A trio of French expats have brought Gallic flair to Toronto’s Little Italy with Pompette (loose translation: “tipsy”). Chef Martine Bauer’s dishes play in the realm of traditional. Her sommelier husband Jonathan Bauer’s list is a showcase for forward-thinking French winemakers. And mixologist Maxime Hoerth’s cocktails display the same panache he famously brought to the bar programs at the George V and Le Bristol hotels in Paris. A cinq à sept on this streetside patio is the perfect start to a night out. The Aiguenoire Sour, Hoerth says, “offers a lot of flexibility with affordable and accessible ingredients.”
Switch the rum for aquavit, gin or vodka, he suggests, but never substitute the Chartreuse, as this cocktail is named for the mysterious distillery located in the French Alps. This summer, Bar Pompette opens just down the street with coffee, pastries and snacks by day and rotating wine selections and small bites by night.
30 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice
20 ml (¾ oz) simple syrup
30 ml (1 oz) Yellow Chartreuse
20 ml (¾ oz) rum
7.5 ml (¼ oz) orange blossom (flower) water
5 dashes fennel bitters
1 egg white celery spiral* and fennel fronds
Combine all ingredients except garnish in a shaker without ice. Shake until emulsified — about 5 seconds. Add ice to ⅔ capacity and shake for about 30 seconds. Strain through the cocktail strainer and a fine-mesh sieve into a highball glass filled with ice. Garnish.
*Peel celery with a citrus peeler into bands; immerse in an ice bath until they curl.
Photo credit: (portrait) Cocktail Roads. (cocktail) Maxime Hoerth.