Last week’s drink might have been a bit uncertain when it came to its geographical underpinnings, but this week’s is pretty clear that it’s an homage to Canada’s most populous city, a place I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting. The Toronto Star traces its origins to a 1922 cocktail book written by a London-based bartender who claimed the drink was a favorite of Torontonians but noted that the province of Ontario had its own version of prohibition between 1916 and 1927. Moreover, there’s no other known connection between the drink and the particular city it’s named for. That being said, it’s a truly worthwhile classic cocktail that can stand proudly beside any other city-named drink you can think of.
In any case, this version of the Toronto Cocktail comes, once again, from David Embury’s 1948 “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.” Depending on how you look at it, it’s a variation of an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. Since I prefer to make this one on the rocks, I’d say it’s more the latter than the former. Try it for yourself.
The Toronto Cocktail
1 1/2 ounces Canadian or rye whiskey
1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
1/4 ounce simple syrup or, if you don’t have that, 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar
1 dash Angostura/aromatic bitters
1 orange twist (high desirable garnish)