Montreal F1 Cocktails – What is your favourite?
Montreal F1 Cocktails – In this week’s column, I take a little break from wine to talk about cocktails. With the advent of mixology in our mainstream culture, the cocktail has become as popular than ever before. Just last week, the event Invasion cocktail event took place in Montreal and Quebec. More than 35 bars participated in the venue and both cities hosted some important International mixologists such as Simone Caporale, best world bartender of 2014.
Not only hipsters are drinking cocktails but normal people as well. In their website, the SAQ has a space called espace cocktail, where you can find more than 800 recipes according to the spirit or liqueur of your choice. Not too long ago, this concept did not exist. The same concept exists in the LCBO stores
There is a cocktail for every occasion. For Brunch, for lunch, with a meal. There is even one for Canada Day. I like to have one once in a while with my wife or when I go out with friends. Here are some of my favorites ones according to the mood that you are:
Beat the heat with a lemony twist
Limoncello Gin Cocktail
Here is a fun way to enjoy Limoncello other than as post dinner drink. Fill a tall glass with ice and add Limoncello and gin. Top with the club soda and stir. Garnish with lemon peel and enjoy. A very easy drink to prepare at the end of a busy weekday and perfect to have in a warm day in your patio chair. The recipe as follow:
• 1 ounce Limoncello
• 1 ounce gin
• 4 ounces club soda
• Lots of ice
• Lemon peel, for garnish
To make this cocktail, the luxardo limoncello ( SAQ #00400747 $22.65) is a pretty good value for the money. It has a nice lemon zestiness with a faint hint of white pepper. On the mouth, not that overly sweet because it is balanced by the crisp acidity of the lemons. For the gin, to give it a classy London’s feeling, use the No.3 London Berry Bros Gin (SAQ # 11675476 $ 50). Its aromas of basil, orange peel and juniper berries will complement very nicely the zestiness of the limoncello and the texture of the gin will will bring and overall elegance to this simple cocktail.
In the mood for a Latin Fiesta:
For me if I want to be in a latino mood, the perfect cocktail is based on Rum, and not just any, for me Diplomatico Reserva ( SAQ # 11621110, $66.25) is the best. I usually like Diplomatico straight, but once in a while a enjoy a cocktail made of it. I like a Pineapple Mint Daiquiri which has a fresh citrusy and cool profile which goes nicely with the sweet caramel notes of the Diplomatico. The recipe as follow:
• 1 1/2 oz. Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva Rum
• 1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
• 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
• 5 Large Chunks Fresh Cut Pineapple
• 5 Fresh Mint Leaves
• Pineapple Wedge, Lime Wheel, and Mint Sprig for Garnish
Preparation: In a cocktail shaker, muddle pineapple chunks, mint leaves, and simple syrup for 30-35 seconds. Add fresh lime juice, rum, and ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with pineapple wedge, lime wheel and mint spring.
A lazy Saturday afternoon
Bourbon is such as versatile drink. You can have it straight during the winter months to keep you warm or in different refreshing cocktails to keep you cool by the pool side during the summer.
• 9 fresh mint leaves
• 10 fresh blueberries
• 1/2 ounce simple syrup
• juice from 1/2 lemon
• 2 ounces bourbon
• crushed ice
Mention “lemonade” and you’ve already a bit of summer in a glass. Add some plump blueberries and a generous dose of bourbon, and let yourself go in a hazy afternoon. For a kicker, add some Cardamom and bitters for extra complexity. I like Buffalo Trace Kentucky Bourbon ( SAQ # 10263891, $43.25 )with its notes of english toffee, vanilla add a nice contrast dimension to the citrusy, fruity aspect of the lemonade.
In a cocktail shaker muddle the mint leaves, blueberries, simple syrup and lemon juice together.
Pour in the bourbon and shake.Fill a rocks glass to the top with crushed ice and pour over the ice without straining.Garnish with a whole mint leaf and blueberries.
The humble but tasty cocktail
Sometimes, you just want to have something not complicated, laidback and quite tasty. I find that Southern Comfort ( SAQ # 00105601, $25) cocktails do the job. There are many cocktails made with this popular drink. One of my favourites is the Alabama Slammer. It has been around since the 70s, and there are a few minor variations on it. The most popular versions version mix Southern Comfort with amaretto, sloe gin and orange juice.
It’s a dangerous fruity cocktail. In this recipe, the amaretto notes are the protagonists of the drink. This is one of those cocktails where the sum is greater than the whole parts – it all blends wonderfully into one sweet, fruity flavour.
Alabama Slammers are perfect for drinking by the pool side or at a barbecue. They’re refreshing for hot afternoons, but also are great stress relievers at the end of a hectic week.
• 1 ounce Southern Comfort
• 1 ounce amaretto
• 1 ounce sloe gin
• 2 ounces orange juice
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice cubes. Pour in all the ingredients and shake well. Fill a highball glass with ice and strain the mixture into it. Garnish with a cherry and an orange wheel.
The feel rich cocktail
How about a cocktail for those times that you want to feel like a rich person who goes out to trendy bars and pay top dollar for cocktail?. Aficionados rarely use top-shelf booze on mixed drinks, but there is somewhat kind of trend to use high quality stuff by upscale bartenders to jack up the price.
Extase Liqueur d’Orange & Cognac XO ( SAQ #00638528, $102).This is a lovely liqueur distilled in small batches from orange peels imported from the island of Curacao with 25 year old XO Fine Champagne Cognac. Extase is carefully blended and distilled in Dijon, in the heart of Burgundy using one of the oldest operating pot stills in France. Extase is presented in painted bottles that are filled by hand.
Not long ago, I discovered this cognac liqueur. Super elegant nose with confit orange peel, vanilla brioche and honey nuances. On the mouth, enveloping, sweet and refined. Definitely, I would drink straight but if you must drink it in a cocktail, make yourself a brandini.
•45 ml (1 1/2 oz.) amber brandy
• 8 ml (1/4 oz.) citrus liqueur
• 8 ml (1/4 oz.) pineapple juice
• Ice cubes
• 1 orange zest
Combine all the ingredients, except for the orange zest, in a shaker filled with ice.
Shake vigorously for 8 to 10 seconds. Strain into a martini glass using an ice strainer. Garnish with an orange zest.