The Cocktails of Kingston: Volume Three

By Lexy Correa

Maleeha started her restaurant career at AquaTerra in 2011 while studying at Queen’s University. After working in Ottawa and perfecting the craft, it’s no surprise she returned in December 2018. Tucked in the Delta Kingston Waterfront Hotel Lobby, The Vu lounge offers one of the best views in Kingston, with a sleek ambiance. Being awarded a Feast On certification, they always try to use local and seasonal ingredients anywhere they can.

We sat down with Maleeha to learn more about their newest cocktails, where she draws inspiration from, and the perfect sips for you to try this summer.

Ties of Kinsip 

This fun cocktail is a hybrid of sherry cobbler and gin fizz. You’ll find complexity from the sherry and a great floral note from Kinsip’s “Juniper’s Wit” Gin (made in Prince Edward County!). Maleeha describes this as their “most adventurous cocktail”. The cassis adds a dark fruit note and the lemon juice and lavender bitters work together to create the perfect fizz cocktail.

“Ties of Kinsip” Lustau Amontillado / Juniper’s Wit Gin / County Cassis / Lemon / Eggwhites / Soda


Summerhill is AquaTerra’s take on the classic greyhound. Iceberg vodka infused with thyme for two days, then strained and added to a perfect balance of grapefruit juice, lemon juice and lemon oleo saccharum. Fun fact: This drink was inspired by Queen’s University’s Summerhill building!

“Summerhill” Thyme Infused Vodka / Lemon Oleo Saccharum / Grapefruit


With a focus on local ingredients, it’s no surprise AquaTerra creates their Aviation with Still’s Whisper vodka (made in Prince Edward County). When asked about the taste, Maleeha shares, “I’ve always loved an Aviation but I’m not a huge fan of mixing gin with creme de violette – too floral for me. We use the vodka (with vanilla notes) to balance the floral note and it turns into a perfect sipper.”

“Aviation” Still’s Whisper Vodka / Creme De Violette / Luxardo Maraschino / Lemon


Empress 1908 Gin does not need accompaniments. It is a beautiful, earthy, brilliantly violet gin that changes colours depending on which additives are used. Maleeha crafted an old fashioned out of the gin to showcase its quality. The lemon bitters enhance the flavour while the simple syrup adds some sweetness for it to be consumed on its own. This is the perfect drink to sip and take in the beautiful view of Confederation Basin.

“The Empress” Empress Gin / Lemon Bitters / Simple Syrup


When we asked Maleeha about her favourite cocktail, she shared, “A Negroni is my absolute favourite cocktail, so this variation of a Negroni is right up my alley. Being a huge fan of Benedictine as well, I’ve used it in place of sweet vermouth to create a perfect, warming and herbal cocktail.”

“Boulevardier” Bulleit Bourbon / Benedictine / Campari / Orange Bitters

Aye Aye Captain

Nothing says summer more than sipping a delicious margarita on a warm day. Maleeha’s spin on this cocktail includes Jalapeno infused tequila and pineapple syrup. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you’re in luck. This cocktail is very well balanced with little sweetness, little heat, and great acidity.

”Aye Aye Captain!” Jalapeno Tequila / Cointreau / Pineapple Syrup / Lime

Violet Lady

Incredible, creamy, little bit of tang from the lemon and a little bit of both floral and earthyness from the gin. The ideal before dinner drink! The Violet Lady was created by Jess, one of the great new additions to the bar team. When asked about the backstory of the drink, Maleeha shares, “I always knew that I would be making a sour with Empress gin, but Jess actually worked at the Fairmont Empress and was there when it was released so I let her make a cocktail. As you can tell from the Ties of Kinsip, there is nothing I love more than a thick, creamy froth on a cocktail and that is exactly what we have achieved here!”

Summer Sangria

Fruity. Juicy. Nova 7 (bubbly, lychee notes, delicious and from Nova Scotia!). If you’re a sangria lover, this will be your favourite summer companion.

“Violet Lady” Empress Gin / Cointeau / Lemon / Eggwhites (Left), “Summer Sangria” Alize Red Passion / Nova 7 / Orange / Soda (Right)

You can check out AquaTerra’s full cocktail menu here. If you’re more of a tea fan, stop by for their Afternoon Tea instead!

Delicious cocktails… with a view!