it's been my experience that if you walk into the embassy pub in kensington market, and order a "lefty on the rocks", you'll either get a knowing nod and smile from the bartender or a blank stare. when this bar first opened, a friend and i ordered a shot from the bartender/owner and left it up to him to pick one for us. he came back with a pale yellow shot with a pretty red pool of something at the bottom. it was surprisingly delicious–and still had a kick. it was a small splash of creme de cassis with zubrowka vodka (bison grass vodka) poured slowly on top. now i don't have anything against vodka, but it's definitely not my go-to spirit. (what? we all have go-to spirit, right?) mine's gin. but this didn't taste like any vodka i'd had before. it was a tiny bit herbaceous and earthy and sweet. but not too sweet! i don't like syrupy-sweet drinks. anyway, the owner told us that this shot was called a "lefty". not too long after, we returned to try a "lefty on the rocks"–the shot over ice, topped with ginger ale. it's been my favourite casual cocktail ever since. the zubrowka vodka really makes this drink. in fact, chilled, bison grass vodka is a pleasure to sip on its own.
the lefty had a place on the chalkboard menu at the embassy. yet there's been more than one occasion where i or another attempted to order a lefty that same summer, and the bartender had no idea what the hell we were talking about. still if you're ever there, order one up. i found pointing and explaining gets you the drink. or you might order straight from the owners themselves and be in for a real treat. after which, you'll want to buy some zubrowka to toss if your freezer, and have a little creme de cassis on hand at all times so you can make your new fav, a lefty on the rocks, whenever the mood strikes. cuz it will. mmm.