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Larkspur reigns as one of the few true cocktail lounges in town


By day the Larkspur Lounge at the iconic Rimrock Resort Hotel is backdropped by the stunning mountain vistas of the Bow Valley, by night roaring fires set the scene for schmoozey sips and casual bites. Open until midnight, Larkspur reigns as one of the few true cocktail lounges in town.

“Are you ready for me to pour your martini, miss?”. Why yes, Ian, yes I am. The Perfect Serve Martini is an excellent way to begin an evening of swills and, truly, it's hard not to feel like a bond villain sitting next to a vast fireplace with a frosted glass full of vodka in quintessential stemware. Sip aside a plate of confit duck croquettes with pickled cherry and orange gel for a solid pairing.

Bites are, of course, delightful at Larkspur; think elevated pub fare with dishes such as Alberta striplion steak sandwiches, flatbreads, sirloin burgers on brioche buns with lashings of Dijionaise. Tasty? Absolutely. Food offerings provide a solid base layer from which one can responsibly delve into the cocktail menu with aplomb, and the Larkspur Signatures are some of the most delicious and creative drinks you’ll find in Banff. Visually arresting, the Aurora is an artful riff on a margarita with Patron silver, melon, green apple, eucalyptus, lime and “moon dust” (edible glitter). Shimmering hues of green reflect the magical sensation that is the aurora borealis, a phenomenon that can sometimes be seen dancing across the Rockies. Served with a dehydrated apple slice and a light sprinkling of silver dust, one can rely on this aurora to dazzle, even when the sky lights are proving elusive.

For those looking for a truly distinguished mixology experience, Larkspur offers “The Grandview Collection”, a selection of three high-end serves that not only deliver premium spirits but a side of theatrics too. I was deeply tempted to invest in The Jewel of the Rockies, a $295 3oz serve made up of Piper Heidsieck Champagne, Remy Martin XO Cognac and Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire 100th Anniversary Edition and presented in a hand blown Sagrada martini glass  (yours to keep) alongside a necklace with a gemstone pendant. With restraint, I instead opted for the luxurious Double Oaked Twice Smoked hickory wood old fashioned riff with Woodford Reserve Small Batch Double Oak, maple syrup, orange zest and aromatic bitters. A real statement piece; this cocktail is presented in a smoke chamber which, when opened, adds an olfactory sensation to the whole affair. If you’re after an “all eyes on me” experience, this booze-forward cocktail really draws the gaze!

Dessert cocktails? You bet! Larkspur has a dedicated menu of after dinner serves, including a beautifully presented sgroppino riff with gin, elderflower, lemon sorbet and sparkling wine, plus a spun sugar and lime twist garnish. Pretty, palate cleansing and with effervescent sass, the Sparkling Sorbet provided the perfect end to a casually upscale evening at the Rimrock. With Roam transit arriving straight to the lobby door, Larkspur is easily accessible from town, although a room at Banff’s hotel in the sky is quite tempting.

Larkspur Lounge is open from 11:00am to midnight daily. For further information and reservations, please visit

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