Victorians can mix a drink.
That's the consensus after locals swept all three competitions at Art of the Cocktail, one of Western Canada's biggest annual cocktail events.
Sixteen bartenders competed in this year's contests, said public relations co-ordinator Colleen Hildebrandt. More than 650 members of the public also attended the Grand Tasting - an increase from last year's total of more than 600. Six out of 10 workshops sold out.
Team Victoria took the top prize during the three-hour Ultimate Cocktail Challenge. They beat regional teams from Vancouver, Seattle and the Okanagan with a winning mix.
Presented with a mystery box of secret ingredients, each team had only 15 minutes to strategize and five minutes to create their cocktails.
Local mixologists Simon Ogden (Veneto), Shawn Soole (Clive's) and Solomon Siegel (Fire and Water) concocted the winning beverage. The "Dallas Road Driftwood," which was force-carbonated and served over a hand-chipped ice globe, contained Driftwood Ale, thyme syrup, Bacardi 8, Regan's Orange Bitters, Barcode 8 Apple Bitters and ginger syrup.
Veneto's Josh Boudreau, 25, also defended his title as Best Bartender in the Pacific Northwest.
The theme of this year's competition was The Whole Beast and competitors were challenged with infusing their drinks with a variety of animal products at their disposal, from fat-washed duck to pig fat.
Boudreau named his cocktail "John Coffey," an homage to the character played by late actor Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile.
Victoria's Ryan Malcolm from Sauce took second place, followed by Whistler's Tia Stonier from The Mix.
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