Meanwhile, ticket holders get to savour every drink and vote on their favourite cocktail. Did I mention the event also serves up great music and delicious appetizers throughout the evening?
At the Fermenting Cellar, I was handed a string of drink tickets and a MWL necklace to award to my favourite bartender of the night. With thirteen drinks to savour, I knew it was going to be difficult to choose only one winner.
Without further ado, here are my top picks:
Kathleen Shattock, Fox/the Miller Tavern
Drink: If That Ain’t LoveCheck out this hot pink masterpiece! Kathleen was inspired to create a cocktail with Polish vodka, and I’m glad she did. I loved watching her mix up this delish drink and explain the ingredients, which included Zubrowka vodka, Chai simple syrup, lemon juice and egg white.
Robin Wynne, Fynn’s Temple Bar
Drink: Cool RunningsMy teeth are still hurting from this three-part drink with ice cream and candy. Part 1: Caramel popcorn coated with Appleton’s v/x brown butter “malto” and Appleton’s v/x spice rub. Part 2: Appleton’s v/x brown butter and vanilla bean ice cream. Part 3: Sip the brown butter and vanilla spice infused Appleton v/x cocktail. Ingredients: Appleton’s Reserve molasses chai syrup, spice rum, lemon and black pepper bitters, lemon juice and egg whites, and caramel “air.”
Jordan Stacey, Brasaii
Drink: Sailor’s DelightI was a bit miffed by lineup to sample this cocktail. But after watching Jordan swirl a layer of coconut cream onto my drink, I didn’t give a hoot. This tropical cocktail was comprised of an array of ingredients: Sailor Jerry’s rum, liquorice root and Keemun infused Orgeat, pineapple juice, coconut milk, demerara syrup, lime juice, dash vanilla infused Angostura bitters topped with coconut foam. Verdict: worth the 30-minute wait!
Michelle Tham, Independent
Drink: C.R.E.A.M.I ran into Michelle Tham, our former food correspondent for Hip + Urban Girl and last year's MWL winner. She was shaking up a chocolatey concoction of homemade whiskey cream liqueur, blended and served on the rocks with a truffle on top. I gave Michelle my necklace at the end of the night – anything with chocolate wins my vote!
Jeff Van Horne, The Bicycle Thief Halifax
Drink: Grants Tiki SwizzleBartender Jeff was at MWL Toronto to showcase his prize-winning drink from Halifax. I loved this light cocktail with a sweet and sour twist – perfect for sticky summer nights! Jeff mixed up Grants blended Scotch whiskey, coconut and banana syrup, fresh grapefruit, lemon and lime, hand-crushed ice, nutmeg and mint garnish. It was fun to watch him “swizzle” my drink together.
I gorged on way too much poutine! But thanks to the tasty apps, I was able to walk a straight line at the end of the night.
Finally, the winners were proclaimed.
Judges’ Choice: Scott McMaster, SPiN Toronto for Moisturized Scotsman in a Chinese Hat
People’s Choice: Robin Wynn, Fynn's Temple Bar for Cool Runnings
Feeling bad about missing this year’s MWL event in Toronto? Don’t worry, MWL takes place in six cities across the country – Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, and Vancouver. Check the MWL website for dates, locations, and ticket prices. --- Lisa Jackson