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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  • Franz Swinton, Canada

    <strong>Paradiso - Franz Swinton's Recipe</strong> 1.5oz BOMBAY SAPPHIRE 0.4oz Campari 1/3oz Roasted Fennel syrup 1oz Lemon juice 3 drops BOMBAY SAPPHIRE "Firenze Tincture"(Salami, Dried red chili, Fennel Seed) <strong>Method:</strong> Build ingredients Shake vigorously and double strain into chilled coupe glass Garnish with fennel fronds Accompaniments: Yellow field flowers, Ricotta and Salami stuffed zucchini blossom in Juniper batter

  • Franz Swinton, Canada

  • Franz Swinton, Canada

  • <strong>The Pastorini (Perfect Lady) - Matteo Vanzi's Winning Cocktail Recipe</strong> Ingredients: 50mL BOMBAY SAPPHIRE 10mL St Germain infused jasmine green tea and pink grapefruit peel 15mL Martini Bianco 20mL White Balsamic Vinegar with verbena and camomile Homemade shrub 1 Tsp Juniper Berry meringue Method: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker Shake, fine strain and serve in metal picnic mugs Homemade shrub 1 cup caster sugar 1 cup white balsamic vinegar Method: Heat vinegar and allow sugar to dissolve and then filter Infusion 375ml St Germain 3 tbs Jasmine green tea Peel of one Pink grapefruit Method: In a Vienna coffee machine lightly infuse the green tea and pink grapefruit peel with the St. Germain Juniper Berry meringue 125g egg white 125g caster sugar 5 whole fine ground juniper berries Method: Whisk to meringue

  • Niklas Frank, Denmark, Final Cocktail

  • Rustyn Vaughn Lee, US, Final Cocktail

  • Assaf Yechiel, South Africa, Final Cocktail

  • Mai Seike, Japan, Final Cocktail

  • Joe Wild, UK, Final Cocktail

  • Joao Eusebio, Spain, Final Cocktail

  • Markus Altricher, Austria, Final Cocktail

  • Mathias Noori, Germany, Final Cocktail

  • Nico Colic, Switzerland, Final Cocktail

  • Team USA representing #bombaywmib @SapphireGinUSA

  • Assaf Yechiel representing SA for #bombaywmib 2013 with his cocktail 'A journey together' @Goodboisaf

  • Joao from Spain 'on fire' showing his skills at #bombaywmib 2013. @BSapphire_ES should be proud!

  • Matteo from Italy takes the winners crown for the 2013 #bombaywmib. Congratulations to you and all the contestants!

  • Lovely evening in Florence for a Gin & Tonic #BombayWMIB

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.

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