Cocktail culture—think spirit-driven, inventive drinks stirred, shaken and muddled with fresh ingredients and plenty of creativity—is alive and well in Cowtown. Look no further than five imbibe-worthy spots. Cheers!
Before the craft cocktail movement was in full swing, there was this downtown spot, open since 2008 and devoted to the art of divine drinks, including the perfect Old Fashioned. The ambiance? Just as classy, cool and elegantly retro as the aforementioned signature drink. The clincher? It was named one of the world’s best bars (!) by Condé Nast Traveler.
1410 4 St. SW | 403-261-5009 | milktigerlounge.ca
When the owners of one Vine Arts, one of the city’s top liquor boutiques, team up with two of Calgary’s most celebrated bartenders to open a craft cocktail bar, you can expect great things. And Proof doesn’t disappoint! From a cocktail menu that’s in constant evolution according to current inspirations and seasonality to chef-created bites, this spot is a favourite with locals in-the-know.
1302 1 St. SW | 403-246-2414 | proofyyc.com
Want to enjoy a bevvie in a plush, speakeasy-inspired ambiance? Sink into one of this Kensington spot’s leather banquettes or velour couches and enjoy. The toughest decision to be made is whether you’ll sip on a classic (think English Rose or Manhattan) or give in to the barkeeps’ whimsy with a house special. Full disclosure: Either way, you can’t go wrong.
124 10 St. NW | 403-455-2452 | prlrlounge.com
A cocktail bar-slash-barber shop. It’s the kind of thing you’d expect to find in New York or San Francisco and yet, this cool hybrid has found a home in the admittedly trendy Bridgeland neighbourhood. From classic libations (pre and post prohibition or revival, thankyouverymuch) to original concoctions and novel nibbles, this gathering spot delivers on its promise to “leave patrons feeling a little bit better than when they walked in.”
813 1 Ave. NE | 403-454-5808 | cannibale.ca
Can’t hop a plane to Palm Springs? This is the next best thing on a sunny Calgary afternoon: A signature Punch Bowl (splurge on the French 75, which contains a full bottle of Veuve Clicquot, Tanqueray, ginger and lemon) sipped poolside. All that’s missing is a couple of palm trees.
119 12 Ave. SW | 403-206-9565 | rawbaryyc.ca