Quench: Bartender Battle
Just don't call them bartenders. Today's bar keeps aren't just drink slingers. Sure, they do that but it's much more than that.
If you please, call them mixologists. They concoct thirst quenchers like chefs make dishes. Fresh ingredients, flavour profiles, muddling, mashing and mixing are all part of the modern profession.
And just like chefs, mixologists love to strut their stuff. On a recent Tuesday night in mid-May, that's exactly what a bunch of Winnipeg's top drink masters did inside Spin, a Corydon Avenue hotspot.
Made with Love is an international mixology competition held in cities across North America. In Winnipeg, the recent qualification round narrowed the field to 16 finalists who will pour, shake and stir for supremacy in Winnipeg this August. (More details to be announced soon and events are open to the public.)
Gin, vodka and tequila flew along with strawberries and oranges, mint and lavender, and a wide assortment of other fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs.
The competition introduces people to the art and skill of professional mixology, organizers say. Whatever it does, the drinks sure do beat a tired old vodka and orange juice and the like.
Winnipeg mixologists who qualified for August's event include: Erik Thordarson from Cornerstone; Josey Krahn, Deer+Almond; Joel Carlton, Fox and Fiddle; Dylan Wallace, Segovia; Jason Lavack, Prairie 360; Damian Giannuzzi, Earl's St. Vital; Alex Weiss, Prairie 360; David Del Buono, Moxie's Bar & Grill; Toshiro Marr, Billabong; Graeme Young, Deseo; Mike Fox, Peasant Cookery; Ravinder Singh, Spin Restaurant & Martini Bar; Billy Schifke, Home Bartender; Brett Stenning, Shark Club; AJ Shymkiw, Lite: Live in the Exchange; and Drew Fillion, Shannon's Irish Pub.
If you can't get to the August finals of Winnipeg's Made with Love, taste the talent of these local mix masters at their workplaces—bars, lounges, clubs and restaurants across the city.
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