Canada’s Most Imaginative Bartender: The cocktails you need to try

Once again, this year we had the pleasure of attending Canada’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition.

Presented by Bombay Sapphire Gin, Canada’s Most Imaginative Bartender brings together mixologists from around the country to see who can make the most creative and delicious gin-based cocktail.

As in previous years, we went from station to station to meet each of the contenders and sample their concoctions. While we really enjoyed all the cocktails on offer, one had to rise to the top and win and this year that prestigious honour went to none other than Toronto’s very own James Bailey from The Drake Hotel.

Now the chances are if you’ve read this far you love gin or cocktails or possibly both, so we thought we’d share all the recipes from the day so you can recreate your favourites at home. Fair warning, some of these are a little out of our reach, but hey, that’s half the fun of trying.

So without further ado, here are some of the best gin cocktails of 2018.


Nouveau Cépage


Created by: James Bailey | Toronto, ON| The Drake Hotel

● 2oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
● 3/4oz Lemon
● 1/2oz Honey
● 3/4oz Rinquinquin
● Cardamom bitters
● 10 arugula leaves

Directions: Muddle fresh baby arugula in a shaker tin, combine remaining ingredients, add ice, and throw the cocktail 4 times. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


Hay, Hoe, Let’s Grow


Created by: Max Curzon-Price | Vancouver, BC | Botanist

● 60ml Bombay Sapphire Gin
● 30ml Acidified Parsnip Juice
● 22ml Bee Pollen Syrup
● 2 dashes Hay and Burdock Root Bitters
● 1 Egg White

Directions: Combine all ingredients, dry shake with a single ice cube to emulsify egg white and wet shake with full shaker. Fine strain and garnish.


Biz Mark


Created by: Rob Montgomery | Toronto, ON| The Miller Tavern

● 2oz Bombay
● 1oz Fresh ButterMilk
● 3/4oz Pure Maple Syrup
● 1 quail egg
● Bittercube bitters to finish

Directions: Combine first 4 ingredients and shake extra long and hard over large cubed ice. Fine strain into cocktail/coupette glass. Spray the bitters over the top.


Child’s Play


Created by: Jeff Savage | Vancouver, BC | Botanist

● 2oz Bombay Sapphire
● 0.75 oz Martini Bianco
● 0.5 oz Lemon
● 0.5 oz simple syrup

Directions: Shake drink and pour into a glass painted with edible paints and serve with crushed ice. Garnish with a metal straw and a paintbrush dipped in all 4 edible paints. Finish by spraying infused Bombay over the drink.


The Upper Left


Created by: Jimmy Nguyen | Calgary, AB | Deane House

● 1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
● 3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro
● 1/2 oz Cocchi Rosa
● 1/4 oz Fat washed cold brew syrup
● Oils from 1 lemon zest

Directions: Place all ingredients into a shaker and give them a quick stir. In another shaker, fill to the top
with ice and cover with a julep strainer. Proceed to toss the cocktail 8 times. Serve neat in a tumbler and
garnish with the oils of a lemon zest and a spritz of Bombay Sapphire.


Hanami In The Afternoon

Created by: Devin McKeigan | Vancouver, BC | Brix & Mortar

● 1 oz Cherry Blossom Infused Bombay Sapphire
● 1 oz Bombay Sapphire East
● 1/2 oz Osake Jumunai Renessance Sale
● 1/2 oz Pineapple Lime Cordial
● 4 drops of citric acid
● Bar spoon Odd Society Salal Gin
● 4 drops Ms Betters Grapefruit Bitters
● Expression of grapefruit
● Floral garnish

Directions: Add all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice, stir to dilution, strain into a Nick and Nora glass. Garnish with an expression of grapefruit and flower.




Jonathan Homier | Montreal, QC | Perles et Paddock

● 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
● 1 oz. Noilly Prat infused with mushrooms, wood and sapote
● 4 dash Bittercube orange bitters infused with butter and black garlic
● 2 dash Ocean saline solution

Directions: Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain in a chilled martini coupe and garnish!* Simple and effective.

*Garnished with a Chinese tea pickled quail egg


Ascending The Fall


Marika Bouchard | Halifax, NS | Black Sheep Restaurant

● 1.5 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
● 1 oz medium dry sake
● 3/4 oz ginger Wasabi syrup
● 3/4 oz lime juice
● 1/4 of a green apple

Directions: Muddle green apple. Add all other ingredients. Shake. Double strain into a glass. Garnish with
fishtail (pickled candied ginger).



Maximiliano Valletta | Montreal, QC | Les Enfants Terribles

● 1.5 oz of Bombay Sapphire
● 0.5 oz of St-Germain
● 1.5 oz of carrot juice
● 0.5 oz of Kumquat juice
● 3 dashes of pear, kumquat and limoncello leaves bitter
● 1 dash of vegan foamer
● 1 spray of herbal distillate
● Pinch of salt

Directions: Pour all the ingredients into a shaker. Dry shake. Add ice and shake firmly. Vaporize the
glasses with the hydromalt. Fine strain the cocktail into the glass.


So there you have it, the best gin cocktails of the summer hands down. Now the only question is, will you try to make them at home, or whip this out and show it to the bartender the next time you want the perfect summer drink? Either way cheers to you and to this beautiful summer.



Founder, CEO at Addicted
Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!