After earning his spurs at Quebec City’s Le Bureau de Poste restaurant, Vincent Thuaud launched Effervescence almost three years ago. It’s an enterprise offering bar services at corporate events and private parties. “The company actually came to me. When I was busy working in bars, clients would often ask me to come and do the same thing for their private events,” Thuaud explains. As a consequence, and thanks to his unusual creations and flair, his reputation snowballed.
Still going full speed ahead, the youthful mixologist opened his own restaurant in the provincial capital, Chez Tao. The new place offers specialties like pho (a traditional Vietnamese rice-noodle soup) and other Asian-inspired dishes. “I’ve been to that part of the world several times and fallen in love with its gastronomy,” he says. Cocktails are also influenced by the region’s exotic flavours.
His frequent journeys abroad have fuelled his creativity and taste for unusual flavours. Childhood memories also influence how he mixes his cocktails. “The mother of a Jamaican friend prepared some lemonade with fruit and ginger. The special flavour, quite different from the iced-tea lemonades I was used to, stayed with me. Ever since then, I’ve been a big ginger fan.”
Add to this inventiveness Thuaud’s yen for quality ingredients. “I tap into gourmet trends for cocktail ideas, like using terroir products and fresh ingredients,” he says. “I also often use cast-off food items, like the fresh mint stems I take to make syrup.”
This Thuaud creation, Quintessence Punch, is a comforting drink to confront the long winter months.
Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds or so. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Coteau Rougemont 2014
$22.60Ice pear cider200 mlCanada, QuebecSAQ code : 11957158
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Makes 8 servings
Place half of each ingredient in a large shaker and shake vigorously for 10 seconds or so. Strain into four highball glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish with grated nutmeg. Repeat these steps a second time.
Vincent Thuaud’s advice
Homemade cocktail creation. Choose a classic drink and add a novel twist. In this way, you’ll have a head start since you already know the basic ingredients and their ratios. I recommend seasonal flavours or trying exotic touches like Thai basil, mango or papaya.
When company’s coming, what drinks can you make at home? Punch is ideal for bringing people together. It’s convivial and practical. Guests can help themselves and you’ll enjoy the evening as well.
A home-bar essential? Bitters! All grocery stores sell it.
Top tip from the mixologist? Add a dash of salt to your tangy cocktails. It will bring depth, and balance out everything.
Cocktail-party essentials? Ice cubes! Be sure you’ve got lots of them. And scour antique stores for crystal or vintage glasses – they create a spectacular effect, and your guests will be captivated.
Maryline Demandre’s Invasion Cocktail
Event planner Maryline Demandre satisfied her cocktail fascination when she and Pierre-Olivier Trempe brought Invasion Cocktail to Montreal in 2014. “For the fifth year, we want to give it an even bigger boost,” says Demandre. “There’ll be an official Invasion Cocktail space where attendees can drop by and sample cocktails. It will be open for two or three days during the festival which takes place from May 14 to 20. That’s the scoop for 2018”, explains the businesswoman, clearly delighted with its resounding success.
Photography: Dominique Lafond