Because summer just tastes so much better on a sunny patio, a refreshing cocktail in hand, I decided to do some detective work and find the best spots to unwind in Val-d’Or. I headed out on a reconnaissance mission with my friend, Marguerite (not her real name) (just for the fun of it, I decided to give someone I know a fictitious name, because I could). We established some very specific criteria for our mixology research: originality, ingredient ratios, execution and, of course, the bartender. Here are our findings:
Bar Bistro l’Entracte
The urban lounge feel at Bar Bistro l’Entracte is perfect for sitting back and enjoying a good cocktail. There, you’ll find the most extensive cocktail menu in Val-d’Or and a beautiful offering of top-quality spirits. In addition to the classics, you’ll find some house creations. Among others are L’Entracte, made with Hendrick’s gin, apple juice, sugar, lemon juice and 7 UP. It sounds sweet, but it’s actually quite refreshing and subtle on the pallet. If it’s a sweeter drink you’re after, I suggest the Limonade l’Entracte, which offers a fruity, summery taste.
One of my top favs is the Long Island Iced Tea. It’s absolutely sublime – one of the best I’ve ever tasted! It has just the right amount of alcohol in it (enough so that you know it’s there, but not so much that you feel your oesophagus being disinfected on every mouthful).
The quality of execution is certainly a reflection of bartender Daniel. He’s a talented mixologist who has been with Bar Bistro l’Entracte for a long time. His expertise, charisma and talent make the drinks and overall atmosphere there a real treat to experience.
During my mixology research with my friend “Marguerite”. While she was enjoying Long Island Iced Tea (the brown drink), I drank a Limonade L’Entracte (the orange cocktail).
Le Prospecteur Microbrewery
Although locally brewed craft beer is their speciality, Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur does a fine job on their cocktails too. With evocative names like La Grande pêcheuse (Come Hither) and Le Café du bûcheron (Lumberjack’s Java), most of their cocktails are original creations. Sweet or subtle, refreshing or comforting, the proportions are always just right. My personal favourite is a little number called the Frasilic, a mix of strawberries, fresh basil, vodka and sparkling water.
If you sit at the bar, you may get the chance to meet the lovely barman, Olivier. Not only is he funny and congenial, he has a wonderful talent for mixology and a great deal of imagination. In fact, challenge him to whip you up a surprise cocktail? I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed.
With its delicious locally brewed craft beers, Le Prospecteur offers tasty beer cocktails. The one on that picture is a suggestion of bartender Olivier. 🙂
Special Mention to La Tanière – William J. Walter
If you’re one of those people who believes that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself or you believe you’ve got potential as a mixologist, then I suggest you head over to La Tanière. In fact, even if you aren’t one of those people (you prefer that someone make you a good drink and serve it to you), I still recommend checking out La Tanière. (You can always resort to the DIY approach when you’re snowed in or back at home, unable to enjoy our delicious Val-d’Or cocktails.)
La Tanière is a purveyor of fine foods that sells William J. Walter sausage products, but also cheeses, deli meats, hot sauces, micro-brewery beers, the best sauerkraut in town and… – drum roll – a whole range of cocktail products! The shelves are stocked with simple flavoured syrups, lemonades, ginger ale syrup, colas or tonic, Bloody Caesar mix, garnishes and flavoured bitters, waiting to jazz up your drinks! All you need to do is let your imagination run wild! They also have all the essential bar accessories to make you feel like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. For instance, they sell a shaker that opens easily when it’s cold (the same model professional bartenders use), a strainer to get the fresh fruit juice out without any lumps or pulp getting into your glass, a pestle to crush lime, sugar and mint in your mojito and a long spoon to stir your martinis.
The display shelving of all cocktail products at La Tanière offers a great choice and always new stuff.
Classic, sweet, refreshing, subtle or girly: whatever your taste, you’ll find everything you’re looking for at these four great cocktail spots in Val-d’Or. My parting suggestion would be to trust in the bartenders’ passion, expertise and talent and let them surprise you!
Let finish this blog on a good note with a clip of the great movie of Cocktail . 🙂