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May 31, 2012
David Wolowidnyk is the World's Most Imaginative Bartender

(Edited from the press release.)

After beating out thousands of contestants and seven other finalists from around the globe, Vancouver resident and West Restaurant bar manager David Wolowidnyk has been named the winner of the first ever Bombay Sapphire "World's Most Imaginative Bartender" competition. The contest brought together the top mixologists worldwide to not only challenge them, but also support them on their journey to becoming the most imaginative bartenders in the world.

The competition took David and his fellow finalists from Japan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States on a four-day experience, visiting the Moroccan home of one of the Bombay Sapphire botanicals - coriander - and exploring the world of the historic gin. The event itself took place on the last evening of the trip at one of the most beautiful villas in the world, Dar Sabra in Marrakech, Morocco. Each bartender was tasked with creating their most imaginative cocktail - combining their individual influences with the cultural experiences they had encountered throughout the trip. David was a worthy winner, adding his own unique flair and style to his cocktail, " Beldi" (recipe below).

David notes that his winning cocktail was directly influenced by the sights, sounds and flavours of Marrakech. "I came into the competition with a few ideas, but I really wanted to take cues from the experiences that were to unfold, and as expected there were special moments when natural inspiration occurred. It is such an honour to be recognized with this prestigious title."

In addition to receiving the title, David also earned a place as the first member in the newly created Bombay Sapphire Cocktail Hall of Fame, and will be partaking in various duties, including attending the 2013 opening of the liquor company's new distillery at Laverstoke Mill in England and becoming part of the judging panel for next year's competition.

The Beldi

45mL gin infused with Moroccan Saffron and Ginseng
20mL vermouth cold steeped with 1 tsp Moroccan Mint Tea and 6-8 fresh mint leaves
15mL Cinnamon/Cassia Syrup
2 dashes Lem-Marrakech Bitters - exclusively produced beforehand by "Kale & Nori"

Toasted Moroccan coriander tincture.

To garnish:
Lemon zest, with the star from Moroccan flag cut into it.

Combine gin, vermouth, cinnamon/cassia Syrup and bitters.
Stir with ice in a mixing glass.
Mist the Toasted coriander tincture into the chilled glass.
Strain into a chilled glass, garnish with a lemon zest and mist tincture again over the surface.

About David Wolowidnyk:
Currently presiding over the bar at Vancouver's West Restaurant, David has amassed over two decades of professional service experience both in front and behind the bar. Praised for his chemist-like precision, inventive twists and intriguing libations, under David's guidance, West has developed one of the largest and most diverse selections of liquor in Vancouver, and believes that a diversity of skills, attention to detail and extensive product knowledge is the key to running a successful bar, providing the guest with a memorable experience each and every time. For more information, visit

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