Tag Archives: toronto bartending school

Bar Chef Finals Spring 2011

Have you ever tasted a cocktail and thought hmmm I could definitely do a better job myself? Or maybe you have envisioned what you suspected to be delicious mouth-watering cocktails with ingredients one may never normally use in the bar? Six experienced bartenders from Toronto decided to bite the bullet on the evening of May 30th for the spring finals of the International Bartender Certification and each created some masterpieces that tantalised the judges’ taste buds on the night.

IBC Finals Spring 2011

Over the course of five weeks these bartenders attended the BartenderOne IBC course as students and tasted over three hundred different spirits, bitters, liqueurs, sweeteners, infused foams & spirits and alternate types of citrus and cocktails.

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Flair Fiesta

Time again for another Toronto Flair League update.

TFL 9

All of the previous TFL competitions had been held on a Monday or Tuesday, (aka bartenders weekend) so that all flair bartenders could compete. The promoters of the Toronto Flair League have felt some pressure from he general public to host a competition on a Thursday, or Friday night so that the nine to fivers would have an opportunity to witness a flair bartending competition up close.

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Barback “the backbone of a great bartender”

Running-Back

A running back in football breaks a tackle and runs the whole field for a glorious touchdown run, but no one reflects on the vital block thrown by the fullback that made it all possible.

A lawyer makes a break in a big case and becomes an instant legal star, but who thinks about the members of their team who did all of the vital legwork behind the scenes to make the big break happen?

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Flair Bartending; It was acceptable in the 80′s

After a very successful Toronto Flair League season premiere, the promoters decided that for TFL 8 it would be fitting to couple the event with an eighties party.TFL 2

The idea was that all of the bartenders would create a routine choreographed to any song from the 1980’s.  Also, the background music throughout the evening would be all 80’s, and all competitors, staff and guests were to dress in the fashion of the era.

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BartenderOne in New York

Gin and Pears and Rosemary, Oh My!

Gin and Pears and Rosemary, Oh My!

Imagine walking into a phone booth, dialling a number, and being redirected back to a world of sipping cocktails next to Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald……

On March 11th of this year, I traveled to New York to experience some of North America’s finest Speakeasies and Mixology bars. With only having one amazing speakeasy in Toronto, we were eager to head to the Big Apple and meet the bartenders that compete in Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.

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Bar Chef Finals – Winter 2011

Have you wished you could jump behind a bar with hundreds of ingredients, tastes, and ideas and be able to create the cocktail of your dreams?

On April 4th, 2011 the BartenderOne Bar Chef Finals took place at Empire Lounge in Toronto in Yorkville. As students, the mixologists had completed tasting over five hundred different spirits, bitters, liqueurs, sweeteners, types of citrus, infused foams and spirits, along with homemade syrups.

As mixologists, the students were asked to create an original cocktail from each of the 5 spirit categories. The cocktails could have been made with anything that the mixologists could think of; but were required to hold dear the traditional balanced cocktail theory. While they did have guidelines for balance, there were none for flavour profiles or presentation. Mixologists could incorporate elements that were taught in class such as: infusion, fatwashing, bruleeing, molecular mixology, spherification, custom foams, misting and much more.

As the student mixologists watched tentatively, their cocktails were tasted by three of Toronto’s top mixologists; Rob Montgomery, Gavin MacMillan and Scott McMaster. The students were were delighted to see that their hard work and development had paid off. The judges were impressed by all of the thought and effort that was incorporated into the final cocktails. The mixologists showed that they weren’t scared to test some boundaries in coming up with their very own recipes, and here are the top cocktails entered:

VODKA COCKTAILS

Strawbarb Bullets by Krissy Calkins

Strawbarb Bullets by Krissy Calkins

STRAWBARB BULLETS – By Mixologist Krissy Calkins

2/3 oz Strawberry reduction (no sugar added)
1/3 oz Rhubarb reduction (no sugar added)
1 oz Vodka
Shaken on Ice
Strain into Chocolate Cups
Float – Vanilla bean infused simple syrup on top
Served on a bed of Gram Crackers

Rainbow 1943 By Elizabeth Saad

Rainbow 1943 By Elizabeth Saad

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Raring to Flair?

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

Where do I start?

One of the challenges that people face when learning how to become a flair bartender, is figuring out where to start. People are very eager to start juggling 4 bottles off the start, but that is bit of a stretch. Begin with easy, high impact – low risk moves that you will be able to execute with confidence with a little practice.

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Do you Dare to Flair?

Flair in action!

Flair in action!

It seems every bar you go to these days, you will see someone throwing bottles in the air, jumping up on the bar, or lighting something on fire. Flair bartending is the term used to describe these actions. It is showmanship mixed with bartending to enhance the guest’s overall experience.

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A Lesson in Marketing (no, not that kind)

The amazing fresh produce at St. Lawrence Market, ripe for the picking.

The amazing fresh produce at St. Lawrence Market, ripe for the picking.


Not all freestyle mixology sessions need to start with a trip to the liquor store! Local markets packed with farm fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and fantastic finds can be your first destination for inspiration.

Here in Toronto we are particularly blessed with access to several excellent open and indoor markets. St. Lawrence Market and the Kensington District both offer fantastic selections of fresh produce, bulk goods, and specialty shops with every imaginable ingredient under the sun. You can almost always track down specific spices and preserves, thanks especially to the diversity of background in our city. However, at least half the fun of a trip to the market is the item you didn’t expect to see! Preserved Marasca Cherries, anyone? A hidden find at one of these well stocked purveyors could spark your next great cocktail idea!

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Better Bitters from your Buddies at B1

A day of experimenting: Repeal House Bitters

A day of experimenting: Repeal House Bitters

Have you ever tasted a something and thought ‘man I could do a better job myself’? BartenderOne had the chance to back up this statement when Lauren Mote, celebrated Mixologist from The Refinery Bar in Vancouver came to assist with a culinary approach to cocktails.

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