Toronto’s Top Holiday Cocktails

Tis the season for Bisha's signature cocktails!

Welcome to Toronto — a city renowned for its diversity, the celebs who call it home (hi, Drake!) and its incredible food and drink scene. Because of all these markers, Toronto has become a must-experience destination in every season. The city becomes especially energetic this time of year. And with the favourable exchange rate for American travelers, you can’t argue with the benefits of doing all your holiday gift shopping north of the border.

 Following a day of discovering one-of-a-kind finds in the Distillery Historic District or Queen Street (East and West), there’s only one way to end the night: with a handcrafted holiday cocktail from one of the city’s top mixologists. In partnership with Tourism Toronto and Ontario Tourism, five leading cocktail wizards share their favourite holiday drink recipes and their favourite part about the holiday season in Toronto.

Isaac Viner, Bar Manager, Bisha Hotel

Bisha is Toronto’s newest hub for travelers looking for a glamorous place to rest and have a beverage or two. Celebrity chef Akira Back is slated to open his first Canadian restaurant at Bisha later this year but in the meantime, bar manager, Isaac Viner has been busy curating a cocktail list that is guaranteed to make waves. The surrounding neighbourhood is bustling to say the least. Hockey fans can catch a game at nearby Air Canada Centre or learn more about the greats at The Hockey Hall of Fame. Not a sports fan? No problem. The Tiff Bell Lightbox and Toronto’s Ripley’s Aquarium are only a stone’s throw away and suitable for all members of the family.

Tequila Egg Nog Recipe

1.5 oz Reposado Tequila
.25 oz Spiced Rum
.5 oz Simple Syrup
.25 oz 3% milk
.5 oz 35% Cream
1 Egg
.05 oz Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Paste
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Combine egg yolks, simple syrup and whisk together. Add remaining ingredients excluding egg whites. Whip the egg whites separately until they have soft peaks. Next, gradually fold the egg whites into the mixture. Add all ingredients to a shaker tin with ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain into an old fashioned glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.


Q: What’s your favourite part about the holiday season in Toronto? 
A: Spending time with my family. It’s a great time to relax and recharge.

Q: When it comes to beverages, what flavours are you drawn to come winter? 
A: Growing up, we always made mulled wine for our holiday party in a massive pot. Spices like cinnamon, cloves, star anise, cardamom, dried orange rind are my favourite winter flavours.

Q: Describe this holiday cocktail. Why is it the perfect drink for the season?
A: At Bisha during the holiday season, we will be featuring a Tequila Egg Nog. A beautiful blend of Reposado Tequila, a touch of Spiced Rum, milk, eggs, Madagascar bourbon vanilla paste, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of chili powder. It’s an incredible cocktail that helps keep you warm.

Q: What should visitors do when they’re in the city this winter? 
A: (Visitors) should definitely go to the Island and rent some cross country skis or snowshoes.

Pro Tip: Take a ferry ride or water taxi from the harbour. You can choose to go to Hanlan’s Point or Ward’s Island, but the Centre Island ferry route is a fan favourite. No matter where you choose to dock, you’ll get an unobstructed view of Toronto’s stunning skyline


Visit HuffPost for more Holiday recipes and tips from Toronto’s hottest bars