August really is the most beautiful month for fruit in Montreal, with all manner of berries in season and stonefruit from Ontario, including delicious, voluptuous peaches and nectarines. We simply can’t think of a better way to celebrate this glorious harvest than to eat the fruits straight-up, from the market, fresh and with our fingers—except maybe to put them in alcohol and consume them as cocktails…
Here, below, are some of the best fruit and berry cocktails dreamed up by some of Montreal’s ultra-talented bartenders.
1) Entre les mures is a play on words (a “mûre” is a blackberry and a “mur” is a wall), so there’s something about this drink that just wants to back you up against a wall and…drink you! The “Entre les mures” is one of the special seasonal cocktails invented and re-invented everyday by Gen, the bartender at brand-new Renard Artisan Bistro on Avenue Mont-Royal.
2) Bartender Jacques at Nouveau Palais Bernard, a diner that’s more than just a diner in the Mile-End, does a special cocktail list every Tuesday night. Features on the list include Manhattans made with house-preserved cherries, but our favourite is the Strawberries ‘n Cream, a very ‘50s drink that tickles the palate with seasonal goodness (after strawberry season, he’ll be switching to Peaches ‘n Cream). Another special is the “Bleu Sauvage” (Wild Blueberry), invented by Jacques and yours truly, a vodka cocktail made with vitamin-V and a special seasonal blueberry and basil-flower cordial.
3) Grumman’s Raspberry lemonade. Some of the staff make it straight-up with vodka, while others deviate a bit and serve it with tequila—either way, the point is that it’s muddled fresh Quebec raspberries mixed with fresh-squeezed lemon and the liquor of your choice—and the best place to enjoy it, of course, is at the bar of their HQ, which is bookable for private parties—or maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be invited to one.
NB: In the fall, during high apple-picking season, we’ll be craving the house cocktail at Lawrence, a housemade apple cider with bourbon and rosemary.