Getting Thirsty at the Made With Love Mixology Competition

By on March 29, 2019

I like my martinis extra dirty with olives; my mojitos with freshly squeezed lime juice as opposed to lime cordial; and my gin with a splash of St. Germain. I know what I like in my drinks, just like you do!

We all have our preferences when it comes to our favorite drinks; a key ingredient to having a superb drink starts with a mixologist who knows how to perfectly execute our tasty libations!

The very interactive and engaging Canadian mixology competition, Made With Love, is back again for its third year!

Made With Love is an international event for cocktail enthusiasts and food epicureans. It has become an annual celebration of the craft cocktails industry. The public, along with a panel of renowned judges, are invited to witness this interactive competition by savouring exclusive and extravagant creations and vote for their favourites.

Founded in 2009 in Montreal, MADE WITH LOVE has gained popularity through its mixology competition where passion and excellence bring the bartending community together to push the limits of creativity. Today, MADE WITH LOVE is active in 2 countries (Canada and Spain), and continues to develop internationally. – Made With Love

Shannon-Blue Nanibush – FAUNA OTTAWA @ Made With Love

The two crowned winners of each category, Public’s Choice and Judges’ Choice, will represent Ottawa at the National Finals taking place in the Spring. The finalists will try to win the coveted title of best Barchef in the country, and have a chance to win one of 10 trips to one of the Made With Love affiliated distilleries :
                – 2 trips to Italy with Campari
                – 2 trips to Nicaragua with Flor de Cana
                – 2 trips to New Orleans with Sazerac
                – 2 trips to Kentucky (USA) with Woodford Reserve
                – 2 trips with MADE WITH LOVE


Quintana Taylor – EL DORADO
Drake Ross Evans – EL CAMINO ELGIN
Brown Frederick – HEADQUARTERS
Matt Azevedo – MATI OTTAWA
Mike Campbell – INDEPENDENT
Sheldon Jackson – RABBIT HOLE
Vysion Elter – JASPER OTTAWA
Natalie Sole – INDEPENDENT
Sammy Lesh – BELMONT
Charles-Éric Laperriere – GRAY JAY
Jovan Morales – BAR DADDY BY JOVAN
Shannon-Blue Nanibush – FAUNA OTTAWA

Drake Ross Evans – EL CAMINO ELGIN @ Made With Love

Vying for Ottawa’s top mixologist are five finalists that have taken the time to answer some of my questions as they get ready for the big event next week:

What cocktail have you submitted for the competition?

  • WARREN FREDERICK: I decided to make my cocktail for a few reasons. One being I wanted to incorporate the different flavour profiles of Woodford Reserve and make a cocktail highlighting the key flavour notes and tell a story while you sip my cocktail and we are a coffee shop so there will be some coffee element to my cocktail to match the profile of my spirit.
  • SHANNON BLUE NANIBUSH: For Made with Love this year, I was appointed Southern Comfort, and my immediate thought was “how do I balance the sweetness?” So for my cocktail I chose to do a stirred cocktail, with citric acid, black cherry juice and black sesame syrup. I wanted to keep it simple as far as ingredients go and something that came out very dark in colour. I think a stirred Southern Comfort cocktail would stand out!
  • MIKE CAMPBELL: My drink will have Campari, a faux vermouth syrup made from scratch and ten infused with Korean gochu chillies and finished with house made spiced-orange bitters. I think my use of traditional Korean ingredients will help my cocktail stand out and not being afraid to use very over the top flavours while still maintaining a balanced drink.
  • MATTHEW AZEVEDO: I love a great gimlet. Love. So the drink I decided to make was heavily influenced by that, while I tried to put the heaviest Canadian spin on it possible. Ungava has such unique flavours that makes it stand out even amongst other pronounced flavours, so its given me some beautiful breathing room to play with.
  • DRAKE ROSS EVANS: The drink I’ve made for ‘Made with Love’ is a type of Tiki cocktail, Rum being the more predominant flavour with a juicy and silky finish. I personally love Tiki cocktails because there are so many neat and creative rum forward drinks.

What was the inspiration behind your creation?

  • WARREN FREDERICK: My inspiration behind my drink is the flavour wheel of  Woodford Reserve and also coffee because we are a coffee shop.
  • SHANNON BLUE NANIBUSH: My theme for my cocktail was stemmed from my love of westerns and goth culture, so think gothic western!
  • MIKE CAMPBELL: I decided to make a cocktail inspired by some of the unique flavors I experienced in Korea, and same goes for my food pairing. Because I am not representing any restaurant I feel like it would be the most authentic thing to just make what I know and I what I believe will be a very new flavor profile for most people attending the event.
  • MATTHEW AZEVEDO: My number one inspiration was everything Canada. Ungava is a beautiful testament to the great botanicals this country has to offer, and that made me want to showcase the possibilities that can come from utilizing what this great country has to offer.
  • DRAKE ROSS EVANS: The inspiration for my theme and flavours came from Nicaragua, a place of lakes and volcanoes. When the cocktail came to be a vibrant orange colour it brought me to Danakil Ethiopia and their volcanic lakes. I knew from the beginning I wanted to make a drink using Horchata, a refreshing rice milk drink that’s very popular in central America. Horchata will be my stand out ingredient in this drink. Orange and lime as a classic citrus that will bring familiarity to the guests, fresh carrot juice which I hope to bring a “wow factor”.
Mike Campbell – INDEPENDENT @ Made With Love

What accompanying appetizer will you be serving with your cocktail?

  • WARREN FREDERICK: That’s a secret. Lol!
  • SHANNON BLUE NANIBUSH: To go with my theme I will be serving a chili style hodge podge with sesame elements. I wanted something rustic and not sweet this year.
  • MIKE CAMPBELL: I’ll be pairing my drink with a traditional Kimchi-Jiggae which is a spicy Korean soup, very common in Korean restaurants and bars.
  • MATTHEW AZEVEDO: My chef and I are still in the process, so food pairing will have to be a surprise!!
  • DRAKE ROSS EVANS: My food pairing is a combination of fresh Nicaraguan flavours. Serving a pork meatball with a achiote and sour orange sauce. Topped with a spiced carrot and beet slaw all served on a plantain chip. This savoury, spicy, herbal appetizer hits the flavour palate that my cocktail doesn’t. Lake Citrine (the cocktails name) brings the citrus, sweet, and silky all to life. With these two combinations, your mouth will be listening to a symphony of flavours hitting each note on the tongue.
Warren Frederick – HEADQUARTERS @ Made With Love

Vital information:

Where: Horticulture Building at Lansdowne Park

When: Monday, April 1st, 2019

Time: 6pm – 11pm

Tickets: $65 general admission at each participating bar or $75 at the door. For groups of 10 or more, contact us at 19 years+

Ticket prices include a complete tasting of all showcased cocktails, a selection of food-pairings, and the privilege to vote for your favourite cocktail creation, and favourite Barchef!

Now buy your tickets and get ready to be entranced and seduced by the talents of the cocktail competitors!

See you there, 


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Having attended numerous culinary and charity events over the years, I have had the pleasure of tasting incredible dishes, and when something stays with's worth pursuing!!😋
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