Mark Bylok’s writing about whisky has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including Spotlight Toronto and his own website. With considerable experience in the industry, he brings an insider’s view to whisky writing and his book, The Whisky Cabinet, is a no-nonsense whisky primer that provides some straightforward info on whisky and a wealth of recommendations, most of which can be had for under $100.
We asked Mark for his picks for resources in Toronto for enjoying a wee dram.
Best place to buy whisky: Summerhill LCBO – 10 Scrivener Sq.
As you’d probably expect, Bylok names the former North Toronto Railway Station as the go-to place in the city for spirits. “If you’re looking at where to buy whisky in Toronto,” he says “the Summerhill LCBO has by far the biggest and best selection. “ Indeed, the Summerhill LCBO has an entire room devoted just to whisky. “It’s kind of an obvious choice,” Bylok says, “but they have pretty much everything. The only LCBO location that might even compete with them is the Queen’s Quay location because they have tastings once in a while.”
Best place for your home bar supplies: BYOB Cocktail – 972 Queen St. W.
“I’ve been going here a lot lately,” Bylok says of the West Queen West BYOB Cocktail Emporium. “I don’t really talk about mixed drinks in the book, but for getting cocktail supplies or getting the right glasses for whiskey, BYOB has a really great selection.”
The store, owned by Ryerson Hospitality and Tourism Management Kristen Voisey, features everything from glassware, to bitters, to myriad ice cube trays and ice alternatives. “It was tough when I started expanding my bar,” Bylok says. “I was having trouble finding things online. The really interesting stuff is in the US and they either don’t ship to Canada or it’s really expensive. So BYOB was a great find for me.” Bylok, like a handful of other Toronto mixologists, both amateur and professional, has recently become enamoured with BYOB’s cocktail-aging supplies. “My latest favourite thing is barrel-aging cocktails like Manhattans. BYOB sells those little barrels, so it’s great. I turn a spout and I’ve got a Manhattan. Add a little ice to cool it off, give it a stir, pour into a glass, and you’re good to go.”
Read the rest of this post over on Post City.