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Canada’s Best Bars:  Proof

With more than 300 bottles of premium bourbon, whisky, gin and vodka, the sprawling booze collection at Proof could be described as an expansive liquor library.

Fortunately, the research materials are for final sale, not lending. Proof, located in Calgary, offers guests a classic cocktail experience embedded with a dedication to old-fashioned service. No reservations, no lineups, and no fuss — Proof is all about thoughtfully prepared drinks in a comfortable setting. Bartenders climb a sturdy wooden ladder to access many of the bar’s most exclusive spirits, stirring craft and classic cocktails of undeniable quality.

Luxurious leather sofas and vintage Hudson’s Bay Company blankets add to the bar’s charming, antique ambiance. “The funky atmosphere at Proof is a go-to when seeking a spot to sink down into some comfortable couches and enjoy professionally made cocktails” says Brittany Houston, sales representative at Phillips Brewing & Malting. 

Owners Jesse Willis and Jeff Jamieson also own one of city’s most popular boutique liquor shops — Vine Arts Wine & Spirits. Place them alongside Nathan Head and Tony Migliarese, arguably Calgary’s top mixologists, and you’ll find yourself sipping one of the best cocktails you’ve ever had. 

The L-shaped oak bar provides an intimate setting, and it’s exactly where Calgarians want to be on any night of the week, rain or shine. While the cocktail menu is overwhelming and extensive, the short and sweet food menu is exactly up to par. Come for a drink  —  the highly recommended El Santo to be exact  —  and stay for the food, which ranges from pork steam buns to homemade gnocchi with dashi and seaweed. It’s no wonder this 60 seat spot is one of the city’s most popular places to go for a drink!

Proof is No. 4 on our inaugural Canada’s Best Bars list

Proof

1302 1st Street SW Calgary

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