Vancouver mixologist wins for Moroccan spirit

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Vancouver mixologist wins for Moroccan spirit

David Wolowidnyk pours his award winning cocktail, the Beldi, at West Restaurant in Vancouver Tuesday. (CARMINE MARINELLI, 24 HOURS)

By TYLER ORTON, 24 HOURS

As Tuesday morning’s rain pitter-patters on the sidewalks outside West restaurant at 2881 Granville, bartender David Wolowidnyk is energized while talking about his Japanese-inspired Kakkoii cocktail.

“It’s bright, it’s refreshing and, I think, perfect for summer,” he said, adding it’s also good for people wishing to use booze to drown out the sound of this month’s unseasonably dreary weather.

He spends a few moments mixing the cocktail — made from Bombay Sapphire gin, plum wine, cinnamon syrup and fresh lemon juice — before revealing the drink won the regional contest responsible for sending him to Morocco for a global cocktail competition May 20 to 24.

Having just returned to Vancouver last week after catching four connecting flights back home, Wolowidnyk said all he needed was one moment of inspiration while preparing for Bombay Sapphire’s inaugural ‘Most Imaginative Bartender’ competition.

His epiphany came while dozing off in the car ride back to his hotel from a coriander field in Morocco.

“When I woke up, I said, ‘I know what I’m doing. I know what I’m going to do,’” he recalls while mixing his new Beldi drink at the restaurant he’s worked at the past seven years.

“I wanted every aspect of this cocktail to be inspired by and guided by Morocco and Marrakech. That was the entire point of the challenge to me.”

Wolowidnyk’s instincts were correct. Using Moroccan mint green tea and saffron as the centerpiece of his gin concoction, he beat out his last seven competitors and was crowned winner.

The Beldi, which means “natural” in Arabic, also consists of ginseng, cinnamon syrup, and toasted coriander tincture. After pouring the drink from a traditional North African teapot, he tops the cocktail off with a lemon skin garnish shaped like the star of the Moroccan flag.

The Beldi joined the Kakkoii on West’s drink menu Tuesday.

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Posted on June 6, 2012, in Morocco News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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