Nestled in each Food Hall is one of my favourite features - the Champagne Bar. If you haven't sipped the night away in one, you need to pronto! I met with our Director, Food and Beverages Operations, Cyrus K. Cooper to discover what he's been working on, "Our bars are approachable and have a little something for every guest. Whether you want a luxurious glass of Champagne or a nice crisp beer we have it all" he explains.
With the change of seasons comes a fresh new assortment of drinks for you to choose from at the Champagne Bars. Cyrus has been busy crafting a set of light and summery cocktails just in time for the sunshine and warm weather. While in development, I was able to spend some time with him in our test kitchen and got some insights on these expertly-crafted drinks.
You're always reading about new "it" drinks or drink trends, so I wanted to know what sparked his thought process. "The words light and fresh came to mind, and I really wanted to ensure that you enjoyed a cocktail" and I can vouch that he's created a set of cocktails you'll come back for.
To start, he sourced out local gin distillery Dillion's for 2 drinks: the Summer 75 with fresh lemon juice and elderflower cordial and the Cucumber Collins that comes shaken with fresh lime sour, cucumber and a dash of Chartreuse. The Tennessee Sour is given a kick with Jack Daniels Fire, shaken with fresh lemon sour and egg whites and topped off with cherry bitters. Of course, you can't forget the Magarita, with shaken El Jimador 100% Agave Tequilla, fresh lime, Cointreau, black raspberry cordial and kissed with pink salt.
But what do you pair with a cocktail? The Champagne Bars have a full menu of delicious meals to enjoy with the perfect drink. The "lobster crunch roll with either a Cucumber Collins cocktail or a nice glass of Champagne" is one of Cyrus' favourite pairings.
Deciding one of the new cocktails can be a daunting task especially if you're new to
the world of mixology, "do not be afraid to try something new. Our Summer cocktail list has a beverage for everyone," he explains while placing the Paloma in front of me to try. Made of Tromba Tequila with fresh lime, ruby red grapefruit juice and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, it's divine!
With the time and effort put into development, I know there is something special about the new assortment. "Our cocktails are well balanced, thought out and use fresh juices and herbs. We have the luxury of being in a grocery store, so all our ingredients are picked daily and fresh right from our wonderful produce sections."
You can try a bit of mixology at home, his advice is to "take your time and carefully choose your ingredients. Match flavours that work well and do not be afraid to experiment. Always drink responsibly and measure ingredients precisely."
If you're wondering, his drink of choice is a classic old fashioned or margarita while mine is a nice glass of white wine.