Jeff Savage Crowned World Class Canada Bartender of 2019

The Botanist head bartender wins the Diageo World Class Canada title in Whistler

Jeff Savage, Canada’s Bartender of the Year 2019, hoists his trophy atop Whistler Mountain. Colin Fox photo

Jeff Savage is standing on top of the world. Literally.

On June 4, after three days of competition that took the finalists on a cocktail-themed scavenger hunt, through world history and deep into the spirit of the mountains, the head bartender of Vancouver’s Botanist Bar won the Diageo World Class Canada final in Whistler, B.C.

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Smoke and spirits

Mexico’s top bartender makes us fall in love with the smouldering complexity of mezcal

 

Mica Rousseau, head bartender at Four Seasons Mexico City and winner of Best Bartender at the 2016 World Class Mexico competition, pours out samples at a mezcal master class at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler during Cornucopia 2017. He is also hosting Mezcal y Maize, a series of “après” parties. Cornucopia continues to Nov. 19 in Whistler, www.whistlercornucopia.com. Hannes van der Merwe photo

“Twenty years ago in Mexico, mezcal was for poor people. Fifty years ago it was for poor people in the villages,” says Mica Rousseau. “Now it’s a super trendy spirit in the big food and cocktail cities. Now we are producing mezcal not for the Mexican market, but for the rest of the world.”

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Naked and Famous

Mica Rousseau, head bartender at Four Seasons Mexico City, serves a Naked and Famous cocktail to attendees at a mezcal master class at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler during Cornucopia 2017. He is also hosting Mezcal y Maize, a series of “après” parties. Cornucopia continues to Nov. 19 in Whistler, www.whistlercornucopia.com. Hannes van der Merwe photo

For his mezcal master class at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler, Mexico’s Mica Rousseau demonstrated this classic cocktail created by Joaquín Símo at Death & Co. in New York.

INGREDIENTS:
1 oz (30 mL) mezcal
1 oz (30 mL) Aperol
1 oz (30 mL) yellow Chartreuse
1 oz (30 mL) fresh lemon juice

METHOD:
Place all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake well and fine-strain into a cocktail coupe. If you like, garnish with an ice cube. Serves 1.

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November’s most ‘spirited’ events

November is no one’s favourite month. It’s dark, cold, wet and gloomy, and it isn’t quitethe month that comes with presents. Maybe that’s why it’s such a great month for drinking. I mean,  maybe that’s why it’s such a great month for new product releases and exciting social events, starting with these.

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A Cornucopia of cocktails in Whistler

Savour the art of the shaken and stirred at the ski resort’s annual food and drink fest

Cocktails are served! This year’s Whistler Cornucopia event takes place Nov. 9-19. Darby Magill photo

If you think Whistler Cornucopia is just about wine, think again. Sure, there’s no shortage of Chardonnay, but the annual food-and-drink festival is also about beer, whisky and, above all, cocktails.

In fact, Whistler has generally become a great destination for cocktail lovers. As Mary Zinck, the manager of travel media for Tourism Whistler, says, “I don’t think there is a place that you can go where you can’t get a good drink.”

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Oso Good

With a commitment to quality ingredients and local products, Jason Redmond gives Bar Oso’s cocktails an edge

Bar Oso’s bar manager Jason Redmond. Supplied photo

Bar Oso celebrates its one-year anniversary this ski season. In those scant twelve months, the Spanish-inspired tapas bar has become a must-visit destination in Whistler Village. Located around the corner from its sister restaurant Araxi, Bar Oso set out to give the mountain resort something completely different.

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The Alchemist Guide to Whistler Cocktails

Whistler at night. Tourism Whistler/David McCohn photo

Think about Whistler drinking and images of craft beers on sunny patios and fragrant steaming mugs of après ski Glühwein inevitably come to mind. But for some reason, Whistler has never traditionally conjured up much in the way of cocktail culture. Fortunately, the wave of thoughtfully crafted drinks and micro-distilled spirits has finally made its way up the Sea-to-Sky, and bars across town are shaking and stirring up some decidedly delicious creations.

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Whistler warmers

Après ski is a cozy affair at Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s The Mallard Lounge

Photo courtesy of Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Whistler is synonymous with winter. Temperatures fall and, in short order, so too does the snow and a barrage of tourists eager to take to the slopes.

And when those tourists have had their fill of the great outdoors, many of them descend upon Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s The Mallard Lounge.

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Gin fizz

The gin and tonic is sophisticated again

Whistler’s Bar Oso is just one of many drink-forward destinations elevating the traditional gin and tonic. Pat Allan photo

Jason Redmond expected to be impressed by many things about Spain, but he couldn’t have guessed the biggest takeaway from his trip last summer would be a new take on a humble highball.

“I was really surprised at the big signs outside all the little cafes and bars claiming they were selling the best ‘Gin Tonic,’” the bar manager of Whistler’s Spanish-influenced Bar Oso recalls.

“It was a really big deal, and one I had no idea about beforehand.”

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