Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lumber Jacques Cocktail from W Hotel Montreal

I had the good fortune to attend a bachelor party in Montreal recently, and, unsurprisingly, great fun was had. Serendipitously, after we had chosen the weekend, we discovered that the Jazzfest was finishing up that weekend a scant few blocks from our hotel, which served nicely as an added bonus. It turned out that it was nowhere near as awesome as the one in New Orleans, but it was a nice distraction to wander around outside with a beer and hear some tunes. Speaking of the New Orleans jazz fest, if you've never been you are officially an idiot and you should absolutely book your flight and hotel for next year this very second. It's that great. Anyway, back to Montreal.

First things being first, we upon arriving immediately hit Au Pied de Cochon to eat ourselves to death on a mind numbing array of foie gras dishes, including the famous poutine, along with plenty of pig, duck, and the biggest rib I've ever seen served that apparently came from a bison.

Skipping to Saturday, before supping at the excellent restaurant Toqué!, we wandered over to the Plateau Lounge at the W Hotel down the block for some pre dinner drinks. Well, most of us did, we nearly killed the bachelor the night before and he was still recovering, but despite our very real fears, he manned up and made it our for dinner and the rest of the night. Well done sir. At the W they were serving up my new favorite drink, the Lumber Jacques:

That's my version pictured above, as I've replicated it at home. Looking at the ingredients I could tell it would be right in my wheelhouse, but was still very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. On to my version of the recipe.

Lumber Jacques
  • 1¾ oz Green Chartreuse
  • 1½ oz Rye (Rittenhouse 100)
  • generous ¼ oz maple syrup
  • 1 healthy slice fresh ginger
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ½ oz fresh orange juice
  • 2 dashes angostura
Muddle ginger aggressively with bitters and maple syrup, add the rest with ice and shake. Strain into chilled double old fashioned, garnish with orange twist and lime wedge. I like having a few very small stray pieces of ginger left in there that give a spicy hit when you bite them.
I like this so much I'm tempted to just claim credit for it myself. Canadia is another country, what are they going to do to me down here? And aren't Canuks afraid of the dark anyway? The drink they served didn't have the orange twist I added, is that a big enough changed to claim it for myself? Oh well...

I was hit with another jolt of good fortune on the flight home as well. Started out poorly as I was being curmudgeonly about not getting to choose my seat when I bought my ticket and getting stuck in a window seat at the back of the plane, but on this particular flight a window seat on that specific side of the plane turned out to be perfect. On our approach to LGA we flew directly over Manhattan and Central Park, covering nearly the whole island north to south before bearing east to land when we got downtown. I thought it would be pretty cool but was dumbstruck by how awesome the view turned out to be. I've lived here for over 10 years and sometimes take it for granted, but it was like one of those moments when you walk around the city on a familiar route but happen to gaze up and out and realize how magnificent the city can be instead of concentrating on weaving through the crowd of people, only an order of magnitude stronger of a feeling. And the feeling repeated itself every time you looked somewhere else or as the park or something else new came into view. I do love NYC.

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