A Drink Master From Netflix Is Mixing Custom Cocktails At A New Montreal Bar

A reservation-only side room lets you try cocktails made by Tao Zrafi himself.

Contributing Writer
Tao Zrafi making cocktails.

Tao Zrafi making cocktails.

Anyone who watched the first season of Netflix’s Drink Masters might have noticed that not one but two mixologists were repping the Montreal bar scene: Loyd Von Rose and Tao Zrafi.

Both had strong momentum on the show and Zrafi ended up a finalist. Now, his work can be found at the new bar Baby, which was created by Jean-François Gervais and Nicolas Urli.

Zrafi creates seasonal cocktail menus for the main bar, but it’s deeper inside the venue that you can see him work real-time with a more concentrated, experiential tasting menu found inside Baby’s side room called Far West.

It's a small, 12-seat area where Zrafi hosts what he calls “studies” — themed menus that explore subjects, thoughts, feelings, you name it — that are just like what the Tunisian-Montrealer mixologist was making on Drink Masters.

“Knowing what I did in the finale with over-the-top presentations, edible components, deconstructing drinks and creating concepts, I thought this was perfect,” he says. “I could use ideas from Drink Masters and [build off] how more people have been exposed to these kinds of cocktails.”

Running from Thursdays to Saturdays with two seatings a night, the cocktail tasting menu experience is a reservation-only, three-course service where bartenders make and serve drinks for customers to try and discuss them in detail. Once the two services are over, the main bar will spill into the space. It costs $100, with tax and tips included.

“We do cocktails that are hard to do in a high-volume setting, so with the size, we can prepare precisely,” Zrafi says. “We can avoid waste this way.”

These menus usually last around two months; the current menu is ‘flora’, which creates drinks based on the different parts of a plant — its flower, its stem, and the earth that it grows out of.

Interior of Le Bar Baby.Interior of Le Bar Baby.Courtesy of Le Bar Baby

There’s no food per se to enjoy at the bar, but the drinks will often come with edible components that work with the flavours and textures of the cocktail. In the ‘flora’ concept’s case, there are garnishes like edible greens, meringues and crackers with whipped creams. “They are edible components that are meant to enhance the experience,” Zrafi adds, noting that there are only a few bars in the world that offer menus just like this one.

Known for creating cocktail menus for numerous bars across the city like Alkadémie, Nhâu, Perles et Paddock, Hanzo, and Kokochi Izakaya, Zrafi says that Far West is a completely different experience for him.

“Usually bartenders bartend, live with tips, then they go to hotels, maybe a small percentage in a bar… but I knew I wanted to do something different,” he explains. “This is the place to do that.”

Tao Zrafi @ Le Bar Baby

Cost: $100 per person (including tax and tip)

When: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Address: Baby / Farwest — 3002 rue Saint-Antoine O., Montréal, QC

Menu

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

JP Karwacki
Contributing Writer
JP Karwacki is a contributing writer for MTL Blog.
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