The GOODS from Bittered Sling
Vancouver, BC | Bittered Sling continues to take the spirits world by storm, collecting critical accolades in the recent 2014 International Review of Spirits competition for its retail line of small-batch, high-quality cocktail bitters and culinary extracts.
Hosted annually by the Chicago-based Beverage Testing Institute, the International Review of Spirits showcases top-shelf beer, wine and spirits through comprehensive reviews based on a 100-point rating system, and is billed as “America’s oldest and most influential spirits competition”.
Bittered Sling was awarded with gold medals and “exceptional” classifications for its Cascade Celery (93 points), Malagasy Chocolate (93 points) and Kensington Dry Aromatic (92 points) bitters, while two more members of its select family of flavours received silver medals — Grapefruit & Hops (88 points) and Plum & Rootbeer (87 points) — and were classified by the judges as “highly recommended”.
The judging panel singled out Bittered Sling’s entries with high praise, calling them “savoury and transformative bitters that would make crowd-pleasing drinks,” and applauding their versatility.
Points were awarded through a blind tasting presided over by a number of esteemed guest judges, including: Josh Pearson, the mixologist responsible for developing the lauded cocktail program at Chicago’s Michelin-starred Sepia; Peter Vestinos, founder of BarMedic and consultant on a number of cocktail programs for such restaurants as Chicago’s BellyQ; and Jerald O’Kennard, director of the Beverage Testing Institute.
“We’re honoured and excited that our products have been recognized by such an influential organization and couldn’t be happier with the results,” said Jonathan Chovancek, celebrated chef and co-proprietor of Bittered Sling.
Chovancek’s partner, co-proprietor and acclaimed mixologist/bartender Lauren Mote, was likewise thrilled with the honours, saying, “We take great pride in representing Vancouver’s amazing cocktail community. We’re so grateful that we’ve not only been able to secure international distribution for our products, but have now gained international recognition for them as well.”
The People Who Make It Happen
Co-proprietor, Sommelier/Mixologist: Lauren Mote
Co-proprietor, Chef: Jonathan Chovancek
About Bittered Sling
Bittered Sling celebrates the collaboration of chef Jonathan Chovancek and mixologist and sommelier Lauren Mote, who have contributed a combined 30 years of professional experience, knowledge and innovation to the Canadian food and beverage industry.
In 2010, Mote and Chovancek launched Vancouver-based boutique catering and events company Kale & Nori Culinary Arts — the predecessor to Bittered Sling — and quickly carved out a niche both locally and internationally for their unique products, dynamic and diverse cuisine and specialty cocktail creations. In 2013, Kale & Nori was singled out as Producer/Supplier of the Year at the 24th Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards for its brand of Bittered Sling Extracts.
Bittered Sling Extracts is a retail line of high-quality, small-batch bitters and extracts that provides palate, plate and potion with a subtle-yet-exciting fusion of homegrown ingredients and flavours. With aromatic labels such as Orange and Juniper, Plum and Rootbeer and Clingstone Peach, Bittered Sling underscores a singular and delicious irony that while all of their bitters are extracts, not all of their extracts are bitter. By the dash or the drop, each creation offers an intricate range of complex flavours that perfectly accentuates food, spirits and even sparkling water.
Twice a month over a six-month span, Mote and Chovancek host their popular and perennially sold-out Bittered Sling Bistro events at the Legacy Liquor Store in Olympic Village. A friendly competition between some of the region’s best bartenders now heading into its fourth season, each edition of the Bistro offers guests a feature spirit tasting accented by Bittered Sling Extracts and an indulgent three-course menu inspired by each particular spirit’s wide range of notes and character.