Lauren Mote Named Bartender of the Year at 26th Annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards


Bartender, Sommelier and International Spirits Diplomat Becomes Only
Second Woman To Claim Prestigious Award  

Bittered Sling Bitters co-proprietor and UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar manager Lauren Mote celebrated her 33rd birthday in fine style last night at the 2015 Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, where she was singled out for the Bartender of the Year Award in front of a standing-room-only crowd of restaurateurs, chefs and industry peers.

Mote, who arrived at the Awards straight from the airport following a successful Mexican launch for Bittered Sling during Tales of the Cocktail® On Tour in Mexico City, becomes only the second woman to claim the coveted Best Bartender nod following The Keefer Bar’s Danielle Tatarin in 2012. It’s not the first time Mote’s name has been called at the event, however — in 2013 she and Bittered Sling co-proprietor (and Café Medina executive chef) Jonathan Chovancek were named Producer/Supplier of the Year.

“Our judges set a near impossible bar in this category, one Mote clears easily this year — not as a bartender so much as an ambassador for the myriad pleasures of top-shelf adult imbibing,” said Vancouver Magazine’s Senior Editor Michael White in the May edition of the magazine.

A well-respected speaker, educator, mentor and industry advocate, Mote’s reach extends well beyond the bar. She currently serves as Associate Director of the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, has been an event partner and keynote speaker with Tales of the Cocktail® since 2011, and is one of only three judges for Top Shelf 20, which recognizes elite bartenders from across the country.

In addition to her role at UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar, Mote is an in demand hospitality consultant and in the past year has helped revamp and redesign bar programs at The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar in Calgary as well as at Vancouver’s Café Medina and Burdock & Co., most recently collaborating with YEW seafood + bar in the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver to launch the Oceans Program, an innovative cocktail menu that draws inspiration from the world’s oceans.

“I cannot overstate what a huge honour this is,” said Mote. “Both Jonathan and I have been recognized here before for our work with Bittered Sling, but this award ranks as number one on a personal level because it’s a validation that all the work that I’ve done for our industry and community both at home and abroad is paying off. I’m extremely humbled and grateful to have been singled out for such an honour.”

Born and bred in Toronto, Mote began her career behind the bar at Club Monaco Patio and Café in Yorkville at the age of 18 before moving on to earn her stripes as a sommelier while working as bar manager at Toronto institution Le Sélect Bistro. In 2007 she packed up and headed west, landing the role of bar manager at Lumière before moving on to work in managerial roles at Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Chow Restaurant, Hawksworth Catering and The Refinery. In 2010, Mote realized a dream of combining the cocktail and culinary worlds when she established Bittered Sling Bitters alongside Chovancek, whom Mote credits as her inspiration in both life and business.

“Jonathan has been a massive influence on me and has always encouraged me,” she said. “He’s probably been the most important force in my life both personally and professionally and has helped me to achieve every goal imaginable. Without him, none of this would have been possible.”

The Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards are judged by a panel of leading experts and critics, and are handed out at a formal award show at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. A full list of winners is available at

About Bittered Sling Bitters: Bittered Sling celebrates the collaboration of mixologist/sommelier Lauren Mote and chef Jonathan Chovancek, who together bring a combined 30 years of professional experience, knowledge and innovation to the Canadian food and beverage industry. Produced exclusively in B.C., their line of high-quality, small-batch cocktail bitters and food extracts incorporate homegrown fruit from the Okanagan, organic wild cascade hops harvested in the interior and cacao beans sourced from Vancouver’s East Van Roasters. Originally marketed as a medicinal tonic, bitters are a concentration of select natural herbs, fruits and spices and are an indispensable tool of any bartender as well as a flavouring agent for cocktail and culinary creations both savoury and sweet. For more information about Bittered Sling and where you can find them in a growing number of restaurants and bars and retail locations across North America, visit, ‘like’ /BitteredSling on Facebook and follow @Bittered_Sling on Twitter and @Bittered_Sling on Instagram.  
About UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar: Located within the Moda Hotel in the heart of downtown Vancouver, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar is an elegant enclave for wine and spirit connoisseurs seeking a sanctuary that tempts both eye and palate. UVA by Day is an inviting spot to enjoy rich Italian espresso drinks, artisanal sandwiches, brodos and zeppole, while UVA by Night offers enticing cocktails, refined wines and an eclectic menu of import beers all paired with the city’s finest charcuterie and artisanal cheeses. 900 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC | Mon – Sat 11:30 a.m. – 2 a.m., Sun 11:30 a.m. – 12 a.m.604.632.9560 | | Facebook: /CiboTrattoriaUvaWineBar | Twitter: @UVAVancouver | Instagram: @UVAVancouver

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