This past weekend Robyn, myself, and 15 of our closest friends decided to check out King West’s new cocktail lounge – Spirit House. Hidden behind an unassuming facade at the corner of Portland and Adelaide, we were reassured by the sign outside that this wouldn’t be your average King West establishment.
Of course, this claim probably has more to do with the bar’s intended vibe than it does with the actual availability of the overpriced vodka – as demonstrated by this diagram from the GridTO, this bar is seriously well stocked.
We started with a barrel aged Tromba Negroni served in a stoppered 8 oz. bottle, labelled with cursive script, and sealed with wax. Our kick ass waitress Katie waited patiently while we snapped some shots before pouring four perfectly garnished cocktails served ceremoniously by candlelight.
As the rest of our crew arrived we continued to sample the extensive cocktail list. Made up of both original creations and contemporary takes on classic favourites, the prices range from about $12-$16. Favourites included a summery cucumber basil concoction and what was possibly the best manhattan I’ve ever had. We also sampled several whiskey flights while our companions engaged in a vodka tasting. The bartenders at this place know their stuff and and orders are inputted into an ipad that allows servers to specify the desired detail of each order, right down to the particular type of citrus zest you’d like in your martini.
The vibe is masculine but romantic – think black leather couches and rustic industrial wood tables. I think the bar itself describes it best – as per a recent tweet: “
@SpiritHouseTO One of the few places in Toronto where Queen St and Bay St can and do drink fine Bourbons together. #hipstersandbankersunite.” Our crew – composed of Bay streeters, musicians, academics and the happily unemployed – couldn’t agree more.
In sum, we’ll be back. Word to the owners though – get rid of the tv’s behind the bar – they’re ruining our view of the booze.
Open Tues-Sat, 6pm-2am. 487 Adelaide St. West at Portland.