Lauren Mote is more than your average mixologist. As bar manager of downtown hotspot UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar and co-proprietor of Bittered Sling Extracts, she’s become one of Vancouver’s most prominent players in the cocktail and spirits world. Distinctive flavoring agents from Bittered Sling, which she runs with partner Chef Jonathan Chovancek of the wildly popular Café Medina, are featured in dishes and drinks at restaurants and bars from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. The company has won a number of awards and distinctions, and Mote herself has been having a memorable 2015 so far, already winning several awards, including “Bartender of the Year” by Vancouver Magazine.
In this edition of “My Famous Five,” Lauren Mote talks about five special cocktails you shouldn’t miss the next time you visit UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar.
“This is a cocktail that I first put on the menu at Chow Restaurant in 2008, and since then, it’s hit legacy status and has been on every bar program I’ve stood behind, including The Refinery and now UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar. Crushable, complex and refreshing, it’s one of the most popular summer cocktails on our menu. The recipe combines Citadelle Gin, Green Chartreuse, a whisper of cacao liqueur, Bittered Sling Malagasy Chocolate bitters, lime and orange, sugar to balance, and an egg white to emulsify the whole thing like a milkshake!”
“Irena’s Restriction is an ode to a guest’s story about her Irish grandmother. Apparently, her grandmother had gone into the kitchen to fetch tea, but was caught drinking cups of Jameson Irish Whiskey instead. This light, elegant cocktail combines the aforementioned libation with more feminine characteristics that granny would enjoy, such as St. Germain elderflower liqueur and Amaro Nonino. It’s simple and lovely.”
“Similar to a Negroni in its style, but a tad lighter, this cocktail combines Campari, Père Magloire Calvados, Alvear Fino Sherry, Lillet and Bittered Sling Cascade Celery bitters.”
“This cocktail is an ode to the famed children’s book and a play on words referencing the addition of ‘peated’ Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Whisky, whose distinctively smoky flavor profile comes from the peat bog that was harvested and burned to create it. This spirit-forward cocktail is popular in the fall and winter months, and although some guests are still a little on the shy side with smoky or earthy drinks, they’re slowly coming around!”
Cricket Old Fashioned
“The Cricket Old Fashioned is a rather simple execution of the classic ‘Rum Old Fashioned,’ incorporating Ron Diplomático Exclusiva, a house-made aromatic sugar (our top secret recipe!) and bitters. Cricket is the national sport of most rum-producing countries, so I thought I’d give it a little love up here in Canada!”
UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, The Moda Hotel, 900 Seymour Street (Downtown); Italian and wine/cocktail bar, open 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. daily.