At Library Bar, a new menu sees fiction and fantasy shaped into stunning sippers | TasteToronto
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At Library Bar, a new menu sees fiction and fantasy shaped into stunning sippers

Told drop by drop, Library Bar’s newest chapter unfolds in a bold menu designed to surprise, delight and cause a stir. Envisioned by Fairmont Royal York’s Director of Mixology, James Grant, the recently-launched menu sees fiction and fantasy shaped into stunning sippers you’ll have to experience to believe.   

As classic and storied as Fairmont Royal York, the hotel it calls home, Library Bar was once the place to find Birdbath Martini’s absorbing furls of cigar smoke as muffled conversations animated dusky corners. Now flaunting a menu built around the themes of Martinis, Masterpieces, Poetry, Folklore, Science Fiction and Best Sellers, the bar’s refresh shifts the focus to new narratives relayed to a modern audience. 

An award-winning mixologist who joined the team at Fairmont Royal York this past winter, Grant has been working diligently to revamp the iconic hotel's entire cocktail program. A project that began with a thoughtful list at CLOCKWORK, has now moved to Library Bar. From there, Grant will turn his attention to Reign and the hotel's popular seasonal programming. 

With 17 new options that range from notable to downright audacious, Library Bar’s innovative menu features cocktails for every guest. Ballers will appreciate The Luxe Martini, an elevated version of the classic served with a lavish garnish of caviar. From the astonishingly clean and clear Birthday Suit to the spiced King of Dreams, Masterpieces combine the finest spirits with inspiration from a range of tales.

Less dear, yet no less thrilling, other offerings find folk tales, classic poems, Greek mythology, even otherworldly film epics inspiring their flavour and look. “A journey from intense heat to a smooth, cool finish,” Divine Comedy is a blend of Dillon’s Melon Gin, melon, Amaro Lucano, habanero, eucalyptus, lime and prosciutto. Drawing on David Lynch’sTwin Peaks, Black Lodge finds Lagavulin 16 year Scotch Whisky, Campari, coffee liqueur and sweet vermouth combined in a drink that’s “like a spirit lurking in the woods as dark as freshly brewed coffee.”

A section sure to Impress the Insta-set, Science Fiction finds a number of unusual ingredients presented in bewitching ways. Other cocktails may garner glowing reviews but Southern Reach is the Library Bar's first drink to actually gleam from within. Described as “bright, electric, herbal,” the cocktail employs pink peppercorn-infused Tanqueray Gin and riboflavin for a distinct mouth buzz accompanied by eerie illumination.

“I’ve always had a passion for stories, which carried me through my academic career studying history, myth, and literature,” said Grant, in a press release. “As a bartender, I’ve found a medium through which I can share stories with my guests. More importantly, through these drinks, I can help craft new stories for those who join us in Library Bar.” 

A place where guests can choose their own adventure with every visit, Library Bar is ready to be rediscovered, again and again. To reserve your table, visit