Founded in 2009, Made With Love  has showcased talented countless mixologists from Canada and Mexico, inspiring them to new heights with the spirit of competition. 2015 was no exception, seeing the newest and brightest turn out to try their hand at making the perfect new drink. On May 26th the Everleigh Club hosted the 2015 Made With Love Nationals: the booze battle of all booze battles.

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Drinking culture, beyond just getting smashed at a friend’s house, has seen an incredible rise in recent times. “Craft” is the only way to go these days – but it doesn’t have to just be beer. Craft cocktails are an art form that marry ingenuity and taste, and the skilled bartender is now on par with the chef. No one knows that better than Pierre-Olivier Trempe, the founder of Made With Love: the competition with a dedication to “inspire and educate bartenders as well as consumers throughout the country”. 

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The 2015 Nationals saw 14 bartenders from across Canada, dazzle the crowd with their talent and technique.  Armed with a sponsor spirit and inspiration in the form of street art, they poured their art into the glass. Each was randomly assigned their spirit and given 24 hours to create their drink. With two hours to prepare on the day-of, the competition was fierce.

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The sponsor spirits ran the gamut, ensuring that there was variety throughout the night: Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum, Campari, Disaronno, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee HoneyHendrick’s Gin1800 TequilaSkyy Vodka and Wild Turkey were enjoyed by all. 

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As the night progressed, the visual artists demonstrated their own craft, building magnificent street art inspired backdrops.

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A DIY cocktail station provided entertainment for onlookers and training for the bold novice, while food pairings provided by Blowfish kept us all full and happy.

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Judges looked for “passion, expert knowledge, distinct ingredients and how competitors incorporated these elements in unique and delicious ways into their cocktails”.

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Those qualities were evident in every beverage I tasted – some were intricate concoctions, while others used elegant and unique pairings to showcase the spirits. 8 participants won trips to partner spirit distilleries, but only one could be crowned Best Bartender.

Photo courtesy of MadeWithLove™
Romain Cavelier of Montreal, winner of Made With Love 2015. Photo courtesy of MadeWithLove™

If you missed the finals but want to participate at home, try Romain Cavelier’s winning recipe: Le Saint-Laurent Sour

1 ½ oz Wild Turkey Bourbon
¾ oz Beet syrup
¾ oz Apple Juice infused with Montreal Steak Spices
¾ oz Lemon juice
½ Egg white
½ Barspoon Walnut oil
Black walnut bitter and Wild Turkey mist on the top

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The night was an incredible success, coming together as a beautiful celebration of what our country has to offer, and what our artists can share when put to the challenge.

 See our full gallery of the Made With Love 2015 Nationals!


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