FOOD AND DRINK
Cure What Ails You with Montreal’s Top Hot Toddies
Okay, you went snowshoeing without a hat on for five hours and caught a bit of a sniffle. Does that mean you have to stay in the hotel feeling sorry for yourself? Or, worse, stop drinking?! No way, no how. This is Montréal, where there’s a reason to toast every mood, every state, ever hour of your life. Let one of these top five spots take care of you like your momma did, with a hot cupful of goodness that, after a couple, will leave you wondering what you were even complaining about.
This cozy coffeeshop shines like a beacon on the corner of St-Laurent and St-Viateur and welcomes visitors from noon to night with a menu of homey veggie fare and a roster of live musical acts – all weirder the the next – most evenings. Come on in out of the cold, grab a vintage chair by the pastel-painted bookshelves and order Rachael’s Remedy, a hot cup of Jameson’s whisky, lemon and ginger with enough honeyed sweetness to make it curatively addictive.
5490 Boulevard St. Laurent, 514-509-1199
Tucked into a pretty part of the Plateau just off the Main on Rue de Bullion, Else’s is a mainstay that’s as beloved for its affordable drafts as it is for its engulfing forest-green atmosphere glinting with twinkly lights that make you feel like you’re in a timeless bubble ruled by good conversation. Take a spot in a sunray by the window – or in the evening, in the warmth of the kitchen – and sip on the traditional hot toddy. Or, how about this: a cup of spiced hot cider, complete with cinnamon stick!
156 Rue Roy Est, 514-286-6689
You wouldn’t think this industrial-chic little bistro in Villeray would be purveyor of groundbreaking remedies, but one taste of the off-menu hot toddy will sort out than misconception – and your cold. Their house variety blends Jim Beam bourbon with an unexpected note of curaçao, plus the traditional lemon juice, honey, hot water and warming spices: cinnamon, star anise, fresh ginger and nutmeg. It’s a veritable flavour bomb.
7659 Rue Saint-Denis, 514-419-8579
Sit under the stuffed stag head (your head’s gotta feel better than his, that’s for sure) facing the bar at this Plateau bistro for the perfect people-watching perspective, and take in the weirdo décor: Montreal memorabilia, old-school Molson stubbies, upside-down signs, vintage globes and more. Their off-menu sugar-sweet hot toddy goes beyond expectations too, breaking the rules with the addition of Amaro to a mix of Maker’s Mark, rustic apple juice, maple syrup and star anise. Cold? What cold?
4105 Boulevard St-Laurent, 514-439-1850
McKibbins Irish Pub
There’s nothing hipster about this chain of pubs, but then again, how hip is your momma? Sometimes the most healing things come in simple packages, and this warm, convivial Irish drinkery is just the ticket. Whether in the downtown or Plateau location, pull up a stool at one of the high tables with a handful of your favourite people and tipple your ailments away. The Traditional Bushmills Hot Toddy mixes Bushmills Irish whiskey with honey, lemon juice, hot water – and four cloves for good luck.
3515 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, 514-282-1580
This article was originally published on December 14, 2015