Winning Cocktail Recipe

Make your own Vulcan: “God of Fire” from Boulevard Kitchen + Oyster Bar.

Make your own Vulcan: “God of Fire” from Boulevard Kitchen + Oyster Bar.

Last night’s Gin-A-Palooza in Gastown was tense. The annual 14-day gin festival culminated in a cocktail competition in which 10 mixologists courted hundreds of guests in order to gain high scores on the peoples’ choice ballots—yes, scores increased at the same rate as gin consumption—before serving up their featured cocktail for the panel of experts. After hours of tasting, that panel—consisting of Jonathan Chovancek of Café Medina and Bittered Sling; Dante Concepcion of Gin-A-Palooza; and Grant Stevely of The Dubh Glas Distillery & Noteworthy Gin—declared Justin Taylor of Boulevard Kitchen + Oyster Bar to be the overall winner.Show us your attempt at making Taylor’s winning cocktail by tagging @vanmag_com on Instagram or TwitterVulcan “God of Fire” Justin has kindly modified this recipe for the cocktail enthusiast to enjoy at home (read: you don’t have to light several fires). In his original award-winning competition cocktail, Taylor adds the smokey element by adding smoke from alder wood infused with Bittered Sling’s Moondog Bitters to the cocktail and finishes it with a beetroot powder-infused Moondog Bitters ice sphere. INGREDIENTS 1.5 oz Noteworthy Gin0.5 apricot liqueur0.5 oz vanilla bean-infused orange juice concentrate (fresh squeezed and reduced)0.5 oz lavender and earl grey-infused passionfruit juice3 dashes Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters1.0 oz Fentimans Tonic METHODIn a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients except tonic. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice into an Old Fashioned glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar and allspice. Top with a splash of Fentimans Tonic. Photos from last night’s Gin-A-Palooza:

The awards circled around a ‘people’s choice’ theme, which got a little messy as we got further in to the evening — and we’re not just talking about the handwriting.

You might find Matt Benevoli working at any one of the Donnelly Group spots. Last night his ‘Oliver McQueen’ comprised of Noteworthy Gin, lots of lime, sage, and a hint of lavender.

Matt used his grandparent’s crystal to serve the judges his cocktail.

Guests moved between stations sampling portions of each creation before allocating their scores.

The Farmer’s Apprentice’s new venture served a cocktail on ice with a ginger-infused foam on top.

The foam was surprisingly not bitter for so much ginger.

Each mixologist made small amounts of each cocktail for individual guests rather than mass-batches.

There was no flare on display last night, but some mixologists did a little play for the camera.

As service slowed up for the evening, guests relaxed while the judges came to a decision.

From left: Grant Stevely of The Dubh Glas Distillery & Noteworthy Gin, Dante Concepcion of Gin-A-Palooza, and Jonathan Chovancek of Café Medina and Bittered Sling.

Slideshow credit: Jenni Elliott