In this week’s cocktail hour we’re featuring one of our favourite Toronto bars, Momofuku Nikai. Located on the second floor of Momofuku Toronto at the Shagri-La Hotel, this cocktail bar is classic with all the playful touches you’d expect from celebrity chef David Chang. One of the things we love about Nikai aside from the cocktails, is that you can order a selected assortment of food from both the Noodle Bar menu and the Daishõ menu without committing to waiting for a table or making a reservation. They do classic cocktails with a twist and signature cocktails that change seasonally, and stock an impressive selection of Canadian Whiskies.

Visually the bar itself is pretty gorgeous fitted luxe brown leather sofas, bistro seating and lots of wood, but our favourite seat is always at the bar with Mr. Danny Tait. Today he shares his method behind one of the most crushable cocktails on their menu at the moment, the Brisca Fresca.

Things that are simple, tend to be the most enjoyable. The older I get, the more I feel that way. This holds especially true with cocktails. One night, while mixing drinks at home I came to this realization. After several reasonable beverages of varying complexity (I’m looking at you weird, Tequila Sour with an ounce of Bitters!), I ran out of steam and just made myself a simple Gin and Tonic. The moment the drink passed my lips, I realized that all attempts to reinvent the wheel were wasted. Game over. Everyone go home. Gin and Tonic wins.

Since that day, I’ve been looking to recapture that moment in every drink I make. The drink that follows is pretty close. Enter Brisca Fresca.

Brisca Fresca ​means “cool breeze” in Spanish. It’s a nice, clean, dry and fresh take on a G+T that satisfies my deep, underlying need for a reminder that winter, will at some point be over, and sunshine will return to The North.

Try your hand at the Brisca Fresca today or stop by Nikai and have them make you one!
Momofuku Nikai Brisca Fresca



2 oz Dry Sherry (We use Tio Pepe)
2 oz Grapefruit Juice (Fresh squeezed and pulpy)
½ oz. Ginger Syrup*
2 dashes Angostura Bitters**
6 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters**
Tonic Water (Your prefered brand)
**You can make it without bitters, but it’s a bit like cooking a steak without salt and pepper. Something’s just missing.

Pour the dry sherry, grapefruit juice and ginger syrup into your shaker. Add 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters and 6 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters. Add ice and shake it real hard!
Strain into a tall glass full of ice. It may be unorthodox but only strain once! No fine straining! Straining out the grapefruit pulp tends to kill the flavour. Top with tonic, add a grapefruit slice and crush with great expediency.

GINGER SYRUP [ serves 1 ]

If you don’t have this in your fridge, make some already! It makes everything taste better. Make a simple syrup and while it’s cooking down add about a 1 oz of fresh ginger and cook until it tastes good and gingery!

2.5 Cups of Sugar
2.5 Cups of Water
1 oz Grated Ginger

Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved completely.