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Food notes: Experimenting with cocktails at Science World

The Science of Cocktails event shows off Vancouver’s best bartenders at annual fundraiser

Brice Peressini of The Victor at Parq Vancouver was one of the competitors at the Science of Cocktails.

Abby Wiseman / For Metro

Brice Peressini of The Victor at Parq Vancouver was one of the competitors at the Science of Cocktails.

Cocktail making is often referred to as an art, but in reality it is much more of a science, like baking or rocketing into space.

The annual Science of Cocktails event at the Telus World of Science provides a chance to see local and international mixologists close up. The evening raises money towards educational field trips for children.

Over 25 bar stations are set up for the event with bartenders serving up their own creations. I caught up with Kaitlyn Stewart, a Vancouverite and the first Canadian to win the 2017 Diageo World Class cocktail competition in Mexico City.

Stewart is the bar manager at Royal Dinette and was serving up a Switchel with bourbon, fernet, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, ginger and orange. It was effervescent with an unexpected lightness for a bourbon based drink and focused on fermented flavours.

“It’s packed full of electrolytes so it is better for you than gatorade and it has properties for inflammation or pain. It’s a great beverage to keep in your fridge,” said Stewart.

A cocktail that replenishes? I’m on board with that.

There were so many cocktails to try. Ones with honey beeswax, different combinations of bitters, classics like coladas, but where the science got real was during the cocktail competition.

Four bartenders battled it out over making non-alcoholic cocktails using Seedlip Spirits – a must try for pregnant women and non-drinkers everywhere.

Andrea Civettini of Clough Club in Gastown was the winner with his fresh, yet spicy cocktail using the herbal Seedlip and a little chili spice. In second place was Toronto based bartender Jess Milli of Civil Liberties.

The other two competitors were Brice Peressini of The Victor at Parq Vancouver who created a spiced cocktail with a meringue-like head that would warm anyone on a cold evening. Following him was Elson Cheng of Homer St. Café who brought a tonne of science and creativity to his citrus and spice cocktail. I also appreciated that he added some rum.

The Science of Cocktails is a great opportunity to try out different drinks, discover new bartenders, find out what drinks are up and coming and raise money for a good cause. This year the event raised $276,000 for kids and I think that is worth a cheers.

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