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5 Spots to Swirl and Sip Craft Cocktails in Calgary


Calgary’s craft cocktail game is on fleek. It’s perhaps not so shocking that the cowboy town, home to Canada’s iconic Stampede, is awash with talented mixologists looking to shake up a boozy libation that will leave your lips puckering with pleasure.

Whether you’re looking for a sparkling sip at brunch, a frothy foam topped coupe before a fancy fine dining feast or want to play nighthawk in a dimly lit Prohibition-style speakeasy…Calgary’s got your savvy for spirits covered.

Fans of the Prohibition era swoon for Proof, a speakeasy style bar which serves up some of the city’s best libations. The place gets packed as soon as it opens at 4pm (thanks to a happening happy hour) and keeps busy late into the night as perfectly crafted sips featuring frothy foams and house made bitters tickle tastebuds.

Must-Try: The Empress featuring Bacardi Maestro White Rum, Haas Raspeberry Geist, Aperol, grapefruit, lime, egg white

One18 Empire at the Marriott is a whisk(e)y-inspired bar and restaurant with a strong focus on sharable, locally inspired cuisine. With over 100 whisk(e)ys, ryes, bourbons and scotches served by seasoned bartenders, One18 Empire is Calgary’s go-to spot for those with a penchant for whisky-family muddled numbers.

Must-Try: Bootlegging Buck featuring Buffalo Trace, roasted brown sugar pineapple puree, lime, ginger syrup, ginger beer.

Charbar is located in one of Calgary’s must-visit destinations – a culinary tourists delight, the historic Simmons Building is home to Charbar, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters and a rooftop patio offering spectacular views overlooking the bustling Bow River.

The Argentine wood-fired grill is the true inspiration behind Charbar’s identity and Bar Manager Justin Foltinek has created a list of craft cocktails which perfectly pair with smokey grilled meat and fragrant chimichurri.

Must-Try: Boxspring featuring rum, grand marrder, roasted red pepper shrub, lemon, tonic

If you’re looking to splurge on a fine feast be sure to book yourself a reservation at Pigeonhole. The trendy restaurant by Chef Justin Leboe was recently ranked by Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 10 Best New Restaurants. The restaurant’s focal point is its white marble-topped bar which features a short but sweet cocktail list best paired with the restaurant’s top notch fromage. Watch as cocktail wizards shake up punchy tipples while spooning through gooey brie and sticky honeycomb.

Must-Try: Planters Punch featuring rum, pineapple, orange, lime, grenadine, orange bitters

Model Citizen is a 50 seat speakeasy, that can be accessed through it’s own door—marked with the #300 address—on Calgary’s hip 17th avenue. The parlour offers a seated cocktail experience for smaller, intimate groups of imbibing guests and features a monthly rotating cocktail menu and weekly features with bar snacks from the award-winning Model Milk kitchen.

Must-Try: Envy No Good featuring Tequila Blanco, Combier Kummel, lemon, simple, salt bitters.

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