After spending some time abroad recently, the owner of Toronto hot spot Nota Bene (180 Queen St. W), Yannick Bigourdan, found himself succumbing to the wave of ‘Ginsanity’ that’s currently running across Europe (particularly Spain) and he thought he’d do us all a favour and bring his gin fever back home to Toronto. And we’re ever so thankful.
In a few short months, the already swank bar at Nota Bene has quickly become the hottest spot in the city to grab a Gin & Tonic. The reason is simple: it’s about four steps ahead of everyone else. While you’re certain to find a bottle of gin or two behind every bar in the city, Note Bene is now featuring more than a dozen and a half exclusive imports, the range of which include selections from France, the U.K., the Netherlands, and, of course, Canada. Once you order your gin, you’ll have some other choices to make. You’ll be asked to select from a list of tonics, including a house-made effort that’s considerably less sweet than any of the market regulars. Your G&T doesn’t just stop at its namesake ingredients, though. You’ll need to consider your ice options – crush, cubed, or large – before your gin will be brought to you alongside a large format fishbowl glass and a separate serving glass filled with your tonic. You’ll also be given a plate lined with sliced cucumber, hibiscus flower, and a vile of juniper berries to be added to your cocktail until it reaches your preferred taste.
If you think you know gin, we recommend ordering a glass of Ungava. This Canadian gem deserves an article all on its own. Not only did it win a ‘Best of Show’ award at the World Spirits Competition in 2013, every one of its six ingredients are taken directly from the Ungava Peninsula in Nunavik, Northern Quebec. Unfortunately, despite its Canadian heritage, you can’t get this delicious, yet strangely coloured gin at the LCBO. When we say strangely coloured, what we mean is that it’s yellow, aka, not what you’d expect to see when you order a gin. Regardless, this little number is worth getting into – at least twice.
If you’re hitting Nota Bene for an after-work cocktail, their selection of bar snacks is sure to help you fill the void between lunch and dinner. Order a plate of the ‘NB’ Sliders, or try out their delicious Crispy Pork Cheek bites among other tasty selections. Of course, if, after a G&T or two, you feel the need to get a full meal in, you do happen to be in one of the best restaurants in the city. How convenient.
The secret to this being the best G&T in Toronto is pretty straightforward, really. Nota Bene offers premium ingredients, service, and atmosphere while providing you with the pleasure of putting your drink together to match the precise flavour you’re looking for. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us.
#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)