Opening Soon: A Japanese-Style Bagel Shop in Downtown Vancouver
The Broadway/Cambie Corridor Has Become a Hub for Excellent Chinese Restaurants
Flaky, Fluffy and Freaking Delicious: Vancouver’s Top Fry Bread and Bannock
Protected: The Wick is Lit for This Fraser Valley Winery
Wine Collab of the Week: The Best Bottle to Welcome a Vancouver Spring
Naked Malt Blended Malt Scotch Whisky Celebrates Versatility and Spirit
The Orpheum to Launch ‘Silent Movie Mondays’ This Spring
5 Things to Do in Vancouver This Week (March 27-April 2)
Meet Missy D, the Bilingual Vancouver Hip Hop Artist for the Whole Family
What It’s Like to Get Lost on a Run With a Pro Trail Runner
8 Things to Do in Abbotsford (Even If It’s Pouring Rain)
Explore the Rockies by Rail with Rocky Mountaineer
The Future of Beauty: How One Medical Aesthetics Clinic is Changing the Game
4 Fashion Designers From African Fashion Week Vancouver to Put on Your Radar
Before Hibernation Season Ends: A Round-Up of the Coziest Shopping Picks
Introducing VanMag's 2022 Bartender of the Year, Jeff Savage of Botanist.
Jeff Savage, Botanist, 1038 Canada Pl., Vancouver
When we established this award in 2006, the goal was modest: try to figure out who is the top bartender in town. But what we didn’t appreciate at the time was that Vancouver was having a cocktail moment such that the winner of BOTY that year—and many years after—was not only the best bartender in town, but likely in the country… and, some might argue, the world.
Even more amazingly, as the mixology revolution grew, so did Vancouver’s standing—so when a young Albertan studying political theory and religious studies suddenly caught the barkeep bug, he was able to hop on a short flight and receive encouragement from luminaries like Jay Jones, Shaun Layton and Lauren Mote, all giants in the industry and also working bartenders in town, always willing to help out a visiting colleague. The mentorship paid off: by the time Jeff Savage took up Grant Sceney’s offer to move to Vancouver and work at Botanist, he had been racking up accolades and competition wins in our provincial neighbour to the east for years.
But once ensconced in the mad scientist lab in the Pac Rim, things really took off. In 2019 he won World Class Canada (the Super Bowl of bar competitions), then finished second in the world by an insanely close margin—and, in doing so, played his own key role in keeping Vancouver perched as one of the world’s cocktail capitals. And like those who came before him, he’s always happy to mentor a newbie or lead a patron through the genesis of a cocktail that might have as many literary references as it has ingredients.
Want More Restaurant Award Winners? Read Them All Here