There are few places in Toronto (and around world alike) we find ourselves frequenting for cocktails more often than our home away from home, Soho House. As we patiently wait for summer to arrive, we’ve been sipping drinks from the Toronto house’s seasonal cocktail menu. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll be bringing you recipes direct from the house’s head bartender Tyler Newsome who has worked at the likes of Auberge du Pommier, Marben, Museum Tavern, Whippoorwill and more in Toronto before settling at the house.

This week we’re sipping on a Cruise Control with Newsome on the house’s bustling second floor. It’s a boozy yet balanced cocktail with a dehydrated wheel of grapefruit effortlessly floating on top. Produced in collaboration with Chris Hudnall, Soho House’s North American Bar Development Manager, the Cruise Control is a take on a classic gimlet.

Originally I wanted [the cocktail] to have Bontanist Gin and this super interesting cordial that’s a mix of grapefruit, yerba mate, and lemon verbena. I wanted something that was clear, clean, and refreshing and the Hudnell kept having all these ideas of things to add to it.

The addition of orange bitters mix with the grapefruit and lemon verbena in the cordial in a subtle way so your palette isn’t overwhelmed by citrus in the syrup allowing the other flavours in the cocktail to come through. “The Tio Pepe adds a little bit of nuttiness and dryness that you’re getting out of the sherry and the Absinthe really brings everything together,” said Newsome, “and the final touch that I really like about this one, which was 100% Chris’s idea, is to just wipe the outside of the glass with cucumber, but not use it in the drink or as a garnish, so on the nose you get this super refreshing cucumber note.”

Newsome was kind enough to share his method behind Cruise Control right down to the complex cordial. Stop by Soho House Toronto today to order one or try your hand at one with the recipe below.


Cruise Control Cocktail Soho House


2 oz Botanist Gin
¼ oz Tio Pepe
½ oz Lemon Verbena, Grapefruit, Yerba Mate Cordial
5 Dashes House Orange Bitters (3 Parts Regans, 1 Part Angostura Orange)
Absinthe Rinse
Cucumber Expression
Dried grapefruit slice

Rinse a couple with Absinthe and set aside. Shake gin, Tio Pepe, cordial, and orange bitters over ice and strain into the glass. Rub cucumber wheel around the outside of the glass and discard. Garnish with a dehydrated grapefruit wheel.
Cruise Control In Progress


15g Dried Lemon Verbena
15g Yerba Mate
3 grapefruits sliced
45g Citric acid
5000g Water
5000g Sugar

Boil all ingredients together and remove from heat. Allow one hour to steep.​ Bottle and store

Tyler Newsome Soho House Bartender