All about the liquid pleasures

 

If you are like me, you always do extensive research before going out for food or drinks. I am sorry (actually, not really), but there is no way in hell that I will spend my money and time in a place where the cocktails taste like evaporated boozy soda and the food excites me as much as a TV dinner.

That’s why, when I find a place that check all my standards along with being pretty impressive, I have to share the news with as many people as possible. And by sharing the news, I mean texting all my friends until they crack under the pressure and finally decide to give the heavenly place a go.

This is exactly what happened after my first night at Nacarat a few weeks ago. The bar is a part of the modern version of The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, which reopened last summer after a massive, $140 million renovation. His design reminisces of Montreal’s main train station, which is connected to the hotel via the city’s underground network. As much as I love a bar that is a looker, it better brings its A-game regarding the cocktails, and oh boy does the Nacarat deliver.

I started the night with the Rhub Roy, the bar’s take on the classic whisky based cocktail, made with Glenmorangie, Rabarcello, Ardberg (oh, hello), and bubbles. At this point, it’s a little bit far from the original recipe, but my taste buds are too excited by the result and the idea of sipping scotch early in the night. Can I have another one please?

 

Since I spend most of my days during the week thinking about negronis, I obviously had to taste their version made with Mezcal, Hennessy Cognac, bitters, vermouth, and amaro. Being a lover of everything smoky in the booze-department, I am a huge fan of a mezcal-based Negroni. If the one at Nacarat isn’t the best one I’ve had in my life so far, it is a pretty close runner up and I will be absolutely ok with drinking it for the rest of my life. The true star of the night came after, when I finally decided to try their aged Negroni. I have to start by saying that I have mixed feeling regarding the aged cocktail trend. If it can be remarquable when it’s done right, it also can be a total insult to what is beautiful about spirits – yes I am thinking of you, Oak bottle. Fear not, their version is properly made with every ingredient being amplified for the recipe and the result aged three months in Quebec’s first legal aged barrel produced by 1769 Distillery. The cocktail grabs a smoky note from the wood and the result is a smooth, smoky perfection.

Hungry? Don’t worry, they’ve got your back with delicious bites such as their impressive charcuterie board or their oysters platter with red wine, cocktail sauce, and fish roe, which was more than tasty and I totally recommend. I could have totally spent the rest of the night at Nacarat, but I had to come back home to the real world, where beautiful and delicious cocktails simply don’t appear by magic. It’s ok, I am more than ready to go back.

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