Photo cred – ninwin & bt-pb

Go to the SAQ, grab the same old bottle of liquor, head to the dep, buy some mixer, repeat every weekend. That's basically been your routine for how long? Too long, because it's time to expand your horizons. And if you're one of those people who never heads to the SAQ and subsists off of dep wine and beer, then you need to step up your drinking game even more. The easiest way is with a cocktail.

I know, I know, the notion of preparing your own cocktail can seem a little daunting, and expensive. But think about it logically. Price isn't much a worry if you go in with some friends. Finding a recipe is the easiest, because like everything else, it's all on the internet. And getting all the things you need couldn't be simpler, the SAQ literally has everything.

Finding the perfect cocktail to compliment your palate can be a little tricky, especially if you don't have a wide knowledge of alcohol. We do, so we've made your life a little easier by pairing cocktails with certain Montreal boroughs, to give you an idea of what certain cocktails are all about.

Photo cred - JS Guillemettetonygonzalezartist

Mile End: The Manhattan

Infamous for its large hipster-artist population, the Mile End is a laid back borough with an air of cultural sophistication. Residents of the Mile End are also known to like a good whisky, which is why whisky-centric spots like Sparrow, Whisky Café, and Noveau Palais are always packed. Given the borough's love for whisky and normcore-hipster vibe, we've chosen the Manhattan as the Mile End cocktail, a simple yet delicious whisky-based drink that has been a classic for ages. Plus, all those hipsters wish they could afford to live in New York anyway.

Recipe:

  • 3/4 oz sweet vermouth
  • 2 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
  • 1 dash Angostura® bitters
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 1 twist orange peel

Pour alcohols into ice-filled glass, top with cherry and orange peel garnish, consume.

Photo cred - BLnordik johnny-escobar

Old Montreal: The Dirty Martini

An air of classiness runs all throughout Old Montreal, and while it is the most expensive borough to live, eat, and shop in, there is a naughty side to the area. For one, over its long history, Old Montreal has experienced its fair share of naughtiness, and second, all the ritzy business folk who inhabit the area like to get drunk just as much as the rest of us, if not more, 'cuz they got the money to actually drop bills on alcohol. Old Montreal's inherent mix of ritzy and risqué make the Dirty Martini the perfect drink to reflect the area's nature. With a Dirty Martini, you look high class, but you're definitely getting drunk.

Recipe:

  • 2 oz gin (or vodka, as I prefer)
  • 1 tbsp dry vermouth
  • 2 tbsp olive juice
  • 2 olives

Shake up everything in your martini shaker (because Bond taught you never to take a martini stirred) and pour into your chilled martini glass, with some olives inside for snacking.

Little Italy: Negroni

Like this one even needs to be explained. If you have Italian friends or family, or happened to venture to any bar/resto in Little Italy, you've no doubt seen this cocktail being consumed by an Italian before. Invented in Florence, the Negroni is the quintessential Italian cocktail, much like Little Italy is the epicenter of Italian culture in Montreal.

Recipe:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari bitters

Stir everything with ice then strain into a cocktail glass. Add some club soda if needed and garnish with an orange slice.

St. Henri: Long Island Iced Tea

St. Henri is a borough with a little bit of everything. Trendy restos, dive bars, bakeries, bike shops, a student rez, you name it and you can probably find it somewhere in St. Henri. The borough's diverse mix of flavours make it quite like a Long Island Iced Tea, which is basically 5 different liquors all put into the same glass. Somehow, the drink works, much like St. Henri, as both are seamlessly jam-packed with variety in a very small space.

Recipe:

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part rum
  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part triple sec
  • 1 1/2 parts sweet and sour mix
  • 1 splash Cola

Mix all into a shaker and give one or to shakes, then pour into a glass. Prepare to be obliterated.

Downtown: Rum & Coke

Always busy and bustling, downtown is always alive with energy, and tends to house quite an eclectic cast of characters. You have your business people going to work, your tourists roaming St. Catherine, the shoppers in the Eaton Centre, and the strip club patrons at Super Sexe. Finding a drink that embodies all of that is nigh impossible, so we chose a cocktail every one of those demographics can enjoy the simple, yet deliciously effective rum and coke. A go-to cocktail for many folks, the rum and coke is a straight forward drink that can be prepared in two seconds, fitting, because when you're downtown, you're always pressed fr time.

Recipe:

  • 4 oz white rum
  • 8 oz cola

Mix and drink, couldn't be simpler.

Westmount: Bloody Caesar

Folks who live in Westmount work, a lot. How else are they supposed to afford their giant houses? And if they're not working, they're caring for their huge suburban family, which affords no more free time. With such busy schedules, Westmount residents can't drink in the evenings/weekends like the rest of us plebeians, so they kick back with a cocktail when they can: during the day/at brunch. Now we all know there's only one drink that can be consumed in the daylight hours or during a Sunday brunch without you getting weird stares, and that's the Bloody Caesar.

Recipe:

  • 1 oz vodka
  • salt
  • celery salt
  • pepper
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • clamato juice

Rim your glass with celery salt, then fill it with ice and all the rest of your ingredients. Feel free to add in horseradish, dijon mustard, even more hotsauce, or switch up the garnish from a classic celery stalk to a green bean or olive skewer.

Plateau Mont-Royal: Red Sangria

The Plateau is a hotbed of youthful liveliness, with some of the best bars, clubs, and cultural events happening in this borough, especially during the summer. For its incredibly young-vibe, hipster aesthetic, and easygoing attitude, we chose Red Sangria as the cocktail that most embodies the Plateau. A cocktail begging to be enjoyed on a terrasse in the sun with some friends, Sangria reflects the youthful/bobo population of the borough, who also try to be a bit high-brow from time to time, hence the use of red wine, which is just classier than white. I've also been to many a Sangria party in the Plateau, which definitely informed this choice.

Recipe:

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • Mix of citrus fruits cut into wedges
  • Sugar
  • Brandy (or any liquor on hand, really)
  • Ginger ale of Club Soda

Mix all together and enjoy. Proportions can vary, best to go by your own tastes. Couldn't be simpler and more delicious.

You can buy almost everything you need and prepare your custom cocktail at the SAQ closest your place, and we all know those aren't too hard to find.

What cocktail will you curate?

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