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Photo from Salt's website.

Foodie Friday: Preston St. cocktail crawl

By Melissa Lefebvre on February 12, 2016

Classic and craft cocktails are making a huge comeback and there is no shortage of great spots in Ottawa to enjoy one. In fact, if you’re looking for a night out, Preston St. has several great places within a stone’s throw of each other. Forget the pub crawl, we’re going on a Preston street cocktail crawl!

The Moonroom (442 Preston St.)

Photo from The Moonroom's Facebook page.

Photo from The Moonroom’s Facebook page.

Open since 2008, The Moonroom is the original destination for great cocktails on Preston. Their focus is on the classics, but they have a few in-house creations on the menu too.

We decide to try some classics. While generally not drawn to sweeter cocktails, I couldn’t resist trying the Mai Tai, made with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, and homemade grenadine and orgeat syrup. It’s delicious. Not too sweet, perfect marriage of flavours, and, if mouth feel is important to you, expect a great texture as well.

Next up, I ordered the Side Car, a cognac based cocktail I’d heard of, but never actually tried. The Moonroom makes theirs with orange flower water, one of my favourite aromas. They serve it in a beautiful coupe glass with a rich white froth that contrasts beautifully with the dark red house cherry on top. This may be my new favourite drink.

Most drinks on the menu are around $13.

With great service, cozy atmosphere, and exceptional drinks, it’s hard to leave this place. But we continued on with our cocktail crawl – for the sake of research, of course.


Salt (345 Preston St.)

Photo from Salt's website.

Photo from Salt’s website.

Like Moonroom, Salt’s cocktail menu includes many classics, but lots of original creations too. We start with a classic Old Fashioned, and perhaps the lesser-known Vesper. The Old Fashioned is one of my favourite cocktails, and this one is a must try. It’s mixed to the perfect level of dilution and served with an oversized ice cube that melts slowly.

The Vesper is equally impressive. Made with Botanist gin, Stoli vodka, Cocchi Americano and served in a martini glass with a perfect lemon twist. It’s the classic martini I’ve always wanted to like but never could. It’s light and clean with just a touch of sweetness.

The Sultan of Swing is another great option. It’s made with Hornitos black barrel tequila, vermouth, apple cider, cinnamon & clove syrup, and bitters, but tastes surprisingly light and refreshing. If you’re unsure about tequila cocktails, this might just be the one to change your mind. Added bonus – they serve it with apple slices dusted with cinnamon then torched!

Cocktails range from $11-$15.


Two Six {Ate} (268 Preston St.)

554412_289415734495741_1466811604_nThe menu at Two Six {Ate} is full of original, creatively named cocktails, and a few classics, with a twist. Take the 268 Manhattan, for example. They make it with Lot 40 whiskey and sweet vermouth, as well as some Herbsaint, maraschino liqueur, and two kinds of bitters. It’s beautifully complex and kept me sipping in an attempt to distinguish all the different flavours.

A popular choice amongst patrons, and my favourite cocktail on the list, is the Benedictine Cumberbatch. They use Bulleit bourbon, Jack’s tonique, muddled rosemary and orange, along with a bunch of other delicious ingredients, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. It’s fruity, herby, complex, and well balanced. Its popularity is no mystery.

They also have great prosecco cocktails, like the Pearlusconi, made with ginger liqueur, pear, and pear bitters. If you come early, you’re in luck – they do happy hour specials on prosecco cocktails from 4:00-6:30 on weekdays (closed Tuesdays).

Like Moonroom and Salt, Two Six {Ate} makes many of the ingredients for their cocktails in house, and you can taste the difference.

Cocktails range from $11-$14.

Cheers to cocktails on Preston!