Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

It’s his first year in the notable cocktail competition and Oak + Cru bartender Nicholas Tzaferis is looking to take the title.

This year the Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff will have 12 of the best cocktail experts and chefs from around the region competing for the top bartender title.

The passion Tzaferis has for food and beverage has allowed him to dream up some ideas that he hopes will raise the bar in this year’s competition.

“Competitions like this, having ten to 12 of the best bartenders in the city, it pushes us to come up with better ideas,” he said.

Each contestant will have to use two Okanagan Spirits in their cocktails this time round along with a local craft beer, cider or wine.

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Tzaferis has paired up with Cedar Creek Winery and is working with the winemaker to create some fun cocktails.

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery CEO Tyler Dyck said this competition really puts the Okanagan on the map as craft distilling actually started in Western Canada.

“Okanagan Spirits is Western Canada’s ordinal craft distillery,” he explained. “So, when it comes to farm to flask and field to flask, terroir specific spirit presentation this is where it all began.

“What you are seeing is cocktail experts here that really champion that field to flask experience, who are really bringing these world class spirits to the next level. Not just by using commercial alcohols in what they are doing but they are now going specific regional ones to get taste profiles.”

The mixoff now adds a culinary component to the event that makes for an enticing night out in the Okanagan. Tickets are $75 and guests can try the 12 cocktails as many times as they would like along with the accompanied canapés.

The night kicks off at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Laurel Packing House for more information click www.okmixoff.com.

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