Calgary's Timo Salimaki Voted as Canada's Most Imaginative Bartender at Annual Bombay Sapphire® Cocktail Competition


TORONTO, June 27, 2017 /CNW/ - In its 11th year, Bombay Sapphire Gin Most Imaginative Bartender (MIB) Competition was held in Toronto with ten of the best bartenders from across the country competing for the chance to represent Canada on the world stage. Bartenders from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal stirred creativity to present their most imaginative cocktails before an esteemed panel of judges, including Alex Day of NYC's famed cocktail institution Death & Co. (2010 Best American Cocktail Bar and World's Best Cocktail Menu at Tales of the Cocktail Spirited awards).

After an evening showcasing each bartender's personal inspiration behind their drink, Timo Salimaki was officially announced as Canada's 2017 Most Imaginative Bartender. Salimaki's "The Mirepoix Experience" cocktail pushed the boundaries of a typical gin cocktail.  "My favourite aroma, is the simple smell of sautéed carrots, onions, and celery." Says Salimaki, "Growing up, I remember waking up in the morning on the weekend, walking downstairs, and smelling the first stages of my mother making soup using these ingredients. This mixture, Mirepoix, is the base of building flavour in cooking across a variety of cuisines. I was inspired to make a cocktail based on these principles."

Salimaki will now move on as one of the top 12 bartenders from across the United States and Canada who will be traveling to England – the home of Bombay Sapphire – to compete in the Finals this August. 

"This competition always brings out an exceptional level of artistry, showcased through mixology." says Salimaki. "Every bartender that competed in the MIB competition brought their A-game. Representing Canada at the Laverstoke Mill in England this summer is going to be an invaluable experience for my career."

For the very first time, this year's Grand Prize winner will be named "GQ Bartender in Residence" where he or she will collaborate on a series of cocktail videos and act as an in-brand cocktail and culture expert throughout the year for several Condé Nast publications including GQ Magazine, Bon Appétit, and The New Yorker.

"Each year, the Most Imaginative Bartender competition gives emerging bartenders an international stage to showcase their talents," says Brendan McDonough, Senior Brand Manager for Bombay Sapphire Gin. "Timo's 'The Mirepoix Experience' cocktail is a phenomenal example of the boundary-pushing creativity that is possible with cocktail making, and I look forward to seeing what he has in store as he represents Canada at the Finals at the Laverstoke Mill this August."

Since its inception, the Most Imaginative Bartender Competition has worked with bartenders who have gone on to further their careers and be known as some of the top bartending talent across Canada and the U.S. Since winning the 2016 title, Schuyler Hunton has been working on launching his very own bar program, set to open in the heart of Boston later this year. 2015 champion Justin Lavenue has also opened two of Austin's hottest cocktail spots since his win. 2014 winner Ran Duan transformed his family-owned business – a traditional mom and pop Chinese restaurant just outside of Boston – into one of the most talked about cocktail bars in the nation in the wake of his victory.

For More information about the Most Imaginative Bartender competition, please visit

Tim Salimaki Cocktail Recipe:
"The Mirepoix Experience"

  • 2 parts Bombay Sapphire
  • 0.25 parts Cointreau
  • 1 part Mirepoix Soup
  • 0.5 parts honey ginger syrup
  • 1/2 fresh lemon juice

Method: Place all ingredients in to a shaker. Add ice, and shake. Double strain into a chilled coupe. 

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® is the fastest growing premium Gin in the world and world's number one premium Gin by value. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is created with a unique combination of ten hand-selected botanicals, sourced from around the globe. The brand's global essence and signature vapour infusion process impart a refined and perfectly balanced taste, versatile enough for both classic cocktails and exotic recipes. Infused with Imagination, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE is a symbol of the exploration of worldly and sophisticated lifestyles. For more information, please explore


40% ALC. BY VOL.

The BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.

SOURCE Bombay Sapphire

For further information: Press Contacts: Rachel Jones, Pomp & Circumstance, 647-453-0749,

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