News: Flair in the air for bartender

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Published in the July 26th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Flair in the air for bartender

LINDA HOANG
Edmonton Sun

Gavin MacMillan’s got flair and he’s bringing that flair to this year’s Capital EX.

Named the number one “flair” bartender in Canada in 2005, MacMillan knows a thing or two about taking the drinking experience to a whole new level.

“People don’t typically go to a bar expecting to be entertained,” MacMillan said before his 7 p.m. show at Sip! The Wine and Food Experience exhibit at Capital EX on Sunday. “So if you can entertain people and provide them with a great drink, as a bartender, that’s a really good thing to do.”

The award-winning bartender and champion “mixologist” – someone who combines different ingredients at different proportions to create great drinks – wants to show Capital EX visitors why and how a drink tastes good.

“I’ll explain how the cocktail works, how ingredients get in the glass and why they are involved,” he said.

MacMillan performs demonstrations on vodka, rum, gin, whiskey and tequila cocktails and later this week will be joined by mixologist partner David Jennings. The two will then incorporate tandem, choreographed “flair” bartending into their demonstrations.

MacMillan began bartending when he was about 18 years old. After moving to Australia to backpack for a year, he found with his bartending, that year turned into several.

“Bartending and mixology is such a versatile skill much like music, you can take it pretty much anywhere,” he said.

Now, MacMillan has tended bar in over 14 countries across five continents, even starting his own bartending school called Bartender One based in Ontario.

Mixology and flair bartending demonstrations take place at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. at Sip! The Wine and Food Experience in Hall A, daily until Aug. 1.

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