James Grant Wins Calgary Bartender Contest With A Rocky Cocktail

James Grant, Bartender in Edmonton’s Holy Roller and Mercer Tavern, is one of the winners of the Canadian Hennessy bartender contest.

Globetrotter James Grant proved that no borders can stop him when he won our annual bartending contest with a drink inspired by the international flavor of Hennessy Privilège V.S.O.P.

The 33-year-old bartender from Edmonton, who grew up all over the world thanks to a military upbringing, started bartending only four years ago when he was living in London. His background undoubtedly motivated him to create a cocktail inspired by the international story of Hennessy, which was a winning combination.


To James Grant, it is very important to learn, compete and develop his craft. This way, he always has something new to bring to his guests, who deserve the best experience a bartender can give them.

Representing Edmonton’s Holy Roller and Mercer Tavern, Grant proved that four years of bartending is well enough when you take your art seriously.

“Find 3 drinks that you love and commit them to memory. Then experiment.”

The one who describes himself as professional, knowledgeable and hospitable, knows that practice makes perfect, but there is always room to experiment and to play with the ingredients to fulfil the guests desires.


“I love that Hennessy, especially the V.S.O.P., is such an international cocktail. From Richard Hennessy’s Irish roots to the V.S.O.P.’s creation at the request of King George; it’s a product that transcends borders,” he explains. For the contest, Grant chose to use the international flavor of the product to create a rocky cocktail; the Pyrenees.


  • 1.75 oz Hennessy V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale)
  • 0.25 oz Chestnut Liqueur
  • 0.75 oz Olorosso Sherry
  • 0.5 oz Lemon/Pear shrub
  • 3 dashes aromatic bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass with a single large block of ice. Garnish with a twist of lemon zest.







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