I admit, I’m not a big whisky drinker but I knew I couldn’t pass up this event (especially since I had such a good time at the Grey Goose Arbiter of Cool earlier this summer).
After a quick education in Canadian whisky, the four mixologists / bartenders that were vying for the title and a spot at the Canadian championships took their places for the competition.
Sophie Taverner of The Cascade Room
Frank Plater of the Fairmont Waterfront
Ryan Cheverie of Hamilton Street Grill
Justin Tisdall of Boneta
The judges were Raj Taneja of Urban Mixer (it was great to finally meet him in person), Jay Durant from Global TV, and Michael Schratter from 24 Hours.
The idea was to do a sort of “Iron Chef” competition; there were three rounds with three different mystery ingredients which ended up being ginger (candied, fresh or ale), orange (fresh, marmalade, or juice) and lemon (fresh, soda, or juice).
Each contestant also had their own signature drink so we got to sample “The Justin”, “The Sophie”, “The Ryan”, and “The Frank”.
Justin ended up being the champion, receiving an oversized novelty cheque, a trip to Montreal for the Grey Cup and a spot at the national finals. His signature drink contained: 2oz Gibson’s Rye, 1/5th oz Amaretto, 2oz apple cider infused with orange dulce tea, and a chopped bird’s eye pepper.