Cocktail lovers and aficionados, Canada's top cocktail bar has opened a new pop-up patio which will serve some of their signature cocktails on tap and a bottle shop for you to take them home to impress your friends.
The spot is called Civil Pours and it's a new patio pop-up by Civil Liberties — a bar that has been voted Canada's top bar for several years. It will be running from August 2 until, at the very least, late September.
The patio will also be rolling out a selection of cocktails on tap, which have been crafted and experimented on to be up to snuff for the Civil Liberties pedigree.
A new pop-up patio has opened on Bloor West called Civil Pours and Narcity had to go check it out. 🍸 At the new spot operated by the same folks who own the top-rated cocktail bar, Civil Liberties, not only will you be able to sip in the sunshine, but you'll be able to enjoy some of their delicious and expertly crafted cocktails on tap. Civil Pours is set to stay open until late September. Will you be checking out this place? Let us know in the comments!
But what exactly is it like checking out the new patio by the iconic bar? Well, I had the opportunity to check it out before it opened to try some of the drinks, learn about the process behind making them, as well as hang out in the cute and quaint patio setting to get the inside scoop on Civil Pours.
And this is what I thought.
The Civil Pours patio.Civil Pours
Any person who lives in Toronto knows that patio season is something we all look forward to all year. I mean, how can you not after months of being stuck inside due to freezing cold temperatures?
And as a patio, Civil Pours offers a really nice vibe. Just off Bloor Street on Carling Avenue, the patio provides ample seating with cute wooden trestles overhead, making the space feel intimate and private while still open to the outside world.
On one end of the patio space is the bar and fridge, with the rest dedicated to seating with homey wooden furniture and an aesthetic white brick wall.
While the space is a bit slender, it looks like it can quickly get bumping as soon as the drinks start flowing. As of now, there is no inside seating, but there are washrooms attached.
Tristan on the patio.Tristan Wheeler | Narcity
Location-wise, it's hard to find a better place in the city. It's right along the hustle and bustle of Bloor Street, however, being a little bit off of it, you get a touch of privacy and you don't feel like every single passerby is eyeing you.
To be honest, it seems like the ideal patio situation to welcome in the second half of the summer months. And while the stated end date of the patio is mid to late September, I was told by the folks over at Civil Pours that it's also weather dependent.
So, if we have an unseasonably warm fall (when has that ever happened in Toronto?) Civil Pours could even be open into November!
All of the Civil Pour drinks.Tristan Wheeler | Narcity
And, of course, the reason why we go to a patio in the first place: the drinks.
If you've ever been to Civil Liberties, you probably know that their cocktails are amazing — they are the top bar in the country, of course.
And the drinks you can get at Civil Pours would be right at home on their parent bar's menu. However, because they've been kegged and are on tap, they've tweaked the recipes and introduced new and exciting flavours.
When I visited, I got the chance to try every single one of the new cocktails and learned a bit about the special ways they're made to a quality that head bartender, Nick Kennedy, is comfortable with.
The drinks I tried for this were their Whiskey Sour, Espresso Martini, Old Fashioned, Jalapeno Margarita and one of their rotating "zero-proof" cocktail. All of these will run you $16.50 when you stop by the patio, asides fomr the zero-proof cocktail which is only $9.50 before tax.
And nearly every single one offered a unique spin on the classic drinks that were delicious, surprising and oh-so-drinkable.
The first one I tried was the Whiskey Sour, which came out of the tap frothy and light as if it had been shaken, the product of a vegan frother mixed into the ingredients. Taking my first sip, I was surprised at how complex the drink was.
Not only was there that rich whiskey flavour dancing with the lemon, but a note of almondy vanilla amaretto, which I was told by bartender Nick Kennedy is actually the product of discarded avocado pits rather than any booze.
The Whiskey Sour.Civil Pours
This is the type of innovation you're getting at Civil Pours.
The next drink I had was one of my favourite cocktails, the Old Fashioned. I will admit, I was a bit skeptical as, in my mind, an Old Fashioned is a heavy, rich cold weather drink. However, I was surprised by how light and summery this drink was, with that orange flavour coming to the forefront of the drink.
The Old Fashioned.Civil Pours
After that, I tried the most surprising cocktail on the menu, one that messed with my head. In the Jalapeno Margarita, one of the main things you first notice is the pointed and spicy smell of the jalapeno pepper. However, in a bit of a magic trick on the part of Civil Pours, when you drink it, it actually has no spice to it whatsoever.
It has all the earthy, nice flavours of a jalapeno but none of the burning. It messed with my mind in a way I had never experienced before.
The last boozy drink I tried was the Espresso Martini, which, to be honest, is not one of my favourite drinks, so often it is just reduced to two intense hits, the first of alcohol and the second of acrid coffee. However, this drink was maybe the best Espresso Martini I've ever had.
It was perfectly balanced, made with rich flavours of coffee and hints of chocolate, all capped with a wonderful foam on top.
The Espresso Martini.Civil Pours
The final drink I tried was one of their Zero-Proof Cocktails, which, if you aren't a drinker, are also their own concoctions and creations designed with the same care as the boozy drinks. So much so that if you want them to make it boozy, they won't because that wouldn't make a product they'd be proud of.
The one I tried was a drink flavoured by the Japanese Muskmelon, like those Melona popsicles, and whey, which gives it both a refreshing summery flavour and a unique and surprising mouthfeel. It's a wonderful option for those who don't partake in the hard stuff.
And of course, if you want to take these drinks home, the bottle shop is right there for the perusing, with each one either being ready to go right out of the bottle or needing a brief shake in a cocktail shaker, mason jar or whatever to give them that frothy finish.
The Civil Pours patio.
Address: 866 Bloor Street West
Why You Need To Go: Check out Civil Pours to get a great selection of premium cocktails on draught that will surprise and delight you. Add in their bottle shop and it's a cocktail lover's dream.