
Jan Ollner, bartender at Reposado
Ollner’s cocktail is bombastic yet balanced. He blends ¾ oz reposado tequila, ¾ oz Lustau Moscatel Emilin sherry, ½ oz Amaro Montenegro and 3 oz cava, then adds a brandied sour cherry for an extra boozy kick.
MAPLE LEAF FOREVER
Moses McIntee, beverage director at L-Eat Catering
Champagne gets a patriotic makeover from Moses McIntee, who mixes ½ oz rye, ½ oz maple syrup and ½ oz lemon juice with 3 dashes of maple bitters, then finishes the drink with champagne and a maple leaf.
FLOR DE PASIÓN
Christina Kuypers, bartender at GwaiLo
Kuypers’ concoction is fruity, frothy and fun: 3 oz cava combined with ¾ oz ginger-honey syrup, ¾ oz passion fruit purée, 3 dashes of Bittered Sling Grapefruit and Hops extract and a curl of ruby grapefruit zest.