At the recent Domaine de Canton Bartender of the Year competition, held in the French West Indies on St. Martin, Andrew Pollard presented the best cocktail of the entire event—in the very first round. Although his Opening Act—a tangy ginger-tonic aperitif—impressed the panel, which included Canton owner John Cooper himself, the acclaimed Pure Management Group mixologist didn’t walk away with the $10,000 grand prize. He did, however, earn second place, and he has since been named Canton’s Las Vegas brand ambassador and Bartender of the Month.
- 2 ounces Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
- ½ ounce Campari
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- 4-6 fresh mint leaves, extra for garnish
- tonic water (preferably Hansen’s)
- caramelized Angostura orange bitters*
Method: Combine the Canton, Campari and lime juice in a mixing glass. Clap mint leaves between your hands to release the essential oils, then add, along with some ice, and shake. Double-strain into a chimney glass over fresh ice, top with tonic water and give it a light stir. Finish with bitters and garnish with a large sprig of fresh mint.
*To caramelize bitters, pour a small amount into an atomizer/mister ($15 at bar supply stores), then, from six inches away, spray three clouds over the flame of a brûlée torch, allowing the caramelized mist to fall over the top of the drink.