On a hot and steamy Thursday afternoon I headed over to the Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown to begin my trek through the world of mixology. I met up with local Media Relations whiz Anita Webster for the Grey Goose Vodka Arbiter of Cool competition.
Claudia Cusano (Editor of Nuvo Magazine) and Judith Lane (freelance writer for such publications as the Georgia Straight, Flavours, BC Restaurant News) were my esteemed co-judges. We were introduced to three mixologists and guided to three seperate venues by last year’s Arbiter of Cool winner, David Wolowidnyk.
Mixologist: Simon Kaulback
Home Base: Blue Water Cafe in Yaletown
Drink: Rosemary’s Baby
Features: Chartreuse, rosemary
Notes: Absolutely delicious and surprising – the rosemary is so unique and was inspired by time Simon spent in New Zealand.
Mixologist: Shaun Layton
Home Base: George in Yaletown
Features: Passion fruit, Champagne, sake
Notes: With so many ingredients and stuffed with crushed ice, it was a lovely fusion-style patio sipping drink.
Mixologist: Kerren Bottay
Home Base: The Mountain Club in Whistler
Drink: Goggle Tan
Features: Aloe juice, cayenne pepper
Notes: Another original blend with a real spicy kick, very tasty.
“Dimitri Lezinska, the Grey Goose Vodka brand ambassador based in London, inaugurated the Pour Masters Program in 2007. As the name suggests, Pour Masters are the best mixologists in their city, selected for their expertise and creativity in creating and mixing truly excellent cocktails. The Arbiter of Cool competition, launched in fall 2007, is intended to take Canadian mixology to the next level. It is an annual, national competition for Pour Masters…” – [Grey Goose]
The drinks (all containing vodka) were distinct and flavourful, each competitor adding their own spin and special ingredients. Compliments also go to the chefs at all three bars who made delicious pairings for the drinks. The winner of the Vancouver regional competition will join those from Montreal, Toronto and Calgary back here in Vancouver at the end of September for the national competition.
You can view the rest of my photos from our delectable afternoon in my Flickr set.