Toronto Cocktail Info
The Manhattan and its many variations are perhaps the most well-known drinks in the history of naming drinks after specific places. There's a city-specific drink, however, that deserves to be recognized.
The Toronto cocktail is a combination of rye whiskey, Fernet-Branca, simple syrup, and bitters. It is unclear if the drink was invented in Toronto or just named after the city. We also do not have a date for when this cocktail was created. The Toronto was first published in Robert Vermeire’s 1922 book, "Cocktails: How to Mix Them", as the Fernet Cocktail. The recipe was later named Toronto in books by David Embury; one of these books is "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks".
American rye is a great choice for a drink. You can experiment with many ryes, but Canadian Rye will stay true to the original theme. Fernet-Branca, an Italian digestif, is made with a secret mixture of herbs, including myrrh and saffron. Its bitter taste makes it a controversial spirit. People, particularly those working in bars and restaurants, prefer to drink Fernet-Branca straight. However, it can also be found in classic cocktails such as the Hanky Panky and the Toronto. Its bitterness can be used in a subtle way to enhance drinks, rather than overwhelming them.
The Toronto can be described as either an Old Fashioned variation or a Manhattan variation, depending on who you ask. While one party claims Fernet-Branca replaces sweet Vermouth, the other party states that the fernet simply modifies the Old Fashioned formula, which is whiskey, sugar, and bitters. The Toronto is a whiskey-forward cocktail with a bitter taste, no matter how you go about it.
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Recommended Bar Equipment
- 60 ml Rye Whiskey
- 10 ml Fernet-Branca
- 10 ml Sugar Syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura
- Add ice to your mixing glass.
- Add the ingredients.
- Mix your drink cold.
- Strain into a cocktail glass.