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B.C. bartender to represent Canada in global cocktail-making competition

Jeff Savage botanist-cocktails
Jeff Savage at Botanist in Vancouver, B.C. (via Fairmont Pacific Rim)

Cheers to Vancouver’s Jeff Savage: the Head Bartender at Botanist at the Fairmont Pacific Rim has won the prestigious Diageo World Class Canada cocktail-making competition, and will now go on to represent the nation at the Global Finals.

Savage took the top honours after a lengthy process, including becoming one of the 10 finalists from across the country to emerge at the top of the pack to head to Whistler for the National Finals.

The National Finals were held from June 2 through 4. All candidates were judged on their bartending and hosting techniques by previous World Class Canada winners, including Chris Enns, Kaitlyn Stewart, Shane Mulvany, Lauren Mote, and Grant Sceney. It’s worth noting that all of those winners, with the exception of Mulvany, took the win as Vancouverites.

“Winning World Class Canada Bartender of the Year is such an incredible honour and surreal experience I’ll never forget,” said Savage in a media release. Originally from Calgary, Savage opened several bars in the city before taking the post as Bar Manager at YYC’s acclaimed Proof.

“I love to play with flavour combinations, styles, textures, scents, and colours, all while throwing someone for a loop when they experience something they weren’t expecting,” says Savage of his style.

At Botanist, Savage works with Creative Beverage Director and fellow World Class Canada winner Sceney; the duo and the venue are known for their avant-garde cocktails that can take drinkers on flights of fancy (and have them reaching for their cameras for an Instagram moment).

Savage will head to the Netherlands and then Scotland for the finals, where he’ll be put to his paces again, this time against World Class bartenders from around the globe.

- Lindsay William-Ross, Vancouver Is Awesome