STORY BY ALEXANDRA GILL
IMAGES BY JOERN ROHDE
for Dive-Bar Classics
Remember Sex on the Beach? How about White Russians and Long Island Iced Tea?
Maybe the crazy ’80s were too much
of a blur — or perhaps you were
too young to remember what your
parents were drinking. Believe it or
not, all those dive-bar drinks and
cheesy cocktails popularized by Tom
Cruise are now receiving modern
craft-cocktail makeovers with
fresh juices, house-made syrups,
premium spirits, proper techniques
and previously missing ingredients
that elevate them to the next level.
Everything old is new again, but
this time the drinks taste so much
1. Bar Oso
The sour might be a timeless classic cocktail
that is easy to love, but it can be just as easily
ruined when mixed in the wrong proportions,
defiled with nasty liqueurs or bastardized with
Jason Redmond’s bacon-flavoured sour pushes the
edges of complexity with two parts bourbon (plus
a dash of herbal chartreuse), two parts freshly
squeezed lemon juice and one part maple syrup.
Yet his precise techniques — which include two
shakes (dry and wet) for the egg whites — bring
all the elements back into balanced harmony
coated in thick, cascading froth.
A delectable garnish of chewy bacon (candied by
the bar manager himself with maple syrup, sugar,
sherry vinegar and black pepper) elevates jerky —
another dive-bar standard — to new heights of
2. FireRock Lounge
at The Westin Resort & Spa
The Old Fashioned is a classic, pre-Prohibition
whisky cocktail that tastes divine when made
properly, but is really easy to muck up.
“Some places will mash the orange instead of
muddling the sugar,” says Assistant General
Manager Azza Fleming. “That’s what often makes
There is none of that bitter murkiness here, even
though the FireRock’s signature drink takes
many liberties with the original recipe by adding
chocolate bitters and chili-infused simple syrup to
Knob Creek bourbon.
Pale golden in colour with an intense chocolate-orange nose, the first fiery sip quickly subsides
into a richly rounded, boozy cocoa finish. It’s no
wonder the bar whips up hundreds of these easy-sippers every week.