Women of the Sortilège Cup

Original story can be found at: http://urbandiner.ca/2009/12/01/women-of-sortilege-cup/#more-9405
December 1, 2009 at 2:16 pm · Similar Stories in Cocktail Culture, Competitions, Danielle Rabkin, Events
by Danielle Rabkin, Urban Diner

An unlikely venue for a cocktail competition, the Hospitality Expo at the Vancouver Convention Centre, played host to the Sortilège Cup presented by NONS Drinks on November 23rd and 24th. Broken down into two days, one each for women and men, the competition was a showing of the city’s finest. With Sortilège, a blend of Canadian whisky and maple syrup hailing from Montreal, as the feature ingredient, each contender brought their best game to the table.

I had the honor of judging the women’s competition and believe me, the contestants brought it. Their creativity and innovative concoctions wowed and impressed across the board. In fact, it was such an impressive showing that 50% of the women scored higher than the top scoring male competitor from the day before. Scoring was based on appearance, aroma, taste, technique, originality, and overall impression. Seasoned vets Lauren Mote of The Refinery and Wendy McGuiness of Chambar took second and third place, respectively, with innovative cocktails far outside the box.

Lauren Mote was at work creating her “Feu de Camp”(French for Campfire) butternut squash puree, Sortilège, Jack Daniels, madiera, lemon, house bitters, mead honey wine, maple syrup. And on the side “Campfire Side”: rosemary and Fleur de Sel potatochips smoked “en tasse” with smoldering juniper, cardamom, long pepper, cinnamon, and citrus peel. Wendy McGuiness’s “Île d’Orléans” (French for Orleans Island which is outside of downtown Quebec City): Sortilège, moscato grappa, Wiser’s Canadian Whisky, muddled thyme, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh pear nectar, egg white, a dusting of crushed Sortilège candy, and candied thyme.

Other contenders that did not go unnoticed include cocktail competition rookies Alicia Grunert from Maenam and Marlo Panucci of Market by Jean Georges at the Shangri-La Hotel. As first time contenders they presented intriguing and creative libations. In the end, it was Danielle Tatarin who swept first place with “Geisha’s Milk Punch”. Tatarin’s creation was crafted with exotic ingredients found in Chinatown, the neighborhood of her future domain, The Keefer Bar. Tatarin delivered with exotic, and never before heard of, ingredients such as milk fruit, lu han guo, and cherimoya honey syrup. The result was a cocktail exhibiting intriguing aromas, complex yet smooth flavors, and a divine finish which she presented with true finesse and expertise.

First place winners, Danielle Tatarin and Simon Kaulback of Boneta (from the men’s competition) will be visiting Montreal in 2010 for a visit to the Sortilège plant. ~ Danielle Rabkin

Sortilège: Specialty listing +44316 $29.99 (375mL)

Geisha’s Milk Punch by Danielle Tatarin
• 1 ½ oz Sortilège
• ½ oz apple brandy
• 1 oz milk fruit juice
• ½ oz cherimoya honey syrup
• dash lu han guo
• grated nutmeg
• stirred, not shaken, with ice.


About Lauren Mote

Lauren has been an intricate part of the food industry for many years. Whether it’s behind the bar, in the kitchen, tasting and learning about wine, or sitting with her laptop writing food stories and reviews at the local coffee house, it was clear at an early age that Lauren’s professional and personal life would be completely consumed by the joy and passion of edibles.
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