I don't know if we can attribute the current cocktail revival to Mad Men, but I couldn't be more pleased about it. In fact, as much as I love a nice glass of wine or a champagne flute, I also love the aesthetic appeal of cocktails. Whether you think of old classics such a the Negroni, the Manhattan or the Cosmopolitan - thinking of you Carrie Bradshaw - or the wave of new and trendy cocktails, there are plenty of reasons to pull up a bar stool these days and chat with the mixologist.
To discover or rediscover the history behind the most famous cocktails, I highly recommend Elixirs, Une petite histoire illustrée des cocktails written by Marie-Ève Bourassa. With plenty of wicked illustrations from Bruce Roberts, this book is a fascinating read. You'll learn how Hemingway used to go to Harry's Bar in Venice to drink Negronis or how the Mint Julep recipe was first brought to America in the 1700s by the French, who initially drank it with brandy instead of bourbon.
You'll certainly be tempted to have friend over for a drink while reading this book. And if it's the case, why not try the fun assortment of artisanal cocktail syrups from Les Charlatans. Made in Montreal with all-natural ingredients, the line include flavours such as ginger, orange & rosemary, chile & Tonka, lime & pepper and cucumber & tarragon. I recently fixed myself a Cosmo with a bit of the orange & rosemary syrup. It was deliciously tangy! If you are a gin tonic lover, then you should try your favourite drink with a tad of the ginger syrup, it adds a nice spicy kick.