Linwood Essentials: A Different Drinking Experience

@linwood_to, Instagram

@linwood_to, Instagram

When it comes to cocktails at Linwood Essentials in Toronto, bar manager/owner Jake Valianes loves freestyling it.

Linwood Essentials came about after much travel, which brought Valianes to the realization that Toronto was limited when it came to cocktail bars — or, at least, really good ones.

“I went to as many great cocktail bars as I possibly could. I learned as much as I could from every single one of those bars,” Valianes told Foodable founder Paul Barron in this “Across the Bar” episode.

And learn he did, bringing back with him a vast amount of knowledge that he know applies to the cocktails at Linwood Essentials.

It’s a simple ratio, he explains, of equal parts strong, sweet, sour, herbacious — and fun! Each cocktail comes with a backstory.

“We want people to experience a different style of drinking here. Cocktails should be fun. People are definitely looking for more spirit-forward cocktails,” Valianes said. “I think people just get bored of the same old, normal stuff and they want to advance their palates, they want to taste new things...”

Take Dr. V’s Magical Quick Fixer Elixer. Sound like something from an old snake oil salesman? You might be close. That’s where the idea for the cocktail started, but Valianes improvised from there.

The drink comes in a medicine-like bottle, enveloped in a matching box, but it’s not a spoonful of sugar that makes this medicine go down. It’s a refreshing balance of Amaro Montenegro, Becherovka, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, and sparkling wine.