BartenderOne Represents Canada at the International Cocktail Experience

In a head to head competition among Canadian bartending schools, and Mixology Companies, and independent mixologists, BartenderOne emerged as the 1st place Champions in the International Cocktail Experience in November 2009.

The 2 day competition involved educational components and drink design and was judged by 3 of the planets top mixologists, Dre Masso, Nick Strangeway, and Frankie Solarik, who owns Toronto’s “Bar Chef.”  BartenderOne’s winning cocktail “The Invisible Touch” was judged based on use of fresh, local, seasonal ingredients along with quality spirits and liqueurs.

The Invisible Touch was created in the style of a “Crusta” a classic cocktail technique where a layer of raw sugar is crusted to the outside of the glass, and allowed to dry.  “This allows the drinker to taste a little bit of sweetness without getting a mouthful of sugar every time they take a sip,” says BartenderOne front man Gavin MacMillan.  “The recipe we created is based on Beefeater 24 Gin, with Wyborowa Exquisite Vodka used to lengthen the flavour of the Beefeater 24 without overpowering the drink with juniper and Gin’s other botanicals.  Then we added Cointreau and Hand Squeezed Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice to a base of muddled blueberries and lemon bitters.”

One of the elements that a lot of people overlook in a cocktail is the quality of the ice that you use.  “We used large, cold, fresh ice cubes” MacMillan explains, “the decrease in surface area of larger ice cubes means that your cocktail doesnt get diluted nearly as quickly.”

Competitions like this continue to elevate the skill level of Mixologists, through collaboration, education and the exchange of tips, tricks and ideas.  BartenderOne owner Gavin MacMillan travels to dozens of Mixology competitions and conferences every year.  It’s the only way we can stay on top of the industry, and ahead of the curve for bartender training.  Having a bartending school is a big responsibility, our graduates will be the next generation of mixologists who will be making drinks for you and me.  Our program changes constantly to reflect new techniques that are emerging around the world, to make sure that the Bartenders that leave our program truly understand what it takes to be successful at an international level.

For a long time, learning to Bartend in Toronto, meant going to a classroom and learning with coloured water and juices, we saw an opportunity to use real ingredients in our training, and give our students the opportunity to taste what the cocktails, martinis, wines and beer are like instead of just imagining it.  Its nice to finally have the opportunity to compete head to head with other bartending schools, it gives us an idea of where they’re at in terms of their training, and is a nice reminder that BartenderOne is moving in the right direction.

The Grand Prize for the Competition was a one week, all expenses paid trip to London, England, and Warsaw, Poland to meet and exchange ideas with some of Europe’s top Mixologists, and included a tour of the UK’s top mixology bars.  “We’re very proud to represent Canada, and very much looking forward to defending the title next year!

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  1. saul
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    hi..i like the style of your school, im bartender but i want to improve my performances and knowledge i want to study in your school, i live in domiminican republic….please send me some info about your courses…thanks

  2. Posted February 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Hey Saul,

    Most of the information we have is posted on the website, check out for more info, or you can call us toll free from the DR at 1.866.461.2271