If you're hoping to bring the good vibes on Toronto's best patios home with you, or need something to chase down those sticky-delicious ribs from the city's best barbecue joints, look no further than Patois' famous (errm, infamous if sipped too quickly) Party Pineapple cocktail.
“It’s summer all year round,” beams Blaise Couturier, head bartender at Patois, whose enthusiasm about his work is as refreshing as the drinks.
At Patois, Caribbean flavours meet Asian soul food all within one welcoming island hideaway on Dundas West.
“You can get away with doing bright, fruity drinks without being too Tiki, which can get a little bit cliché. A cocktail experience that takes you back to that holiday is what I’m aiming for,” says Couturier, who has come a long way, literally, from slinging beer at pubs back home in Melbourne.
Like Caribbean sunshine, the drinks at Patois can brighten any day – you can see it on people’s faces when a “dangerously crushable” Party Pineapple cocktail greets the table.
“We make a kola-flavoured syrup without the dark colour, so it’s bright and fresh like the ocean,” Couturier says of the Jamrock Iced Tea, a spin on the Long Island, ideal for humid days when sweat collects in places it shouldn’t.
“I’m trying to build complex beverages and that you-just-blew-my-mind look is the best reward. There’s nothing wrong with a piña colada, but I tend to steer clear of those classic drinks because they don’t necessarily recreate the holiday. I’m trying to get more sensory.”
A flavour punch of kaffir lime and Lucid Absinthe in Couturier’s Death in Paradise is sensory, alright. Patois’s cocktails are complex without losing their island feel, and like any good vacation, you won’t want it to end.
Scroll down for the "dangerously crushable" Party Pineapple cocktail recipe.
To see our full photoshoot featuring Blaise Couturier and more cocktails, click here.
794 Dundas St. W.; patoistoronto.com