DRINKS TO SHARE: 6 PERFECT PITCHERS IN MONTRÉAL

Alexandra Gauthier

It’s summer in Montréal, and that means “taking it easy” is serious business. There’s so much to consider: which park to picnic in, what festival to check out, which neighbourhood to explore, which terrace to spend the evening on—we know, it’s hard work. You’ll deserve a reward after such an exhausting day, and we have just the thing in mind: a frosty pitcher of drink with pals to kick the evening into gear. Below are six Montréal establishments that serve up variety in this familiar vessel, and speak more to “craft” than “draft”.    

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TBBT: TOKYO BAR BACK TERRACE

3709 Saint-Laurent Boulevard

As if there weren’t enough things to love about Tokyo Bar’s back terrace in the summer, the St-Laurent club’s lower patio serves up pitchers of the classic shandy. A perennial favourite in the U.K., the timeless beer cocktail is traditionally a mix of a pale beer and ginger ale. If you haven’t tried one before, now would be the time, and TBBT would be the place.

LA BELLE & LA BŒUF

1620 Sainte-Catherine Street West

Beverage options risk being overwhelming at this popular downtown resto-bar. La Belle & la Boeuf has an expansive drink menu, and it’s easy to find yourself torn between choices. The answer, of course, is to divide and conquer: opt for pitchers of the candy-bright cocktails to split between the table, and work your way through the rainbow. With six tropical concoctions to choose from, you’re sure to leave with more than one favourite.

COMPLEXE SKY

1478 Sainte-Catherine Street East

Sky’s three-floored entertainment complex in the Gay Village is well-known for its mammoth-sized pitchers of sangria. The popular summer beverage comes in five varieties: the time-honoured red and white, along with the “Pinkie”, “Tropical”, and—the appropriately blue—“Sky”. And if you believe size matters, the largest pitcher Sky offers clocks in at a whopping 4 litres. Secure yourself a seat on the famed rooftop terrace, and kick off your night with a veritable vat of the traditional wine punch.

ICEHOUSE

51 Roy Street East

Tex-Mex Plateau restaurant Icehouse is worth checking out for plenty of reasons, and their pitcher of bourbon lemonade is one among them. Guaranteed to pair perfectly with the rest of the Icehouse menu, this boozy beverage is a sure-fire win every time. The recommendation comes with a warning, however: like Dorothy with her Kansas, this twister of a pitcher may have you asking yourself if you’re really in Montréal anymore.

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LE MAL NÉCESSAIRE

1106 B Saint-Laurent Boulevard

Surely, these are the birds of paradise of Montréal’s pitcher drinks. Le Mal Nécessaire is Montréal’s alluring, underground tiki bar just inside the Northern gates of Chinatown, and seven of its killer cocktails are offered in a format to share. Ever dream of a drink made with gin, cucumber, coconut water, chia seeds, lemon and Thai basil? You will now. Better still, Le Mal includes their pitchers on their 5 to 8 Happy Hour at a significant discount. Never mind the first, you’re already planning out your second visit.

SANTOS

191 Saint-Paul Street West

Old Port tapas bar Santos is serious about its mojitos. So serious, in fact, that on the bar’s 7th anniversary, Santos sought to break the world record for World’s Largest Mojito! With many variations of the rum, mint and lime cocktail to choose from (such as raspberry, coconut and blueberry-lavender), you might have to eeny-meeny-miny through the options before deciding on which version will fill the gargantuan 5-litre pitcher. Oh, summer problems!

Alexandra Gauthier

Alexandra Gauthier is a young Montrealer who loves to eat, drink and be merry with friends in neighbourhoods all over the city.