InterContinental Montreal Opens North America's First Absinthe Bar, Sarah B.

MONTRÉAL, September 15, 2009 — As part of a $14 million renovation project, InterContinental Montreal unveils its new bar --  Sarah B. -- the first absinthe bar in North America. 

Two reflecting faces form the logo of Sarah B., a meeting of profiles that suggests intimacy and closeness, with a hint of madness and seductiveness (pure “sexytude”). A glass of absinthe sits full of promise between the two. With a sumptuous walnut floor, Murano chandeliers and velvet banquettes, the hip 19th century décor creates an eclectic atmosphere that’s pure Sarah B. The new bar invites guests to rediscover the rituals and legends surrounding the mysterious elixir, known as absinthe. From the art of decanting to the mystic hallucinations, the rites and tales of the “green fairy” are revisited.

This intimate and original setting takes its name from the divine Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923), the queen of French tragedy described by Victor Hugo as the “golden voice” of the 19th century. Her travels brought her to Quebec in 1880 where she gave a memorable performance in the auditorium of the historical Nordheimer Building. Since her death, it is said that her spirit still roams the site, which is today part of the InterContinental Montreal.

“As part of our new outlook, we are very excited about opening an original bar with an identity and décor designed to appeal to Montrealers. Guests of the InterContinental Montreal will appreciate this taste of authentic Montreal and enjoy an experience they won’t find elsewhere,” explains Bernard Chênevert, the hotel’s General Manager.

Set against a musical backdrop provided by renowned DJ Alexandre Legault, Sarah B. is also the perfect venue for cocktail hour rendezvous, or “heure verte” (also known as “5 à 7” or “5 à 10”). Behind the stately 35-foot bar, an attentive staff serves exclusive cocktails created by Alexis Morisseau, head barman, with the collaboration of Francesco Lafranconi, a reputed mixologist known for his fanciful creations. They draw inspiration from the adventurous spirit of Montrealers in creating their absinthe-based inventions. A large selection of wine by the glass and beer on tap is also available.

Sarah B. signature cocktails include:
-   Jacques Cartier Collins:  Versinthe, Absolut Pears, Limoncello, House Sweet ‘n Sour mix, soda
-   Seasonal Absinthe Frappe:  Versinthe, Marie Brizard anisette, Angostura bitter, basil leaves, seasonal fruits
-   Mojito A La Mode:  Versinthe, Bacardi, House Sweet ‘n Sour mix, strawberry puree, lemonade, basil, mint leaves
Additionally, Sarah B. offers a variety of delicious tapas prepared by Provençal Chef Matthieu Saunier. These little morsels of sunshine are a nod to the menu created for Osco!, a brasserie with the flavor of Provence which, as an extension of Sarah B., welcomes those who don’t want the evening to end.

Sarah B. also offers two intimate and plush rooms, each with its own relaxing fireplaces. The superb green velvet curtains framing the Green fairy alcoves may be drawn for a quiet chat over a glass of absinthe. 

Sarah B. is located at 360 St-Antoine St. West, in the heart of the International Quarter and at the doorstep of Old Montreal, inside the newly renovated InterContinental Montreal.  The bar is open 11:30am to 1:00am. Please visit / or call 514.847.8532.

InterContinental Montreal is ideally situated for business, groups and leisure travelers. Located only steps from Old Montreal and the Montreal Convention Centre, InterContinental Montreal is the perfect choice to experience and explore all of the charms and hidden treasures a world class city like Montreal has to offer.

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