One of Toronto’s latest watering holes is the recently-opened, Project Gigglewater, an unassuming cocktail bar located on the increasing popular Dundas St. West strip. Those who frequent Dundas West typically look for dark, friendly bars that specialize in quality ingredients, not cheap deals. Gigglewater does not disappoint. Over the past few weeks it’s quickly become one of my favourites in weekly rotation.
Where to Find It
Tucked away between a Korean restaurant and a dry cleaner, we find this gem in the old home of dive bar, “Sex Laser,” which has some reviews worth reading for the comedy. Upon entering we’re greeted by Alfred. He’s one of the owners, the main bartender and the cocktail menu creator. The décor is dark, but inviting. A curved bar, unlike any other in Toronto, serves as the centerpiece, which enables all those surrounding it to see each other. There’s a community-vibe, like being in Europe, where patrons can interact around the bar.
The Cocktail List
Not for the faint at heart, the cocktail list is divided into sections varying from delicate to boozy to baller. Alfred creates punchy, spirit-forward beverages while also creating flawless elegant cocktails with minimal bite. I sample several cocktails including the Dogs Nose Clover Club, which is dangerously tasty and loosely reminiscent of a raspberry Guinness.
Back to back these could be a problem for my early morning commute. One of the more popular cocktails, the El Finablo, features some serious bite, courtesy of a Mezcal and ginger beer combo. Poured in a tall glass, it will be perfect for a warm spring day. Next, I decide to go off-menu for a citrus-y tequila beverage making its debut on their spring menu. The name isn’t finalized, but if you’re in need, Alfred will create it.
Get Your Snack On
A short list of snack-y food items compliment the boozy drinks, and the chef delivers every time: a brown bad of truffle popcorn; steak and potato chips with a biting chimichurri; and the CB&J sandwich of rich cashew butter and jelly with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
Set the Mood
It’s a perfect date-spot to grab a few drinks or to just hang out with friends, because while smooth 90’s R&B and spunky 80’s cult classics make their appearances, we can still actually HEAR what our company is saying.
Alfred is a master at his craft and creates classics as well as unique off-the-menu cocktails. If you are searching for the next great cocktail bar, make sure to check this out before the secret is out.