Botanist wins Bols Around the World

The Fairmont Pacific Rim team cleans up at the global competition

The Botanist Bar team was crowned 2019 ‘BOLS AROUND THE WORLD’ World’s Best Bar Team! From left, Grant Sceney, Jeff Savage and Max Curzon-Price. Botanist Bar photo/Facebook

Another day, another global win for Botanist Bar. Bartenders Grant Sceney, Jeff Savage and Max Curzon-Price have just been crowned the “Bols Around the World” bar team of the year.

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In the spirit of cocktails

Into the Aether, created by the Botanist bar team, was selected to represent North America at the Bols Around the World competition in Amsterdam in June 2019. Photo courtesy of Botanist Restaurant

A sparkling goblet filled with golden elixir revolves lazily in mid-air, twirling a couple of inches above the vapours of dry ice billowing from a wooden platform. It looks like magic, and it is, sort of.

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Into the Aether

Photo courtest of Botanist

Designed by Botanist Bar team members Grant Sceney, Jeff Savage and Max Curzon-Price. Note that the team uses their own housemade vermouth, but any quality dry vermouth will also work.

• 1.5 oz Bols Genever
• 0.75 oz dry vermouth
• 0.75 oz cold-pressed white tea
• 0.25 oz BOLS Maraschino
• 1 barspoon peated Scotch whisky
• 1 barspoon salt water (5%)

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Vancouver’s winning cocktail

Another day, another competition under the belts of Vancouver’s extraordinary bartenders.

Chris Enns. Fairmont Pacific Rim photo

To chants of “Back to back!” on Thanksgiving weekend, Chris Enns of the Lobby Bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim made it into the top-20 round at the Diageo Reserve World Class competition in Berlin. Australia’s Orlando Marzo took home the overall title this year, but Enns made it all the way to number eight in the world, with a trio of Vancouverites cheering him on—last year’s global winner, Kaitlyn Stewart of Royal Dinette, as well as previous World Class Canada winners Lauren Mote and Grant Sceney. “Until next time, friends,” Enns said on Facebook. “May your hearts be filled with love and your glasses filled with World Class cocktails.”

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World class city

Home Team cocktail. Photo courtesy of Chris Enns.

With Christopher Enns’ recent win in Montreal, that’s four times Vancouver bartenders have taken home the prestigious title of Diageo Reserve World Class Canada champion since the competition started in 2013.

Enns, who mans the shakers at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Lobby Lounge, also recently won the Woodford Reserve Manhattan challenge in New York. “It’s been very busy, that’s for sure,” he says.

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From vermouth to high volume: Cocktail trends for 2018

Some of Vancouver’s top bartenders give their thoughts on what’ll be hot next year

Glass straws will be seen more widely as bars strive toward more sustainable practices. The Last Straw Co. photo
Glass straws will be seen more widely as bars strive toward more sustainable practices. The Last Straw Co. photo

Raise your glass to the end of 2017, a year that brought us one disaster after another, from raging wildfires to the near-daily perp walk of sexual predators. Between all that and the inescapability of frosé, it’s a year we’re mostly happy to forget.

And so we look forward to 2018. We checked in with some of the city’s top bartenders to discover what’s shaking for the New Year.

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The secret ingredient to a knockout party punch

When life gives you lemons, add finesse to your festive fizz with oleo saccharum

All you need to make oleo saccharum, the secret ingredient that will take Champagne punch and other cocktails from merely good to simply extraordinary. Photo: Joanne Sasvari
All you need to make oleo saccharum, the secret ingredient that will take Champagne punch and other cocktails from merely good to simply extraordinary. Photo: Joanne Sasvari

The holiday season cries out for festive bubbles, for brunch-time mimosas and kir royales, for corks flying at midnight, for French 75s and Champagne cocktails just about any time.

But of all the bubbly concoctions, there is no more festive fizz than a grand Champagne punch.

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Vancouver #2

The Vancouver #2, Grant Sceney’s update on the Vancouver classic.

Before the team at Botanist installed the bar top, creative beverage director Grant Sceney “bought a drink for the next generation of bartenders” by embedding a bottled cocktail, a handwritten note and a copy of the first bar menu inside the bar itself. This is the cocktail they left for the future: an updated version of the classic Vancouver cocktail. “We’ve made the Vancouver Cocktail as Vancouver as we can,” says Sceney.

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Botanist stirs things up

With its own cocktail lab, this new bar is set to launch an era of innovation in Vancouver

Creative beverage director Grant Sceney with a Vancouver #2. Dan Toulgoet photo

Bored with the same old watering holes? Well, you’re in luck, because Botanist is getting ready to shake up Vancouver’s cocktail scene.

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Hey! Big Spender

Does a blank cheque guarantee a better cocktail?

An ounce of Remy Martin Louis XIII Black Pearl Cognac will cost you $800 at Hawksworth. Lou Lou Childs photo

When the Hôtel Ritz Paris’s legendary barman Colin Field introduced the $1,700 Ritz Sidecar in 2001, it was considered the most expensive cocktail in the world. Since then, a multitude of bartenders have created their own lavishly priced drinks made with everything from truffles, gold dust and precious gems, to vintage spirits recovered from famous shipwrecks.

But are these ultra-premium cocktails worth their ultra-premium prices? Well, it depends — and not just on how much credit you have left on your flexible friend.

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