The team behind the Coldroom and El Pequeño transports us to the warmth of the Mediterranean with their new aperitif-style cocktail bar where fortified wines take center stage.

A hidden spot in Old Montreal, the Bisou Bisou bar aims to be “a complement” to the neighborhood, explains co-owner Kevin Demers. It’s a perfect place for an aperitif with its low-alcohol cocktails – and even without alcohol – and you can also stretch out your evening there or end it in style.

Why choose to serve low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails? “There has been a shift in the last few years and now people have decreased their alcohol consumption and are more aware of what they are drinking,” replies Kevin Demers. We value quality over quantity here at Bar Bisou Bisou. And there is no question of excluding those who do not consume. The non-alcoholic cocktail menu has been developed with as much care and there is as much complexity and flavor.

Sherry (sherry), vermouth, cognac, port, the bar menu is full of privately imported fortified wines, and these are sublimated in the cocktail menu, curated by co-owners Gregory Buda, Robert Weeks and manager Grace Honsberger – Grant. The team hopes to introduce these products that are often associated with an older generation.

“Our cocktails are fun, accessible and enjoyable,” says Gregory Buda, behind the Dead Rabbit and Beagle in New York. “We’re trying to do an introduction to low abv [low alcohol cocktails] and fortified wines,” adds Kevin Demers.

For example, Mon Sherry, a cocktail made with fino sherry, passion fruit, raspberry, agricultural rum and lime, is a perfect introduction to fortified wine “We give something that is familiar to people, like the raspberry, and we surprise them with the sherry,” says Gregory Buda.

Montreal lends itself well to this new concept, according to the co-owners “There is still room to develop new bars and there is a clientele and many bar professionals hungry for new experiences”, adds the latter.

The bar also offers a few digestives and a Mediterranean-inspired wine list. You can also enjoy privately imported preserves, a few bites and cheese and charcuterie boards.

“We want to celebrate the aperitif culture specific to Mediterranean countries,” says Gregory Buda. With a space beautifully decorated in shades of green and burnt orange, azulejo-inspired tiles and a bright atmosphere, the Bisou Bisou bar affirms its intimate and warm identity where cocktails are in the spotlight. What could be better than sipping a good cocktail in good company, and feeling somewhere else?