Foxy, mon­treal

Canada’s 100 Best - - Cocktails -

When I think of fall in Que­bec, I think of ap­ple-pick­ing with my mom and brother, some­thing I have been do­ing every year al­most re­li­giously. So, the ap­ple was easy to imag­ine in a cock­tail and Cal­va­dos is great to work with. Then came the squash ad­ven­ture, which in­volved just about the whole kitchen staff. Their sug­ges­tion to use brown but­ter made it per­fect. The Cirka 375—made by pas­sion­ate peo­ple who are prac­ti­cally our neigh­bours—cel­e­brates Mon­treal’s 375th birth­day this year. It is a slightly sweet gin in the Old Tom style, us­ing only botan­i­cals sourced in Que­bec—such as rose petals, gri­otte cher­ries, cran­ber­ries and mint—and a lit­tle honey. The cock­tail’s name refers to my best friend’s un­cle, Rémi San­son, who rep­re­sents both the phys­i­cal com­po­nents of this drink as well as the emo­tional mean­ing of it. He was born in Nor­mandy in 1934 and lived on a farm his en­tire life. He’s been dis­till­ing Cal­va­dos the tra­di­tional way in his base­ment for­ever. He is an iconic leg­end in his vil­lage—“connu comme le loup blanc,” as the lo­cal ex­pres­sion says.

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