Restaurant Awards 2022: Introducing our bartender of the year

Introducing VanMag’s 2022 Bartender of the Year.


Introducing our 2022 Bartender of the Year

Jeff Savage, Botanist1038 Canada Pl., Vancouver

When we created this award in 2006, the goal was modest: to try to determine who the best bartender in town is. But what we didn’t appreciate at the time was that Vancouver had such a cocktail moment that the BOTY winner that year – and many years after – was not only the best bartender in town , but probably of the country… and , some might say, the world.

Even more amazingly, as the mixology revolution grew, so did Vancouver’s reputation. So when a young Albertan studying political theory and religious studies suddenly caught the bartending bug, he was able to hop on a short flight and get cheers from luminaries like Jay Jones, Shaun Layton and Lauren Mote, all giants industry and also bartenders working in town, always ready to help a visiting colleague. The mentorship paid off: by the time Jeff Savage accepted Grant Sceney’s offer to move to Vancouver and work at Botanist, he had been racking up accolades and winning competitions in our neighboring province to the east for years. .

But once settled into the Pac Rim’s mad scientist lab, things really took off. In 2019, he won World Class Canada (the Super Bowl of bar competitions), then finished second in the world by an incredibly close margin – and in doing so played his own key role in keeping Vancouver perched as one of the cocktail capitals of the world. . And like those who preceded him, he is always happy to mentor a beginner or guide a patron in the genesis of a cocktail that may have as many literary references as ingredients.

Want more restaurant award winners? Read them all here

Credit: Jeff Savage (left)

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