Meet Matt Millard Bar Laurel’s Man Behind The Bar

This week I had the absolute pleasure of meeting the extremely talented mixologist, Matt Millard. How do I know he’s super talented? Well let me tell you, he made me the most epic drink made with my favourite spirit; Gin. Not just any ‘ol gin, Ontario gin from Georgian Bay (aptly called Georgian Bay Gin).

What you need to know about Matt is that he’s really new to Ottawa. He landed here only this year and we are so lucky to him-trust me. He hails from Scotland (which he claims to have the best cocktail bars in the world) and has worked at some of the best cocktail bars there including Panda & Sons. Now he’s the new man behind the bar at Bar Laurel, Fauna’s sister restaurant, opening in Hintonburg in the next couple of weeks.

The good news for you is that you don’t have to wait until Bar Laurel opens to try one of this cocktails. Matt is popping up at Eat, Drink, Spring, The Ottawa Wine and Food Festival’s warm weather show and he’s sharing his tips for summer cocktails. Better yet, you might get the chance to try to this drink- the “Delicate Daisy”. What Matt taught me was that a “daisy cocktail” is essentially a sour with a ‘wee’ (can you hear the Scottish accent!?)  splash of soda on top, which is my kind of drink.

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I know you’re thinking, how do I make myself one of these glorious drinks? Don’t worry, Matt has your back. Behold the recipe.

Ingredients

The Delicate Daisy
Georgian Bay Gin – 1.5oz. (45ml)
Fino Sherry (Tio pepe) – 0.5oz (15ml)
Bitter Almond Tincture – 1/4 tsp (1.25ml)
Simple Syrup (1:1) – 0.5oz. (15ml)
Fresh pressed Lemon Juice – 3/4oz. (22.5ml)
2 x Sprigs of Tarragon
1oz of Soda
Absinthe Rinse glass
Cucumber ribbon garnish

Method

Gently muddle Tarragon sprigs with simple syrup in the bottom of the shaker tin.
Add lemon juice, Bitter Almond Tincture, Fino sherry and Georgian Bay Gin.
Before adding ice and shaking, rinse cocktail coupe with Absinthe
Finally shake cocktail briefly (6 seconds approx.)
Fine Strain with a tea strainer to remove any ice shards and large tarragon particles.
Wee Splash of Soda on top. Spritz a lemon peel over the drink and discard.
Garnish with a nice cucumber ribbon.
 
I don’t know about you but I want to see more of where this came from and that’s why I can’t wait for Eat, Drink, Spring this weekend. Other than learning how to make great cocktails (and then sipping on them of course!) the 3rd annual festival has a ton of food and drink related fun to be had. Tickets are $20 both Friday May 13 + 14 which gives you access to fun under the big top (5000 square feet of tenting), more seminars by regarded experts like Andrew Pike of Marilyn Denis fame. There’s also a Battle of the BBQ in support of The Ottawa Mission, which I’m particularly excited about. Ok I could go on and on, so just head over to ottawawineandfoodfestival.com to check out the trouble you could get into this week!
Big thank you to Fauna for letting  Zac Pantalone and I, the wonderful human who took these images, to play in their restaurant during off hours. And of course to Matt for showing us what he’s got behind the bar. See you this weekend!