No one could have predicted how cool the new bar and restaurant of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel were going to be. The stylish decor of Nacarat and Rosélys speaks for itself (if you haven’t experienced it yet, catch up with my full article here) while the poised crowd are dressed to impress any day of the week.
Nacarat recently launched a envy-ready new drink menu that for cocktail lovers in Montreal will no doubt swoon over. A gaggle of the city’s media, bloggers and social hotshots were invited to the hotel bar to sample these new signature cocktails, all designed around the five basic tastes we experience; umami, sour, sweet, bitter and spicy. The list is long which why I have chosen my top four favourite new cocktails that will no doubt have me back at Nacarat before I know it.
CAFÉ VA BENE
The second I tasted this not-too-sweet cocktail it shot to the top of my list. I was so enamoured by the delicate coffee flavour that blended perfectly with cynar, crème de cassis, I returned the next day for more. The cocktail is topped with a fine blood orange mousse that transforms this cocktail into something truly extraordinary. This changes the coffee-based cocktail forever.
If presentation is worth 90% the effort then this cocktail blows all else out of the water before it hits the table. The cocktail, which blends mezcal, Cognac XO, amaros bitters and smoke (yes, smoke!), arrives in a glass box that’s filled with wafting smoke. Once the box is open the experience begins. The smoke creates a refined, rich atmosphere that sets up the first sip like nothing I’ve ever seen. The cocktail is rich, layered and while it make take a little longer to prepare, the wait is worth it.
FAIRMONT OLD FASHIONED
Nothing beats an Old Fashioned and Nacarat does a fine job getting the cocktail just right. Delicately blending rum Mont Gay with Woodford reserve bourbon and finishing it all off with a couple of daps of Angostura bitters, this cocktail is a classic, perfected. The Fairmont Old Fashioned is one of the best I’ve ever tasted in Montreal.
With spring off the a very slow start, Montrealers wish they were anywhere but here. The Tiki Cobbler is like a vacation in a glass! Sherry blended with dry Vermouth, Brazil banana liquor and Chili de Arbol Tincture, prepare to feel like your standing on the beach, the waves are lapping at your feet and the sun is gently warming your face. It’s rare that I like a sweet cocktail but this one had me feeling all kinds of southern comfort.