The Creativity’s in the Cocktail

Revered Vancouver bartender Lauren Mote hosts masterclasses during Dine Out

By Kristi Alexandra

Vancouver transplant Lauren Mote earned her drink-mixing chops much like many women over the age of 19 do: bartending her way through university. Thing is for Mote, who’s been behind the bar for the past 16 years, the job struck a note.

“I’ve always been drawn to working with food and beverage, and it was always what I did when I was working through college and studying things completely unrelated to food and beverage, like sociology and anthropology,” Mote, voted 2015’s Bartender of the Year by Vancouver Magazine, tells Loose Lips.

“It was a great fit to incorporate all those social things I was studying and sort of rope them into working in a bar environment.”

Originally from Toronto, Mote made a name for herself on the East Coast before working her way through world-renowned Vancouver eateries such as Lumière, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, Hawksworth Catering, and the Refinery.

“I got into doing this because creatively I very much enjoy the act of creating cocktail mixology and guest-driven experiences. I’ve always had a love for working with food and in kitchens as well, but it wasn’t the right stage for me,” she reveals.

“The right stage for me is standing behind a bar so I can have that guest interaction as well as working with products and ingredients similar to the kitchen. I’m sort of like an animated, professional drink comedian,” Mote laughs.

Slinging drinks isn’t the only way the cocktail veteran is making a name for herself in the business; she’s got an entrepreneurial bone, too.

Mote is one-half of Bittered Sling, a retail line of high-quality, small-batch bitters. The company is known for using homegrown and artisanal products that provides palate, plate and potion with a subtle-yet-exciting fusion of flavours.


The line, co-created by chef Jonathan Chovancek, is used in 90 per cent of the cocktails mixed at UVA Wine Bar, where Mote manages and runs a creative mentorship program.

“Bittered Sling is a quintessential Canadian ingredient and we are sponsored by Agriculture Canada and the federal government. We work in other parts of the world as a quintessential Canadian product,” Mote explains.

As for what Mote’s on to next? She’s hosting a series of cocktail masterclasses as part of Dine Out Vancouver, which started on Jan. 15 and runs until Jan. 31.

“One of the coolest ones we’re doing is the agave versus mescal. It’s like a battle of the tequilas,” she says.

“A lot of people have an understanding of what tequila is, but I think that now mezcal is available in Vancouver and B.C., it will be interesting to clients to understand the difference between the two and what flavour profile is right for you.”

To check out Lauren Mote’s upcoming masterclasses and for tickets, check out Dine Out Vancouver’s schedule here.




Kristi Alexandra is an unabashed wino and wannabe musician. Her talents include drinking an entire bottle of cabernet sauvignon, singing in the bathtub, and falling asleep.