Stop being disapointed by boring cocktails and visit these places instead!

I used to have a hard time finding a place to go on a night out in the city. I am kind of picky on the cocktails’ department and I don’t bother going somewhere where they don’t know how to make them properly -please stop confusing a dirty martini with a dry martini. It was until I discover these hidden gems, which are now my go-to places when I want to enjoy a drink perfectly made in great company.

 

Cloakroom Bar

If I go to the same place twice in a week, there must be a chance that there is something very special about it. Other the fact that I have a strong love for speakeasy bars – do I sound like a total snob yet- , Cloakroom won me over thanks to the killer skills of their bartenders. Since they don’t have a cocktail menu, you have to explain to them what you are looking for in a drink. It’s like going to the doctor for an appointment and leaving with a very alcoholic and delightful prescription. Or like a less dangerous Russian roulette.

The last time I was there, I ordered something “on the bitter side, preferably with whiskey in it” and I ended up with a Sazerac (a dash of absinthe, whiskey, simple syrup and bitters) served on a fancy metallic plate. I don’t know if it was the candle light at the bar or the effect of alcohol in my body, but I seriously thought for a moment about changing my facebook status for “in a relationship with a drink”.

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Henden

This is the little newcomer in Montreal’s speakeasy scene. Describing itself as a “mysterious seventies inspired lounge” and hidden in the basement of Le Bird Bar, you already know as soon as you walk down the stairs that this is the place you go for yummy cocktails. The vibe is so intimate with the drapped ceiling and a big velvet couch, that you almost feel like you need to entertain a secret love affair to hang out there or being the heir of a scandalous family.

On the opening night, I had the chance of trying the “The Blacker The Berry” cocktail, which is an interesting mix of Crown royal black, Dark origins, Diplomatico, blackberry, almond, chocolate bitters and activated charcoal. Looking at their cocktails’ list, I definitely need to go back to try the “Lula” which sounds super refreshing with ingredients like sake, grapefruit and ginger.

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Bishop & Bagg

If you describe your place as being an “English pub” and being located way too close from work for my poor wallet, it’s absolutely sure that I’ll show up. I visited Bishop & Bagg the first time by a very cold winter night, ready to drink whatever was necessary to stop my blood from turning into ice. It was before I had the chance to take a look at their extensive selection of whiskey. I knew I ended up at the right place after reading “Glenmorangie Lasanta” on their scotch list. To celebrate their 3rd anniversary, they are launching a Negroni menu, showcasing their impressive gin, bitter and vermouth collection.

You would hate yourself if you didn’t also seize the occasion to try their food. As a vegetarian, it is almost impossible for me to enjoy a good meal when I hang out in a pub, which is not the case there! They have a dish named “Bhaji Rama” -made with zucchini fritters, apples, chickpeas, sweet potatoes and pickled celery- it is so freaking good that I could eat it every day for a week without getting bored.

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