Shaking up the awards world

Bar Raval’s Elise Hanson has been crowned the world’s Most Imaginative Bartender. Photo courtesy of Bombay Most Imaginative Bartender

If it’s spring it must be competition season and Canada’s best bars and bartenders are winning awards all over the place. Here are just a few that have made news the past few months.

World’s Most Imaginative Bartender

Elise Hanson, bar manager at Bar Raval and the founder and executive director of Higher Harvests in Toronto, has won the prestigious Most Imaginative Bartender competition, presented by Bombay Sapphire and Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. Her winning cocktail, The Happy Place Project, earned her a $20,000 creative grant for Higher Harvests, which turns Toronto rooftops into gardens for growing fresh, organic produce.

Diageo World Class Canada

Each year, some 10,000 bartenders compete in World Class, with Canada always among the top competitors—three of our bartenders have taken the global title since we started competing in 2013 (Kaitlyn Stewart, James Grant, Jacob Martin). So winning World Class Canada is no small thing. This year’s newly crowned World Class Canada Bartender of the Year is Keegan McGregor from The Highwayman in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He represents Canada at the World Class Global competition in Shanghai, China, from September 9 to 13.

North America’s 50 Best Bars

This year, Canadian bars took seven places on this prestigious list, our best showing to date.

For the third year in a row, Toronto’s Civil Liberties was named Best Bar in Canada and placed at number 21. Vancouver’s Botanist Bar also placed in the top half at number 24, while The Keefer Bar re-entered the list at number 49. Toronto’s Bar Pompette ranked number 29 and Bar Mordecai ranked number 40. Two Montreal bars also placed: Cloakroom at number 39 and Atwater Cocktail Club at number 50, with Atwater’s Kate Boushel winning the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award.

In addition, Vancouver’s Laowai was one of just three finalists among hundreds of contenders in the hotly contested Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu Award, and author and bartender Evelyn Chick won the Campari One to Watch Award.

You may also like