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If ever there was a year to embrace the merry, to overdo the holidays by enthusiastically decking the halls, brightening spirits and donning clothing that would give an elf pause—this is undoubtedly it. Happily, the team at Fairmont Royal York has just the place for your merriest self. Opening this Friday, the Thirty Elf promises enough tinsel, twinkling lights, spiked holiday drinks and themed snacks to ensure your happiest holiday season yet.
This year, the Thirsty Elf is reclaiming its spot inside Toronto’s landmark Fairmont Royal York hotel. Moved to a decorated tent last year, the pop-up will this year be housed in the Avenues level of the hotel. True to form, the space will feature an exuberance of red, green and white décor—with no corner untouched by sparkle, glitz and a shocking number of on-theme baubles and lights.
For toasting the holidays, director of beverages Rus Yessenov has dreamed up a menu of spirited delights. For the Polar Punch, the team mixes apple cider, green tea, Suntory Whisky Toki, Makers Mark bourbon, Prosecco and nutmeg into a warming tipple. The Christmoose Vacation combines cream, demerara, cognac, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Irish cream and nutmeg into a silky sipper with a powerful punch. Order the Naughty List and you’ll match your mood with a drink of cranberry, cinnamon, lime, ginger beer, Northern Keep vodka and mint. The pop-up also has two spirit-free options, so sober elves can join in on the fun.
A short menu of savoury and sweet offerings pair perfectly with the seasonal drinks. There’s caramel sea salt and nacho cheese popcorn for snacking along with fried chicken for heartier appetites. Sweet-toothed patrons will want an order of Misfit Toys, combining charred marshmallow with caramel cookies, chili-spiced bittersweet chocolate and candied orange.
The Thirsty Elf is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between Nov. 19 and Dec. 18 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Reservations can be made through OpenTable with some tables reserved each night for walk-ins.