At the dead end of a graffiti-lined alleyway, an industrial red light marks the entrance to Atwater Cocktail Club, one of Montreal’s most charismatic cocktail bars. Inside, dark walls set a dramatic stage for glam details like shiny silver banquettes and glass ceilings, both of which bounce warm rays of candlelight to every corner of the convivial space.
The creative cocktail programme is similarly impressive, hinging on elegant drinks made with high-quality ingredients and serious behind-the-scenes techniques (think: fermentations, emulsions, carbonation installations and sustainably-minded initiatives). Take the Vitis Vinifera cocktail, for example – made with locally-sourced acid-rectified grape juice, syrup made from leftover Champagne, and egg whites repurposed from the kitchen, the vodka-based drink comes alive with rose, celery bitters, grapefruit and hop bitters. To keep things friendly, each drink reads simply on the menu, with pertinent information like alcohol percentage included so guests can make informed decisions about what to drink, plus ingredient translations in both French and English. The bar also offers a curated selection of alcohol-free cocktails and a concise list of wine and beer. A full menu from sister restaurant Foiegwa features French brasserie staples like escargots, frites, and frog legs. Be prepared to wait in line on busy nights, as the bar takes walk-ins only.