Bartenders of Montreal – Pt. 1
Pouring Drinks, Spilling Secrets
Bartenders. The silent power which greases the wheels of Montreal. They pour drinks and now they’re spilling secrets in our first installation of “Bartenders of Montreal”. So meet two drinking institutions of Montreal: La Mal Necessaire and McKibbins.
Le Mal Necessaire – A simple lounge with complex drinks, their neon green pineapple signage pulls you in harder than Daisy Buchanan’s dock
McKibbins– An authentic feeling Irish pub that gives off a strong Leap Year vibe. So if you have a hankering to imitate Amy Adams, her Louis Vuitton carry on and her almost feminist ideals this is the place to do it. A bonus: it feels like the kind of place where you can yell about sports whenever you want.
Le Mal Necessaire
1.Le Mal Nécessaire tends to lean towards tropical drinks which can be quite refreshing given the frigid nature of Montreal. What should I order to make my posh friends think I’m more sophisticated than I really am?
“In fact we are a cocktail bar inspired by the tiki culture. It brings exotic flavors to this beautiful city. Our menu is very diverse we have over 20 different drinks some are twists on classics, home creations and of course the famous boozy beverages in pineapple and coconuts!!
By my own experience the first cocktail I ordered at MN that made me understand balance and exceptional taste was the Ultima Palabra. A genius flip on a veteran cocktail named Last Word, originally based on equal parts gin maraschino chartreuse and lime juice. They brought it to another level by replacing the gin with Cachaça, a Brazilian rum which gives a veggie note to it, and mixed it with 3 other ingredients. But, the cherry on top isn’t the cute lime zest clipped on the glass, it’s the bold mist of Bowmore 12 years scotch that brings the smokiness to your nose and round taste in the first few sips. So I would definitely go for the Ultimate Palabra for a sophisticated and outstanding drink.
2. Besides the ones who tip well, who are your favorite kind of customers?
For me the best customer are those who trust their bartenders and are willing to try new flavors that they’ve never tasted before. Open minded folks!! Also the ones who understand when we are derived a huge volume of orders and doing our very best so they can have a beautiful cocktail experience.
3. Have you heard any pick up attempts crash and burn? Are there one or two that stand out more than the rest?
OK yes of course as a bartender I’ve witnessed a lot of pickup attempts fail. The best one so far would be The Hot Pepper Story !! So it’s a calm Sunday 5@7 I’m alone in the bar and there’s a girl who walks in and sits at the bar in front of me, waiting on her date I guessed. The gentleman in question arrives a few minutes later and they ordered drinks and food from the Chinese restaurant upstairs. They picked the General Tao which comes with flaming hot peppers so I advise them, even me who eats crazy spice, to eat them in small bites with the rice because they’re too hot. The guy understands but the girl replies “Haha I eat spicy too” so she eats a whole pepper one shot, no rice, no nothing. Then guess what happened? She chokes instantly, cries, and runs to the bathroom. Her date looks at me and tells me “Yaa not too impressive for a first date.” God I felt so bad that I had to give her a huge glass of almond and coconut milk!
4. What is a good motto to have to maximize enjoyment from a night out?
For me a good motto to a good night would be “Never forget a shot or drink always comes with a glass of water to keep the hangover away !!”
Bartenders: Brittany + Nick
1. If you were to create an official beverage to represent McGill University what would it be and why?
Carbombs. Irish Carbombs are for everyone!
2.In two sentences what would you describe as proper bar etiquette?
DO NOT ask what our real jobs are! Please and thank you go a long way and a rum and vodka is not a drink.
3. What are three words you would use to describe the atmosphere of your bar?
3 words- amicable, intoxicated rambunctious.
4. Since McKibbin’s is an Irish pub do things tend to get a little crazy around St. Patrick’s Day? Any memorable moments that have stood out over the years?
St. Patrick’s Day is madness. I’m going to go straight to the pee and poop stories. One year a girl decided to pee in the keg alley downstairs. Our bouncer picked her up over his head and carried her out berating her in a kind of disappointed father manner all the way. “Why? Why would you do that?” We actually found a plastic cup with poop in on in the dance floor. Sometimes you just can’t wait.
One time a customer came in with a giant Rastafarian banana he had won at La Ronde. This thing was the size of a person. Meanwhile, another fellow had passed out alone at a table. Seizing the opportunity, the first customer sat the banana in the passed out guy’s lap. The passed out guy hugged it very sweetly in his sleep. The whole bar took a group photo with him. Then the first customer took the banana and sat back down. The guy who had been passed out woke up, looked around suspiciously, shook his head, and walked out.
That’s all for now folks! If you have a bartender friend who is just dying to be interviewed by an amateur student reporter message us on Facebook and tell them all their dreams could come true! In the meantime, let’s lift our drinks for the unsung heroes raising the bar and keeping our glasses half full. Cheers all – couldn’t have done it without you.