On June 14 Madtini was invited to attend the 2010 Vic Gin Shakedown, a cocktail competition held at Böhmer Restaurant on Ossington, in Toronto. 14 of Toronto’s top mixologists were invited to battle it out to find out who could create the best cocktail using Victoria Gin. The competition was hosted by Kevin Brauch, star of the Food Network’s Thirsty Traveler. Judges included Bob Blumer (Glutton for Punishment), James Chatto (freelance writer). Chris Johns (Bar Fly columnist from the Globe & Mail) and Christine Sismondo (author of Mondo Cocktails and co-owner of the The Temperence Society).
The competitor were required to create two versions of the same cocktail: one ‘fit for a queen’ and the other ‘so east the queen could make it’. The common version of the winning cocktail would be featured on a Victoria Gin bottle tag at the LCBO this summer.
The competitors included Elan Marks (The Drake), Trevor Burnett (freelance consultant). Gavin MacMillan (Bartender One); Renata Clingen (Böhmer); Elizabeth Savage (Marquis at the Hilton); Adrian Stein (Oliver Bonacini Cafe Grill); Rob Montgomery (Miller Tavern); Brock Shepherd (Burger Bar); Dave Mitton (The Harbord Room); Simon Ho (The Drake); Moses McIntee (Scarpetta); Clinton Pattemore (Toronto Bartending); Nishan Nepulangoda (Blowfish); and Scott McMaster (Colbourne Lane).
The competitors went head to head over 7 rounds. The preparation of the drinks was a bit slow and drawn out at time, but the results were well worth it. After the judges had taken their taste, the creations were passed back to the thirsty fans standing behind them. We did our best to sample as many of the drinks as possible and we didn’t envy the job of the judges had to carry out.
At the end of the night, Moses McIntee’s ‘Olde Vic’ came out on top as the best. Rob Montgomery of Miller Tavern, whose presentation included mini ceramic bathtubs, tea sandwiches, and hot gin punch won a special jury award for best presentation. It was a great night out, and Madtini would like to thank Mia Hunt of Victoria Spirits for the invitation.