This past Saturday I was presented with the chance to cover a cocktail competition by MadeWithLove on the following Monday. For those who have never heard of MadeWithLove, its mission is essentially to democratize mixology and cocktail culture by way of a little healthy competition. Monday’s event consisted of 19 bartenders representing different bars from around Montreal, each with a unique cocktail. The guests’ mission: taste them all and vote for your favourite via handing over the dog tag received upon arrival. Mission accepted.
I managed to get a taste of 14 out of the 19 competing drinks, plus one non competition drink that was served in a yurt (one of the many odd but entertainingly interesting presentations). The cocktails were accompanied by appetizers that complemented their theme, as well as there being other extravagant displays of culinary delights. For example, the sparkling little pigs or the artistic dessert show.
Each bartender had their own set up, with their own theme to suit the drink they had come up with; some decided to go quite elaborate. One bartender had this sort of burlesque/circus theme, there was also a Japanese themed station that served a cocktail that smelled of cucumber and was quite refreshing and there was a spa themed stand (that was home of my favourite drink). Romain Cavelier, the winner of both the judges and public choice had a mountain cabin theme. The bartenders were in plaid flannel and the cozy decorations exuded warmth. Their drink was naturally called The Gentleman Lumberjack. By the time I made it to that part of the room I was halfway through and starting to feel pressure to finish and then vote, as well as feeling symptoms of the alcohol I’d had thus far. Therefore, all it says in my notes is that I didn’t care for their drink, but I did really like the ambiance and decor (it’s the Albertan in me I’m guessing). However, my friend, fellow Mobtrealer Boss Clini, said that she liked the cocktail and that it tasted like “cider or juice”. Personally, it was not sweet enough for my palate (I admit my bias for all things sweet).
My personal favourite was the Judges Choice 2nd place winner and the Public’s 3rd, Jonathan Elbaz, who made a drink called Le Strøm. The drink was a sort of hot cider and perfect for the winter season. It also happened to be my 13th drink, which was good because my 14th was my second favourite of the night, the Ketsugō by Jonathan Solares of La Champagnerie, and therefore the perfect cap to the evenings events.
All in all, I had a great time. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next event from MadeWithLove and so should you!
The night’s winners:
- Romain Cavelier – Henri Saint-Henri
- Jonathan Elbaz – Le 132-Bar Vintage
- Andrew Whibley – Bar Mme Lee
- Romain Cavelier – Henri St. Henri
- Eddy Germain – Le LAB, Comptoir à Cocktails
- Jonathan Elbaz – Le 132 Bar Vintage