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People talk a lot about creativity in mixology – few, however, execute their big ideas to perfection.

Indeed, there’s more to a mixed drink than gin and tonic.

That’s why Bombay Sapphire is seeing how the boldest bartenders from coast to coast are creating cocktails that push the boundaries of what you thought was possible behind the bar.

In a nationwide contest that will push the artistic elements of cocktail creation to new and delicious heights, eight incredibly imaginative bartenders will be competing this Thursday for the chance to represent Canada and be crowned the winner of the 2016 Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Competition at the Laverstoke Mill in London, England.

We caught up with the amazing Montreal finalists to give you a sneak peak on just how far their creativity could take them.

Both Katherine Boushel (Mal nécessaire) and Samuel Trudeau (L’Gros Luxe) have created cocktails that dig deep into the roots of gin to create something truly magical. From ingredients like Sri Lankan Black Curry Syrup to Cucumber Oleo Saccharum, they push the boundaries of what you thought was possible behind the bar. And they make it all look (and taste) incredible.

Check out the inspiration behind their creations below and test the recipes to see how your skills match up with some of the best bartenders in Canada.

Katherine Boushel | “Serendib”

  • 2oz Bombay Sapphire
  • 5oz Infused Martini Dry Vermouth – ingredients: Martini Dry infused with Rosemary, Basil, Bergamot, Rose, Jasmin and Vanilla
  • 5oz Sri Lankan Black Curry Syrup – ingredients: Cumin, Coriander, Roasted Rice, Mustard, Coconut, Mace, Black Pepper, Curry leaves, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cardamom, Water, Sugar)
  • 1 Bar Spoon Thyme Infused Black Olive Brine
  • 2 Dashes Homemade Lavender-Licorice Bitters
  • Heat a few stones (pebbles) in boiling water
  • Add cocktail ingredients in a mixing glass with ice
  • Stir for 20 seconds
  • Strain in a Nick & Nora
  • Place two heated pebbles in the bottom of the glass. This will help bring the cocktail back to room temperature for optimal taste

Samuel Trudeau | “Galileo”

  • 2oz Bombay Sapphire
  • 25oz Oloroso Sherry
  • 75oz Cucumber Oleo Saccharum*
  • 4 scoops of Orion Ice Pebbles*
  • Dehydrated Combava Wheel*
  • Sprinkle of Bombay Stardust*
  • Chill your Boston glass by vigorously shaking ice for 5 to 7 seconds
  • Discard the ice and place the Boston glass back on the station
  • Add ice to chill your Collin glass
  • Add all the liquids in a Boston shaker
  • Shake vigorously for 5 to 7 seconds
  • Discard the ice from the Collin and add new ice cubes
  • Double strain on ice in the previously chilled Collin glass
  • Add the metal straw and the Orion ice pebbles
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint and a dehydrated combava wheel
  • Sprinkle Bombay Stardust over the drink

*Cucumber oleo saccharum

Peel the skin of 4 cucumbers, 8 oranges, 4 lemons

Add 250 ml of sugar and 2 ounces of water in a plastic recipient

Gently stir until the sugar is partly dissolved and cover the top of the recipient

Put the container in a refrigerator for 14 to 20 hours

Remove the solid elements and keep the liquid

*Orion ice pebbles

Strain 1 litre of aloe juice in a container, add 250 grams of dry lavender, and refrigerate for 2 days

Strain the lavender and keep the liquid

Pour 10 to 12 ounces of liquid nitrogen in a medium-sized stainless steel bowl

Use a dropper to absorb the liquid and to make little drops in the liquid nitrogen bath

Remove the Orion ice pebbles using a strainer and keep in the freezer in a recipient of your choice, preferably plastic

*Dehydrated Combava wheel

Slice the combava in thin wheels and put in a dehydrator for 7 hours at medium temperature

Keep in a sealed container for optimum results

*Sprinkle of Bombay Stardust

Put 500 ml of Star of Bombay, 500 ml of powdered sugar, and 4 ounces of bitter cube Jamaican #1 in a cooking pan

Stir at medium-high heat until all the powder is dissolved and keep stirring until the liquid becomes almost hard and texturized like a paste.

Remove the paste and put in on parchment paper; let it cool in a refrigerator for 1 hour

Dehydrate the paste for 24 hours at a high temperature, then put in a blender and make it into a powder again.

Stay tuned to Notable.ca  to see who will represent Canada and be crowned the winner of the 2016 Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Competition in London, England.

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