Lauren Mote has been an intricate part of the food and beverage industry for over 10 years. Spanning her knowledge and enthusiasm between Toronto and Vancouver, she has devoted her expertise to Le Select Bistro, Lumiere, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Hawksworth Catering and Chow Restaurant. With a keen willingness to explore all areas of the “edible” industry, Lauren has become an accomplished writer contributing to several publications in addition to her own company Poivre Media Company. She just added both Certified Sommelier and Niche-Beverage Consultant titles to her resume while launching her newest company, Lauren Mote Productions. Lauren’s also an award-winning mixologist, and has helped shape the way Canada consumes cocktails. Lauren’s award-winning Charred Bourbon Sour, Nolet Pratt, Flight of the Concords & Side Loire cocktails prove to be the hallmarks of her delicious integration of molecular mixology, “tasting note” deconstruction, and thoughtful development of some truly unique homemade product. Currently, Lauren is at the helm of The Refinery’s critically-acclaimed cocktail program on the revitalized Granville entertainment strip, in downtown Vancouver. The Refinery is quickly becoming a Canadian headquarters for contemporary cocktail culture innovation, housing unique tinctures and methods.
James Chatto Blog, PostCity, Beaumont Drinks – That’s the Spirit, Bar None Magazine, Chilled Magazine, Imbibe Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Specialty Food Magazine, Flare Magazine, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Courier, BC Business, CityFood Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, Scout Magazine, Urban Diner Online, Tiny Bites, Ethnic Eats, Foodists, Timing and Delivery, The Georgia Straight, The Westender, TASTE Magazine, Edible British Columbia, Industry Blender, Sweet Spot, Vitamin Daily, Urban Rush, CityTV’s Breakfast Television, The David Suzuki Foundation, Tourism Vancouver, Black Book Magazine, Martini Boys, One for the Road, The Beat, Co-op Radio, BC Chef’s Quarterly, The Toronto Sun
1st, Grey Goose Pourmasters & Sundance Films Mixology Competition, 2010
2nd, National BarChef Competition, 2010
2nd, Grey Goose Pourmasters Mixology Competition, 2010
1st, Maker’s Mark Cocktail Competition, 2009
1st, Grand Marnier “The Next Classic” Cocktail Competition, 2009
2nd, Sortilege Women’s Cup Competition, 2009
2nd, Victoria Gin Shakedown Competition, 2009
3rd, The Craft of Cointreau Competition, 2009
4th Giffard’s Iron Bartender Competition, 2009
Lauren Mote’s Bar Program:
When I design a cocktail, I begin as a “food scientist”. By that I mean that I make “molecular cocktails” through changing the way I use ingredients – like using butternut squash in a vegan cocktail to mimic the same texture as an egg white. Although I dabble, I seldom lock myself in a lab manipulating powders and potions with safety glasses and a fire extinguisher.
Like a scientific method, each cocktail I create is developed according to a precise set of steps. First, I make the bitters. I choose local ingredients that are in season at the time, and then macerate them in spirits for four to eight weeks inside large mason jars. Then I experiment with other ingredients to find the ideal taste matches to the central flavour of the bitters. Second, I think about what “concept” or theme I’d like to deconstruct. This can be anything — a liqueur or spirit, a geographic region, a food, or even an object. The third step is the reconstruction of that abstract idea which becomes the physical cocktail. This step itself has three parts. First I create a cocktail based on a classic technique in cocktail making. Then, I make a benefit template (every drink I create makes use of super foods, and other health properties – such as antioxidants, protein, amino acids, potassium, electrolytes, etc.) The finish involves the presentation. Here is where I’m thinking like a chef or an artist, because the end product should be pleasing to the eye, erotic to the nose, velvet and complex on the palate, and super unique. At the Refinery, my team of mixologists and I aim to make our cocktails some of the most creative and interesting you’ve ever tried.
The cocktails that excite me most are the ones that have complete deconstructed tasting notes, and came with molecular twin cocktails on the side. They are the complete manipulation of different properties of their ingredients and spirits. An perfect example is my “Charred Bourbon Sour”. It is the deconstructed tasting note for a Maker’s Mark American Oak Cask, and many of components used in the cocktail are created separately, and balanced together in the end; the Charred American Oak & Caramelized Coconut Syrup, and the House Bitters are examples of this. Another favourite is the “Side Loire” which is a deconstructed “regional” tasting note for the Loire Valley and includes a reduction of Sancerre wine, Cointreau manipulated in five ways, and pure wheat grass extract for its health benefits. There are many more cocktails that fall into this category.
This how I work with cocktails now, but the next big thing will be creating a niche where the demand doesn’t necessarily exist. Bartenders need to keep learning, keep teaching, and keep themselves at the highest standards, to make sure they never lose their passion. That idea in your brain that seems to make no sense, and you don’t know if it’s “cool” or not? Ya, that’s the risk you should definitely take. The average consumer of cocktails seldom know what they want but they’ll put their trust in you. The sign of an incredible cocktail is one you haven’t figured out by the time you sip the last ounce.