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The Art of Perfect Cocktail Pairing

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Raise a glass to the Top 3! Shake up your hosting or toasting skills with one–of–a–kind cocktail recipes created by World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2021, James Grant. Each cocktail is inspired by the flavours, dishes and cuisines of the Top 3 Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2022.

November 1, 2022

Green Ribbon

Inspired by Canada’s Best New Restaurant, Restaurant 20 Victoria. Pairs with light vegetable and fish flavours. Secondary notes of rich dairy.


  • 1 oz Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

  • ½ oz olive oil–washed fino sherry*

  • ½ oz Seedlip Garden 108

  • ½ oz snap pea and lovage cordial*

  • 2 oz sparkling mineral water

  • Halved snap pea

Starting with Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, layer the ingredients in a Collins glass. Add olive oil–washed fino sherry followed by Seedlip Garden 108 and snap pea and lovage cordial. Give everything a stir, then add ice and sparkling water. For the garnish, cut a snap pea in half and rest it on top, or pin it with a cocktail pick.

*Go the extra mile with... olive oil–washed fino sherry

In a non–reactive container, combine two cups of Fino sherry with 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Stir to combine (the oil and sherry won’t blend, so just give it a good mix) and then place in the freezer. Allow the oil to separate and harden. Once the oil is solid, strain out of the sherry. Rebottle the sherry and keep refrigerated.

... and a snap pea and lovage cordial

Combine 18 oz of white sugar, 18 oz of water, and 1 tsp of citric acid powder in a non–reactive container. Stir until completely dissolved. Add 2 ½ oz of chopped lovage and 2 ½ oz of halved snap peas and allow these to infuse overnight before straining. Rebottle and keep refrigerated.

Read More: Get inspired by Toronto’s Restaurant 20 Victoria.

Night Moves

Inspired by Mastard, Canada’s Best New Restaurants’ second–place winner. Pairs with rich, autumnal flavours. Earthy, smoky, sweet and tart.


  • 1 ¾ oz Johnnie Walker Black Label Blended Scotch Whisky

  • ½ oz maple syrup (or candy cap and pear maple syrup*)

  • ¼ oz verjus

  • ¾ oz Oloroso sherry

  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

  • Brandied cherry

Pour Johnnie Walker Black Label and maple syrup into a mixing glass – or mix things up with a candy cap and pear–infused maple syrup.* Add verjus and Oloroso sherry, then balance it off with two dashes of Angostura bitters. Mix in ice and stir. Strain the mixture into a chilled Nick & Nora glass, and top it off with a brandied cherry on a cocktail pick.

*Go the extra mile with... candy cap and pear maple syrup

Over medium heat, combine 18 oz of maple syrup and 9 oz of water. Stir until mixed and remove from heat. Add 1 tsp of sea salt, ½ of a chopped bosc pear and 5 candy cap mushrooms. Allow them to infuse for six hours before straining out mushrooms. Rebottle and keep refrigerated.

Read More: Get inspired by Montreal’s Mastard.

Neon Tiger

Inspired by Mimi Chinese, Canada’s Best New Restaurants’ third–place winner. Pairs with umami, spice and bright herbaceous notes.


  • 2 oz Don Julio Reposado

  • ½ oz honey (or pink peppercorn and lemongrass honey*)

  • 1 oz lime juice

  • ½ oz yuzu liqueur

  • 1 lime wedge

  • Togarashi salt

In a shaker, add Don Julio Reposado and honey—or spice things up with pink peppercorn and lemongrass honey,* followed by lime juice and yuzu liqueur for a zing of acidity. Give it a shake. Run a lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass, then roll the rim in togarashi salt. Add a few ice rocks and strain your mixture on top.

*Go the extra mile with... pink peppercorn and lemongrass honey

In a non–reactive container, combine 18 oz honey and 9 oz boiling water and stir to combine. While this mixture is cooling, add 50g of finely chopped lemongrass and 10g of crushed pink peppercorn. Allow mixture to infuse for two hours and then strain. Bottle and keep refrigerated.

Read More: Get inspired by Toronto’s Mimi Chinese.

James Grant

Cocktail recipes crafted by World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2021, James Grant.

Gold Sponsor Diageo