Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cocktail Corner: The Mod Club Edition

The Mod Club night is a Canadian institution. It has been filling up dance floors from coast to coast for more than a decade. Major cities like Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Montreal have all had a night running, using the same banner, at one point. Some nights have a wider view of the Mod spectrum while some are more purist. Take Mod Club Ottawa for instance, it has been hosting several hundred dancing kids, every Sunday, at the Babylon night club for more than 10 years now. You have to applaud DJ Gaz for that.

I've been very fortunate to have inherited the Mod Club night in Montreal and I've worked very hard at being a good steward of the brand. Our little weekly night is celebrating its first year in its current location. The Bar de Courcelle is a friendly neighbourhood watering hole that ended up being the perfect spot to spread musical joy at 45 revolutions per minute. At first, I was a bit skeptical that it was going to work because it didn't have a proper dance floor. It's more of a pub than a club. I love being proved wrong.

Nothing is more satisfying, as a DJ, then seeing people spring up from their seats and start dancing between tables or at the bar. It has a basement party type of atmosphere. Picture the home party scene in Quadrophenia.

I owe the success of the night to a long line of passionate guest DJs and the nicest staff and management I ever had the pleasure to work with. Aside from being friendly and professional, they do know their cocktails! Trust me, I'm speaking from experience. So I decided to dedicate this third installment of the Cocktail Corner to them.

Here are some of the staff's favorite intoxicants. Some of these are classics that have stood the test of time, while others are a "modern" concoction. They all have one thing in common. They're an attack on your taste buds!

Meet Arnaud, a true master mixologist. He blends flavours and alcohol with as much ease and expertise as the best Mod DJ mixes the tunes for the dance floor. I have the pleasure of being his guinea pig and every week I gladly volunteer to test out new recipes. Here are some that made the cut.

First and foremost, I'm very proud to officially introduce you to a collaboration between Arnaud and I  that was specifically created for the Mod Club. Here's a new twist on the classic Tiki staple, the Mai Tai. I present to you the Mod Tai. Can you think of something more refreshing on a hot summer night after spending an hour doing the Boogaloo and dancing the Watusi?

Mod Thai

1 oz Bicardi Oakheart Spiced Rum
3/4 oz Cachaça Leblon
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz Orgeat syrup
2 drops of cardamon bitters
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
A dash of fresh orange juice

Pour all ingredients in a shaker. 

Shake. Strain. 

Serve with ice in a high ball with orange wheel, cherry and umbrella. You'll thank me later.

The Garden Groove is the ideal refreshment to accompany a good dose of sweet Funk on the Bar de Courcelle terrace.

Garden Groove

1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 oz Chartreuse
1 3/4 oz Zubrowka (Bison Grass Vodka)
1/2 oz Orgeat syrup
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Pour all ingredients in a shaker.

Shake. Strain.

Serve over ice with lemon wheel. Make sure to leave the scooter at home.

If you enjoy varying tastes, from sweet to sour, but also like different textures then the Pisco Sour is for you.

Pisco Sour

2 oz Pisco
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 oz lime juice
1 egg white
6 drops of Angostura bitters

Pour the egg white at the bottom of the shaker. Add the Pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and dry shake (no ice). Add ice, shake again. Use fine strainer and poor into martini glass. 

Add 6 drops of bitters and swirl with a toothpick.

Enjoy while listening to some gritty RnB.

Next up is Guylain, the friendliest barman you'll ever meet. If smiles could be bottled, you would find an once in every one of his drinks. His style of bartending contrasts with Arnaud's. He's more of a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of guy. This is his own creation.

The Summer Stroll

1 1/2 oz Dark Rum
1/2 oz Triple Sec
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz cane syrup
4 basil leafs
1 large strawberry
1 slice of orange
1 slice of lime
2 cucumber slices
Splash of 7up

Put a few ice cubes in a highball. Add cucumber, strawberry, basil leafs, orange and lime. Squeeze lime and muddle. 

Add Rum, Triple Sec, cane syrup. Fill with ice, add soda and top off with a splash of 7up. Garnish with cucumber slice.

A Parka Avenue Cocktail Corner wouldn't be one without a classic drink. And it doesn't get more classic than a Manhattan.


1 3/4 oz Marker's Mark Bourbon
1/4 oz Red Vermouth
2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Fill Old Fashion glass with ice. Add 2 dashes of bitters.

Add bourbon and vermouth.

Garnish with 2 cherries. Simple enough for ya?

If this doesn't put your taste buds in overdrive like Pavlov's dog then I don't know what will. If you're ever in Montreal, then by all means hit me up and I'll make sure you'll get the VIP treatment. To keep abreast of all the Mod Club activities, just follow the link to the Facebook page here.

Last but not least, I invite you to press play on the latest Parka Avenue Podcast on Mixcloud while leisurely sipping one of these divine elixirs.