As the search for Canada’s best Bartender tested the ability of the best bartenders, Vancouver, BC, has tabled its secrets. Our winner spills the beans, for your own pleasure.
Matthew Benevoli had one dream. Never fearing hard work, the 32-year-old rolled-up his sleeves and put all the efforts into perfecting his skills towards the goal of becoming a Vancouver bartender. The chase for this dream began five years ago as he made his way up to the management of the bar of Nomad, on Main Street. Not only Benevoli is at the top of his game, he’s also considerate, willing to pass down his knowledge and skills. “I’m very proud of my team and what we’re doing,” he tells us. “It’s exciting to develop young bartenders and watch them grow”.
RIDING ON MOMENTUM, RIGHT ON TRACK
“‘Never stop, never settle’ is something that I’ve always had as a mindset,” he says. “There is so much knowledge in the world, specifically in bartending. Life is a journey that’s meant to be explored and I feel that if you never stop pushing yourself to achieve more, you’ll never settle for the way things are, but move forward into the future.”
DO IT THE FRENCH WAY
A personal signature of story-oriented cocktails, which is definitely what made him win. “I was inspired by classic French cuisine, namely Duck L’Orange. I want to pay tribute to how French cuisine is a beacon to people all around the world, connecting them through a culinary experience”, Benevoli recounts. The je-ne-sais quoi factor collides with a conquering name, paying tribute to a heritage.
“Calling the cocktail ‘Le Triomphe’ was my acknowledgment of how triumphant French traditions are. Cognac is generations of tradition, so much lineage in every glass.”
He was fortunate to experience and acknowledge the rich culture and history visiting the town of Cognac with Hennessy, three years ago. “I was deeply inspired by their 250 years of traditions and the cultural experience I received in Cognac. I wanted to showcase a refined cocktail with rich layers of flavour, aroma and viscosity as my interpretation of a culinary experience in a glass.”
HOMEGROWN PRACTICE TO PERFECT
When time to practice your mixing skills, it’s best to get the essentials home bartender tip from the pro first. “Pick one or two cocktails you love, learn to make them really well and be proud of them. Then use that as a stepping stone to learn more and have fun making cocktails for your family, friends and a little treat for yourself.”
Way to go with Le Triomphe. Here’s the recipe:
– 45ml Hennessy VSOP
– 20ml Pineau De Charentes
– 20ml French Vermouth (Extra Dry)
– 12ml Tarragon Syrup
– 3 Dashes Seville Orange Bitters
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and stir well. Strain cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.