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Montreal Bar Take Over, Legacy Liquor Store

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I love a good bartender guest shift. It is a fun way to pretend that you are travelling, by way of drinking and cocktails. Tonight’s pop-up was held at Legacy liquor store’s tasting room, the first for this retail shop.

I have been in this space a handful of times for wine tastings and spirit seminars, but this is the first time seeing this kitchenette and seating area transformed into a bar. With the right dimmer and music to set the tone, the space became a causal speakeasy.

Tonight our two visiting bartenders were both from Montreal, representing The Cloakroom and Le Rouge Gorge, respectively.

At the door ticket holders were greeted and gifted 4 drink vouchers. Two of each colour for the two drinks from each of the bartenders; for four in total. Each guest bartender would be preparing one cocktail featuring Fords Gin and the another made with Diplomatico Rum, our drinks sponsors of the evening.

The menu was broadcasted on the scrolling televised screens, but guests could just as easily engaged either men in conversation. We did so asking about their creations and what to try.

Andrew Whibley of The Cloakroom, admitted to naming his cocktails after Kentucky derby horses, specially for his first cocktail: Genuine Risk, which he did end up building a rich backstory for, to match the name. Worth mentioning is Andrew does not believe in or practice the art of garnishing, allowing the beverage to speak for itself.

Genuine Risk with Fords gin, maraschino, pineau de charentes, and chocolate. This is a twist on a Tuxedo No. 2, done like a dry martini style. It had a rich chocolatey mouthfeel for a clear liquid, yet minimal in chocolate taste. It starts slightly acrid and builds to a clean lingering mouth feel.

Strike the Gold is a mix of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva, Amaro, Scrappy’s Aromatic Pineapple, and Soda. This is like a rum punch with plenty of spice notes and a citrus to balance between salty and sweet. This one would be good with food, especially as it mellows out the more the ice melts down.

Kitty corner was Manu Ruiz of Le Rouge Gorge mixing his two cocktails.

We learned that the Dalhousie #3 was not named by Manu, and he himself was not aware of why, until tonight. Long story short it is the third generation of a running joke, playing on Canadian’s history.

The Dalhousie #3 is Fords Gin, Scrappy’s Alpine, White Port, Green Apple, and Bee Pollen. This was my favourite of the night, so different with the bee pollen smear on the side of the glass. Taking a lick before a sip I got matcha in taste and texture. This sweetened the tart flavour of the cocktail, jibing with the green apple nlyes. This one would be good with a seafood pairing, the bitterness bringing out the natural sugars of shellfish.

The Venezuelan Old Fashion was a familiar classic given a fun and fruity twist. Diplomatico Mantuano Marsala, Balsamic, and banana. This was the easiest to drink of the four. It had a dessert feel, especially with the banana chip offering a crunchy snack.

In conclusion, this was a fun way to get a taste of out East in a glass. And I will definitely be on the look out for more and the next.

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