The weekend in Québec City started with an aperitivo at Bar Artefact in the museum-like hotel Auberge Saint-Antoine – located by the Saint Lawrence River.
The space: A sleek modern design with accent pieces including cannon balls and deconstructed leather shoes, encased in display cases along the pale wall below the lobby. The collection consisted of findings during remodeling and expansion of this high-end hotel. A polished white bar hosted several teal velvet-cushioned stools, behind it a tall rack of liquor bottles and ornate glasses against the window overlooking the quiet brick street. Back along the wall opposite the bar, underneath the display cases, stood rectangle marble white tables with plush velvet settees and modern leather chairs that perfectly curved to the body. The floor was made of treated wood pieces laid in a parquet style tiling; giving this modern space the warmth needed to accompany the accent pieces above.
The drink: I ordered the Negroni Estival (Summer Negroni): This white Negroni was served with summer wild flowers frozen into the ice cube. Artefact used local Québécois ingredients: Cirka gin and Rouge Gorge white vermouth, and Lillet blanc (France). See my guess at this cocktail recipe below.
A classic Negroni is a simple 3-ingredient cocktail made of gin, vermouth, and Campari. To make a white gin, swap out the vermouth with a white vermouth, and instead of the ruby red Campari, use a white bitter like Lillet blanc or Luxardo Bitter Bianco.
- 1 1/2 oz. Gin (Cirka, Plymouth, or your favorite)
- 1 oz. White Vermouth
- 3/4 oz. Luxardo Bitter Bianco (or Lillet blanc)
- Twist of Lemon (or Orange)
Place a large ice cube in a rocks glass. Pour the three ingredients. Give them a little stir, drop in a lemon twist, and serve.
Wild flower ice cube: To make the ice cube, push edible wild flowers into ice tray, fill with water and freeze.
- Bar Artefact (in Auberge Saint-Antoine) – Rue Saint Antoine, 10 Rue Saint-Antoine, Québec, QC