The Sazerac: The original American cocktail, hitting lips at the end of a hard day since 1850 in it’s birthplace of New Orleans.
All of the flavours of that drink are encompassed in the beautiful and contemporary gastro-lounge Sazerac, (782 King Street West, at Tecumseth).
The venue is bold and lofty, with exposed brick, colourful murals and loads of space to eat, dance, or duck away to a sitting area to chat.
A New Orleans-inspired menu with drool-worthy items like Whitefish Po’ Boy and 5-spice Duck & Chive Dumplings makes Sazerac a great place to dine before getting your freak on later that night at Scissors, a queer dance party that plays mostly house music. You are reading that right: Sazerac, a sophisticated King West lounge that knows how to host a wide range of hot & sweaty late night fun tymes. It’s a unique place, that’s for sure.
Perhaps part of this uniqueness comes from bar manager and helluva guy Marc Anthony, who has the best stories and makes incredible drinks.
“My background in classic cocktails began after I was shown into it by my former roommate and dear friend Megan Jones, [now of Reposado & County General.] She showed me, nay, perfected the Sazerac & Old Fashioned, which ignited a passion for high octane, boozy cocktails,” Anthony says.
“Fast forward 6 months and I am living in Thailand and running out of money. I took a job, (illegally), opening up a tiki-bar for a friend on Koh Samui. In doing this I learned the importance and massive difference that fresh juices make. I learned of Gomme syrup, [a not-so-simple syrup derived from the acacia tree,] falnernum, and the easy and delicious application of infusing fresh fruits & herbs into cocktails.”
Turns out illegal tiki bars on Koh Samui don’t always fly, and Anthony was arrested.
“After my arrest, I booked my ticket back to Toronto and arrived in February to find a Craigslist ad looking for what they dubbed a ‘Mad Scientist Bartender.’” The rest is delicious cocktail history.
Scissors at Sazerac is this Friday, September 7, $5 all night, doors at 10pm.
You can follow Sazerac on Twitter here.
DJ Fawn Big Canoe of Scissors is hilarious and here’s her Twitter too, y’all.
Now get out there and eat lots of fish this weekend, one way or another. Sorrynotsorry.
~ Becca Lemire. Photos by Welcome Homo & Becca Lemire