Cheers to your best summer nights!

I have a list full of the little pleasures of life, and drinking a glass of champagne in good company by a warm summer night totally belongs on it. When Moet & Chandon launched their Moet Ice in 2011, I got hooked on the idea of enjoying my favorite beverage on ice -preferably in a wide brimmed glass- while getting creative with the garnish. Since the flavors are strong enough with the Moet Imperial, it is also easier to mix it into refreshing cocktails perfect for the hot season.

If you are a fellow champagne-lover, you will be happy to know that the bar New City Gas, located in Griffintown, will host its “Good Vibes Only” garden party every Saturday this summer, and will offer a Moet Imperial based cocktail list. Created by the pro mixologist Lawrence Picard, founder of Nectar & Mixologie, the cocktails are as addictive as a fudgy chocolate cake after too many avocado toasts. Known for bringing an Asian twist on some classic drinks, Lawrence kept his favorite flavors present through ingredients like the lime, basil and ginger.

The cocktail that totally stood out for me was Le Roi Lion, made with Moet Ice, ginger beer, mango syrup, garam masala, mandarine, mint and thym. I often feel like the champagne-based drinks are unnecessary on the sweet side, as they can into alcoholic slushies with the heat, but this one impressed me by how well balanced everything was. I mean, if I order something with fresh herbs in it, I don’t want to be attacked by a big chunk of it or to feel like I am drinking some spiked tea (which was obvisoulsy not the case with this one since I menaced all the other guests with my eternal fury if they didn’t try it at least once).

“You should drink champagne on a regular basis, surrounded by people that you love.” -Lawrence Picard

“Beertails are a very intersting trend. The sweetness of the beer along with its bitterness and effervescence are fun to work with when it’s time to create a cocktail. Nectar & Mixologie has been in charge for a while now of a cocktail program in a important Canadian brasserie and I feel like more people are developing a taste for that kind of cocktail. Regarding Le Roi Lion, it’s more a ginger soda made by the same brewing process as the beer” explains Lawrence.

To be honest, my surprise love for this cocktail comes from the fact that I had to try some overly sweet mix that left me feel dizzy on the opposite of a fun alcoholic buzz one too many times. « You have to let the champagne be the star of the cocktails. Don’t drown it in too many ingredients with a high density.  I would like for people to perceive champagne as a regular beverage. You should drink it on a regular basis surrounded by people that you love.” Hard to disagree with that.

If you want to try Le Roi Lion and all the other cocktails Moet based, make sure to head over to New City Gas every Saturday starting 4 pm.