Sipping With Smoth: Sangria Sessions and Cigar Bars in Montreal
Occasionally, you have some alcohol throughout your day. Other times, you have some day throughout your alcohol. Last summer, on a trip to Old Montreal with my close friend (and premier drinking buddy), we experienced a healthy dose of the latter scenario.
By the time we had finished our beers it was nearly dinner time, so we donned our jackets and collared shirts, and preceded to the hotel bar, where we were each guaranteed a free drink, courtesy of the hotel. I’m not sure exactly what we ordered, but somehow we ended up talking to a complete stranger, explaining to him we were reporters for the Toronto Star covering the jazz festival that was going on (an utter falsehood). Eventually we parted with our new friend and headed to the restaurant we had booked, a little sodden, but looking forward to a good meal.
I’m sure the meal was excellent, although I cant remember it precisely. I do remember my friend having a brief nap at the table in between some glasses of excellent red wine. The courtyard we dined in was softly candlelit, and between the booze and the setting I remember the occasion as if it were a dream. Needless to say, our entree was followed by a few cups of stiff coffee, which served to perk us up for the remainder of the evening.
Finally, we ended up at Stogies Cigar Bar, a great lounge with a walk in humidor and a rooftop patio. After some consultation with the resident tobacco expert, we settled on a couple of Monte Cristo ‘Open’ cigars, which we paired with Remy Martin VSOP cognac. We sat for hours, looking over the city, smoking and sipping, calling to side-walkers and drivers alike. It’s possible we looked a tad ridiculous dressed in tweed, smoking Cuban cigars and sipping Cognac, but at the time it felt damn good. Truly an alcoholically amalgamated day that will go down in my personal history as some of the most sublime imbibing I’ve ever done.