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Award-Winning Bartender Kevin Demers Tells Us Where To Drink In Montreal


Drink This City

You know how to EAT THIS CITY, but where do you wash it all down? Do you know how to find the best brewpub? Or uncover who makes the meanest bloody marys and the most sparkling mimosas?

You’re about to find out. Welcome to DRINK THIS CITY!

Grab your passports, because this week we’re going international! It’s time to visit our neighbors to the north, where the winters may be cold, but the drinks are surely colder — especially at our bar of choice, Montreal’s The Coldroom. Owner Kevin Demers’ bar promises good times, good cocktails, and good people. In our experience, he’s definitely one of them!

For over a decade, Demers has been dedicated to bringing the best in hospitality to Quebec; a veteran of multiple cocktail competitions (with plenty of wins to his credit!), he opened The Coldroom in 2016 and it’s been a go-to destination for locals and travelers ever since. His team behind the bar bears equally impressive accolades (and, rumor has it, some pretty sick dance moves as well). The cocktails they shake up are seasonal, creative, and stunning. If classics are your thing, they’ve got it handled, with their signature attention to detail and craft.

In 2018, Demers opened El Pequeño, the smallest bar in Quebec (and probably in all of Canada), purveyor of Cuban-inspired cocktails. Seating a total of nine people, this little bar has a big heart and only one rule: introduce yourself to everyone once you sit down, because inside, you are part of the family. If you want a taste of Montreal’s cocktail culture, there’s no better guide than Demers — especially because he’s the founder of The Montreal Cocktail Initiative, responsible for creating the city’s official and eponymous cocktail, which debuted at Tales of the Cocktail in 2017.

Via The Coldroom

Ready to explore Montreal with Kevin? Let’s go Drink This City!

BRUNCH COCKTAIL OR HAIR OF THE DOG

Le Chien Fumant

Le Chien Fumant. Well-curated menu for a weekend brunch experience like no other in the city.

MARGARITA

La Capital

La Capital. Great tacos and cocktails in the center of Montreal’s Chinatown.

CLASSIC COCKTAIL

Cloakroom Bar

For a modern take on classics, Cloakroom is where to go.

CRAFT COCKTAIL

The Coldroom

I never talk about my places, especially to recommend them… believe it or not. But at The Coldroom. We work non-stop on our cocktail menu as a team and curate them four times a year (seasonally).

PUNCH

Le Mal Nécessaire

Le Mal Nécessaire for some awesome punch bowls but you can also sneak in a tiki cocktail too ?

DIVE BAR

Taverne Midway

Midway Tavern — space that’s been open since 1927 with some great cocktails and superb local beers.

PUB, TAVERN, OR BREWERY

Pub La Distillery

Pub La Distillerie – the OG cocktail bar pub in Montreal, first of its kind and also a teacher and leader for the other spots that we’re talking about on this list.

HOTEL BAR

Nacarat

Nacarat – new innovative hotel bar with a completely different design then what you’re used to seeing. Great service and great cocktails.

HOT DRINK

Perles & Paddock

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Perles & Paddock – menu lead by Jonathan Homier, try his Irish coffee. Definitely, something to write about.

THEMED COCKTAIL at IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE BAR

Milky Way

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Milky Way — new cocktail bar with a retro-futuristic feel, clearly something that will bring you back again and again.

SPARKLING COCKTAIL

La Champagnerie

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It’s in the name, La Champagnerie – great selection of bubbles with some great sparkling cocktails.

APERITIVO

Garde Manger

Garde Manger is a restaurant first but bartender Sam Turp has pushed the aperitivo lifestyle and incorporated a curated menu for negroni lovers far and wide.

LOW-PROOF COCKTAIL

Atwater Cocktail Club

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Atwater Cocktail Club – they have been one of the top cocktail bars in the city since their opening and you can always find a nice section for low ABV and non-alcoholic cocktails on every one of their menus.

UNUSUAL COCKTAIL or COCKTAIL WITH SURPRISING INGREDIENTS

Le Mousso

Le Mousso — fine dining restaurant first, but the cocktails are made with surprising ingredients.

COCKTAIL MADE BY A FRIEND

El Pequeño Bar

Have to go visit Bastien from El Pequeño Bar. He’s the smallest bar in Quebec (maybe Canada) have the biggest spirit. I can’t help but go just to see him for a conversation. PS: His daiquiris are pretty solid.

Thank you, Kevin, for taking us on a tour of Montreal’s Best Bars!

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Join us next week for more DRINK THIS CITY! Meanwhile, hit us in the comments — where should we travel next?

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