It’s almost the weekend, and no matter what your last few days looked like we’re sure that you could use a drink. Maybe you’re celebrating or perhaps you’re just looking to take the edge off. No matter what the case might be, here are 10 of Calgary’s best cocktail bars and the ‘summeriest’ drink on their menu – because although looking through the menu is a ton of fun, you’re going to be thirsty right when you sit down. Enjoy!

SHELTER 

Go-to summer sip: 24 Carrot Gold (Espolo Reposado, carrot, ginger of the indies, passionfruit & lime)

Shelter is a Calgary must-hit that has curated some of the best, most unique cocktails in the city. In addition to just making unbelievable drinks, they’re also one of the coolest concept spots in the inner city. From their apocalyptic decor to their extensive menu, this is a YYC staple.

Where: 1210 1 St SW, Calgary
Instagram: @Shelter.yyc

THE WEDNESDAY ROOM 

Go-to summer sip: Cuban Nights (Flor De Cana, Yellow Chartreuse, Cointreau, Lime, mango, passionfruit or pineapple cordial)

Modelled after “Your eclectic uncle’s basement,” The Wednesday Room has a smaller selection of cocktails, but man, does every single one of them make an impact. As a bonus, they also have a pretty great food menu.

Where: 118 8 Ave SW #100, Calgary
Instagram: @TheWednesdayRoom

PROOF

Go-to summer sip: B&E (Pineapple Rum, Averna Amaro, Frangelico, Blackstrap Rum, lime juice, oat orgeat, egg white, soda)

If you’ve ever been to Proof then you know that they take their alcohol very seriously. This cocktail bar is devoted heart and soul to the art of mixology! From rum to tequila, a variety of vodkas and everything in between you can rest assured everything has been carefully selected thought through and taste-tested by the pros. Proof won’t disappoint.

Where: 1302 1st St SW, Calgary
Instagram: @Proof.yyc

MODEL CITIZEN

Go-to summer sip: Durango Unchained (Espolon Tequila, Campari, Pineapple, Agave, Lime)

YYC’s Model Citizen is a refined speakeasy hidden underneath Model Milk on 17th Ave. Their ‘parlour’ is intimate and extremely comfortable, with an amazing rotating cocktail menu as well as weekly features and snacks from the Model Milk kitchen.

Where: 300 17th Avenue SW, Calgary
Instagram: @ModelMilk

UNTITLED CHAMPAGNE LOUNGE

 

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Go-to summer sip: Champagne Mai Tai (rum, Grand Marnier, orgeat, passionfruit, absinthe, champagne)

Suit up, Calgary! Untitled Champagne Lounge is an ambient little speakeasy described as a ‘swanky getaway’ with some of the prettiest, most theatrical cocktails, many of which are actually champagne-based. If that’s not an original concept then we’re not sure what is.

Where: 620 8 Ave SW #104, Calgary
Instagram: @Untitledyyc

BETTY LOU’S 

Go-to summer sip: Josephine Baker (house bourbon blend, Hennessy VS, Nutty Solera, sherry, lemon, apple cobbler syrup, orange segment, calvados spray)

Nothing is cozier than a dark room, velour chairs, and the smokey scent of bourbon – for this reason, Betty Lou’s is one of the best cocktail bars in Calgary. Climb through their ‘top-secret’ bookcase entrance and enjoy an evening of soft jazz music and 20s glamour.

Where: The Devenish Building, 908 17th Avenue SW, Calgary
Instagram: @BettyLousLibrary

ORCHARD 

Go-to summer sip: From Shelter With Love (stolicitrus vodka, Cocchi Rossa, aperol, lemon, passionfruit)

Serving outrageously good Mediterranean food and cocktails, Orchard is practically a sunburn away from being an actual vacation. Brought to life by the folks behind Shelter, it’s no surprise that, they too, make this list. Pro tip: make a reservation! These guys get crazy busy.

Where: 134, 610 – 10th Avenue SW, Calgary
Instagram: @Orchard.YYC

CHAKALAKA

 

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Go-to summer sip: Pretty in Pink (strawberry & peppercorn gin, martini bitter, lemon, simple syrup, orange bitters)

Feeling experimental? With exotic decor, a compelling BBQ tapas menu (that includes unpopular meats like alligator, ostrich, and kangaroo) and an inventive cocktails list pages long, Chakalaka might just be your kind of place to grab a drink with a few friends.

Where: 1410 17 Ave SW, Calgary
Instagram: @ChakalakaCanada

PAPER LANTERN

Go-to summer sip: Brancolada (Coruba Rum, Branca Mentha, Coconut Cream, Pineapple, Orange)

Looking to grab a drink where it’s quiet? Check out Paper Lantern, a contemporary speakeasy-style lounge with amazing-looking Vietnamese tapas, subs, bowls, and a super unique, tropically inclined cocktail menu. We could all use a vacation right now, don’t you think?

Where: Basement – 115 – 2 Avenue SE, Calgary
Instagram: @PaperLanternYYC

And there you have it! Let us know what you think of our list of the best cocktail bars in Calgary! Enjoy yourselves out there, friends and drink responsibly!