Calgary-based bartender Franz Swinton beat 39 other contestants across Canada, to become Canada's Most Imaginative Bartender.
He competed with bartenders from Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary before going on to represent Canada in the final round of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE's World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition.
The four-day competition was held in Florence, Italy and brought together mixologists from countries around the globe including Austria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Each finalist created a cocktail combining their personal taste with the cultural experiences they had encountered throughout the trip.
"Being a finalist in this competition showed me that Canadian mixologists have a place among the best bartenders in the world," said Swinton, currently bartending at Anejo Restaurant and bar manager at Cube Tasting Lounge, which is scheduled to open in Calgary this July.
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Matteo Vanzi of Italy was crowned the title of the world's most imaginative bartender with his cocktail named The Pastorini (Perfect Lady).
The cocktails were judged by a panel of international industry experts, including Canadian David Wolowidnyk, the winner of the competition last year.
Swinton says his cocktail was influenced by many elements of the trip including the simplicity of the fresh local cuisine and the meadow of wild yellow flowers that led to the juniper berry fields, an ingredient that goes into making BOMBAY SAPPHIRE.
He says the experience has inspired him to continue to learn and develop as a bartender.
As part of his prize, Vanzi will work with Virgin Atlantic to create a new signature cocktail and be a judge at next year's competition.
Find the recipes for The Pastorini and Paradiso cocktails in the slideshow above.