Home > Life, The Universe, & Everything > Barchef Toronto Makes A Heck Of A Drink!

Barchef Toronto Makes A Heck Of A Drink!


As you all already know I am a big fan of scotch. Well the other night – OK fine it was in the end of April – my friends Sacha and Yarden introduced me to a bar I had never known existed on Queen Street West in Toronto called Barchef. Immediately upon tasting the libations which they served at this fine establishment I was in love with the people who have brought this wonderful location into existence.

Barchef http://www.barcheftoronto.com/ is located at 472 Queen Street West in Toronto, east of Bathurst on the block between Augusta and Denison. If you are planning on going there, I recommend you keep your eyes peeled because there is no big sign for it, it has a very small, nondescript entrance but once you get in there it is beautiful. Very dim lighting abounds the entire location with a big bar surrounded by bar stools, a number of comfy booths and some couches surrounding some tables.

According to their website, Barchef has been voted one of the Top 100 Bars in the World by Food & Wine Magazine – and I believe it! But excellence does come with a price, and a hefty one at that. Each drink on their menu is well above the average price one would expect to pay for a drink elsewhere. However, there is a reason they call the place Barchef – it really is the “fine dining” of alcohol.

By now you are probably wondering what kind of refreshing liquid awesomeness I ordered upon arriving there? Well, they have something called a “Freestyle” where for $14 you tell the current bartender (or bar chef in this case) what your alcohol of choice is and what kind of drinking mood you’re in and they make you up a drink with that as the base. As you can see in the picture above, that is one heck of a manly drink – one of the ladies with us wouldn’t even try it upon looking at it and smelling it saying it was too much of a man’s drink (maybe she was stroking my ego but I will choose to believe she was being honest).

So what was in it? Well I told the brilliant artist of alcohol behind the bar that I was a big fan of peaty, smoky scotch as well as liking rum as a good all around go to. So he created for me this concoction which I had him then write down the ingredients for – although he didn’t give me the exact measurements.

  • An Islay Scotch whisky
  • A Madeira wine
  • Maple bitters
  • Coconut rum
  • Orange blossom H2O (I assume that is just a flavored water but want to write exactly what he wrote on the receipt for me so there it is.)

And it was freaking delicious. I felt like James Bond in Casino Royale (the movie, I have yet to read the book although from what I have seen the scene plays out largely the same) where he orders a martini which he later dubs the Vesper and then tastes it and realizes he quite likes it. Check it out below via YouTube:

Dry martini. Wait… three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.

I need to go out and get a tux then go back into Barchef and order that drink they gave me as a Freestyle again – I wonder what they’d charge me for it? I also need to have a ladyfriend there so I can name the drink after her haha. Then again, maybe that isn’t such a good idea because Vesper turns out to be a traitorous woman even though it turns out in later movies she did love Bond. But I digress.

Ever tried your own random drink and quite enjoyed it? What was it? If anyone figures out the variations of measures involved to make my above Freestyle drink again, please do let me know.

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