by Andrew Morrison | BC’s very best bartenders will converge on The Keefer Bar in Chinatown to close out Scout’s Bartender of the Year tournament. Over 30 of the province’s top barkeeps met in Vancouver and Victoria earlier this month to write an excruciatingly difficult entrance exam. Only the sixteen with the highest marks have been invited to compete in the finals on Monday. The day will begin at 11am with a blind tasting of 5 different alcohols. Each bartender will have to guess what is what, with points awarded for accuracy. Then a select group of professionals will blind judge an original cocktail from each bartender who will also furnish a written description of the drink as it would appear on a cocktail menu (no more than 50 words). Points will be awarded for taste, presentation and originality. The scores from these two competitions will be added together – 20% coming from the entrance test, 40% from the blind tasting, and 40% from the cocktail. Only the top 8 will then compete in a live action tournament designed to replicate “real world” bar scenarios. The last man/woman standing will be our Bartender of the Year (and rightly showered with hourly praise for their remaining days). It is a tournament designed by bartenders for bartenders, so the honour quotient is high.
But really, what does the winner get? In addition to a tidy sum of money and a framed Scout Magazine Bartender of the Year 2012 award designed by Glasfurd & Walker, he/she will receive a holiday package put together by our good friends at Tourism Kelowna. It includes two nights accommodation at the very gorgeous Clarence House, two tickets to the always amazing Okanagan Feast of Fields, and a round of golf for two (with power cart) at the Graham Cooke-designed Harvest Golf Club.
Click here to see if your favourite bartender is in the running.