Cocktails & Helicopter Ride

Aug 5, 2014

Considering that Bombay Sapphire is a staple in my home mini bar, I was rather intrigued when the company recently invited me to a private party to discover their latest offering, the Bombay Sapphire East. When it's cocktail hour, if I don't drink wine, I am pretty much a gin and tonic kind of girl. I like sophisticated, yet simple-to-make cocktails that are refreshing without being too sweet. While I find this unfussy drink quite chic and somehow masculine - probably with the influence of Mad Men - it also reminds me that the simple things are often the best.

On a bright Thursday afternoon, a limo driver picked me up - along with some cool ladies - and drove us to La Toundra pavilion located on the famous Gilles-Villeneuve racing track. Once inside the event hall transformed for the occasion into a cosy cocktail lounge, I couldn't take my eyes off the breathtaking view of Montreal the venue had to offer on that splendid summer day. 

Behind the bar was Manny Vides, a proud finalist of the National Bombay bartending competition - who was also featured in GQ Magazine - and the owner of Mile Public House in Quartier DIX30. Manny was such a good humored and pleasant host for the evening. He introduced us to some tantalising cocktails specially designed for this unique gathering including the sparkling Sapphire with pressed strawberries and mint, which was served in a champagne flute.

I went for the classic gin and tonic. Few other drinks are as refreshing as this on a hot summer day. Manny kindly suggested a refreshing exotic twist to my favourite gin cocktail by using the new Bombay Sapphire East. Infused with Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorns, the East liquor delivers fresh citrus notes with a warm spicy finish. In other words, it's divine! It's just a tad spicy, without being overpowering. 

As Manny was mixing drinks, he enlightens us about his captivating journey into the world of international bartending competitions. He was quite the storyteller and even showed us a few tricks that I obviously couldn't repeat. Seeing the other guests drinking their fancy cocktails with enthusiasm, I eventually felt tempted to try something new. After contemplating my options, I finally settled on a delicious Sapphire pineapple ginger Collins with fresh pineapple crushed at the bottom. One wordyum!

As I was getting acquainted with Tom Collins, it was our group's turn to go on the helicopter ride over Montreal. I grabbed my glass and my sunglasses and then headed to the limo with my ladies. Once on the tarmac, we took a group shot (read MANY!!) to commemorate the event.  

Here we are - from left to right Mel from La pique-assietteJen from Braised and ConfusedGeri from Paperplanes and myself - on the Circuit Gilles-Villenneuve before hoping on the dark blue Agusta 109 (yes, I know my helicopters). I was wearing my cobalt blue heels for the occasion, which you will only see on this picture.

Here I am holding my Tom Collins while admiring the breathtaking view. And no, if you wonder, there is no massive cucumber in my drink, it's just some pineapple leaf used as a decorative garnish. I'm glad we cleared that up.

That's my favourite view of the city. I like how you can see the skyline, the river and the mountain at a glance.

What an amazing view of the Montreal Casino with the city in the backdrop.

If you are curious to try the exotic Tom Collins I had, here is the recipe:

Sapphire pineapple ginger collins
1 1/2 oz Bombay Sapphire East
2/3 oz St. Germain
1 oz fresh lemon juice
4 small pineapple cubes
2 slivers of ginger
2 oz soda water 

Build and stir into an ice filled glass. Garnish with a pineapple leaf, candied ginger or pineapple chunk.

Guess what is new in my mini bar since my latest summer escapade? 

Let me know what is your signature drink, I'll might try something else next time...


Image credits: Deepti Suddul
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Catherine xo