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Made In Quebec: La Distillerie 1, 2 and 3!



After hosting Yelp Montreal’s 2018 kickoff Badge Day Event, we wanted a chance to get to know the people and ideas behind La Distillerie a little better since they have truly become a Montreal institution.

 

Philippe Haman and David Poulin opened La Distillerie No.1 April 2005, and then opened La Distillerie No.2 and La Distillerie No.3 in years following. Poulin is also co-owner of Café Le Flore and Le Dorchester in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, as well as a maple grove at Roxton Pond where they make the “sacré bon” maple syrup used in the La Distillerie cocktails. Most recently they opened a hostel called Le Bed & Cocktail to extend their hospitality beyond the bar scene. Montreal’s Yelp Elites celebrated their 2018 Yelp Elites Badges by exploring Le Bed & Cocktail and digging into the pizza rolls, bbq cauliflower bites, and Mason jar cocktails served up with laughter and love at La Distillerie No.2.

 

All 3 bars excel on Yelp: they rock a combined 4.5 star average with over 327 reviews, keeping these young Quebecois business owners consistently in the top spots for Nightlife in Montreal. So how do they do it? Well for one thing, they live by their values, and they put them front and center with their rules proudly displayed in the bar.

Rules: Introduce yourself to the people next to you! Say Hi to your bartender and feel free to ask questions! Smile, we’re here for you! But no, the girl at the next table might not be, don’t bug her.

  

Each bar has their own unique spirit and qualities. The original La Distillerie is small, efficient, cozy and perfectly positioned in the Latin Quarter to garner both a loyal student following and a flood of adventurous tourists who roll in during Festival season. La Distillerie No. 2 on Mont-Royal and De Lorimier is a bit bigger, with slightly more eclectic decor, and with a Snack Bar food menu (which the Yelp Elites give 5 stars!) La Distillerie No. 3, on Masson in Rosemont, is a bit more of a vintage bar vibe, and in each one Haman says the crowds circulate differently. They all share the feeling of a cozy neighbourhood bar though, with an emphasis on warm and friendly service.

 

But the main reason for their popularity has got to be their big, fun, tasty, and well-balanced mason jar cocktails. Co-owner Philippe Haman’s favourite, or at least his guilty pleasure, is the Piña Colada.

 

“There was a time when I tasted every Piña Colada in every place I travelled to. It’s a cocktail that can get too sweet quick if you don’t pay attention to the ingredients and their dilution. I find we’ve succeeded in creating a version that’s pretty well-balanced, and just different enough from other versions I’ve tried, because we’ve managed to find ingredients that give fresh flavours without slipping into the sugary. The acidity is balanced, and the spray of Angostura and Absinthe give it more complexity than the standard. I have to say, I love the version they do at El Camino in Ottawa where they use Cachaça as the base. If you want to try it without going to Ottawa definitely ask your bartender at any La Distillerie to swap out the rum!”  

 

Add the Distilleries to your To Do list for exploring Montreal and know that you will find at very least a warm welcome, and a heavily researched Piña Colada!

 

Until next time,

 

SYOY!


La Distillerie photo by Raphael S

 

Fait au Québec: La Distillerie 1, 2, et 3

Après avoir accueilli l’événement de lancement de 2018 de Yelp Montréal, nous voulions un peu mieux connaître les gens et les idées derrière La Distillerie No.1, 2 et 3, puisqu’elles sont vraiment devenues des institutions montréalaises.

 

Philippe Haman et David Poulin ont ouvert La Distillerie No.1 en avril 2005, et ont ensuite ouvert La Distillerie No.2 et La Distillerie No.3 au cours des années suivantes. Poulin est également copropriétaire du Café Le Flore et Le Dorchester à Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, ainsi que d’une érablière à Roxton Pond où ils fabriquent le “sacré bon” sirop d’érable utilisé dans les cocktails de La Distillerie. Plus récemment, ils ont ouvert une auberge appelée Le Bed & Cocktail, juste au-dessus de la D2 de quoi étendre leur hospitalité au-delà de la scène des bars. Les Élites Yelp de Montréal ont célébré leurs nouveaux Badges Élites Yelp 2018 en explorant Le Bed & Cocktail, tout en dégustant des pizzas rolls et des bouchées de choux-fleurs, gracieuseté du Snack Bar de la La Distillerie No.2 et des cocktails en pot Mason servis avec un grand sourire et confectionnés avec amour.

 

Avec une moyenne de 4.5 étoiles sur 327 avis sur Yelp, les 3 bars excellent dans l’art de la réception et assurent une place au top de la scène Nightlife montréalaise à ces jeunes entrepreneurs. Alors, comment le font-ils? Premièrement, non seulement appliquent-ils leurs belles valeurs, mais ils les affichent, EN GROS, sur les murs de leurs établissements.

 

Règlements: Présentez-vous aux gens d’à côté! Saluez le barman en poste et n’hésitez pas à lui poser des questions! Souriez, nous sommes là pour vous! Mais peut-être pas la fille à la table d’à côté, laissez-la tranquille.

 

Chaque bar a ses propres qualités et son propre esprit. La D1 est petite, efficiente, englobante et parfaitement positionnée dans le Quartier Latin, autant pour les étudiants et les clients loyaux que les touristes aventuriers qui s’y accrochent les pieds durant la folie de la saison des festivals. La D2, coin Mont-Royal et De Lorimier est un peu plus grande, plus éclectique, avec un Snack Bar (auquel les élites donnent un gros 5 étoiles!) La D3 sur Masson présente un feel plus classique, il y a un fini un peu plus vintage que les deux autres. Haman précise: “Ça donne généralement des ambiances un peu différentes à cause de comment les gens y circulent.” Malgré leurs petites différences, chaque espace offre un feeling de confort, comme tout bar de quartier qui se respecte, avec une grande emphase sur l’accueil et le service amical.

 

Mais, la grande raison de leur popularité est clairement due aux délicieux cocktails, préparés avec amour, dans de gigantesques pots Mason. Le “pref” de Philippe Haman, du moins son pêché mignon, le Piña Colada.

 

“Y’avait un temps où je goûtais à TOUS les Piña Colada, dans tous les pays où je voyageais. C’est un cocktail qui généralement est porté à aller vite “dans le sucre” si on ne porte pas attention aux ingrédients utilisés et à la dilution. Je trouve qu’on a réussi à créer une version pas mal équilibrée et juste assez différente des autres versions que j’ai goûté parce qu’on a réussi à trouver des ingrédients qui contribuent des saveurs franches sans aller “dans le sucre”. Y’a aussi un équilibre avec l’acidité et l’usage du spray d’Angostura et de l’Absinthe qui lui donnent un peu plus de complexité que le Piña Colada standard. Je dois dire que j’ai beaucoup aimé la version du resto El Camino à Ottawa qui le fait avec une base alcoolisée de Cachaça. Si tu ne veux pas faire l’aller-retour Ottawa pour l’essayer tu peux toujours demander au staff de La Distillerie de remplacer le Rhum par de la Cachaça”

 

Ajoutez les Distilleries 1, 2 et 3 à votre “To Do list” pour votre prochaine aventure à Montréal et sachez que vous y retrouverez un accueil bien chaleureux et un Piña Colada exhaustivement recherché!

 

Au plaisir et APSY! (À Plus sur Yelp!)

 

La Distillerie photo by Nehul P
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