Kaitlyn Stewart loves to learn.
If the Vancouver bartender sees a new technique or tries a drink that captures her interest, she wants in order to know how it works. “I’m like the sponge, I’m always trying to soak it up, ” she tells V. I. A over the phone.
She believes constantly learning is a testament to being a good bartender or even chef. It’s also likely one of the traits that will earned the girl the title Bartender of the Year at the particular World Class Competition in 2017.
“I’ll pick up a book on fermentation and try to learn because that’s a weak spot for me, or I’ll pick up a book about brewing… I’m constantly on the lookout for different fun things, ” the girl says.
Stewart has been 1 of the world’s greatest bartenders for several years now but her insatiable curiosity has come in handy with another associated with her claims to fame, TikTok stardom.
Cocktails akin to mad science
Stewart makes content five days the week for over 355, 000 followers and says that staying within the loop, hopping on trends in order to learn as much as possible before they disappear continues to be really helpful. “It forces me to really brush up on all of my knowledge. ”
She’s also aware that with a large audience comes a great deal of responsibility. Stewart is all too conscious that someone could inadvertently harm themselves by incorrectly fermenting or even trying to cut corners with certain techniques. In case she doesn’t know something she will do rigorous research so as not to disseminate false information, she furthermore emphasizes the particular importance associated with being thorough, yet sometimes the lady just won’t demonstrate the technique upon camera because she can’t trust people not to make a mistake.
Depending on the complexity of the cocktail, a lot of study goes into mixology. Bartenders these days are a lot like mad scientists (a comparison that Stewart doesn’t object to) plus creativity abounds.
Stewart likes to play around with trends like fat washing and clarified punches because she can keep them in her fridge for a long time. She admits that will even though the girl works with cocktails, she does not drink at her own bar very often. “I did a really fun Froot Loop Paloma, inch she says of her most-recent favourite drink. “I did a clarified Paloma-style cocktail but We used cereal milk in order to clarify this. ”
Clarification is the process where milk is added to a cocktail, curdled along with citrus, plus then filtered through muslin cloth leaving a clear liquid that feels silky to sip on and is packed with the fruity flavour from the original drink. Stewart soaked Froot Loops in whole milk with regard to an hour and used the flavoured food milk to clarify her Paloma.
“I still have a small amount of that will left in the refrigerator. I kind of sip on that sparingly because it’s so tasty. ”
The crazy niche world of craft drinks
Stewart got her start bartending within university, back when it was just a night job in order to pay regarding her education. When the lady realized that there were people who could make a career out of it, she dove headfirst into the world of craft cocktails.
She was on the opening team of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar at the Sutton Hotel when Justin Taylor took her under his wing.
“He was my first mentor, I guess you would say. And he really was amazing at teaching me the particular ways of create cocktails, and how you could really have some fun with it and play close to with classic recipes—figuring out your own style, ” she recalls.
Taylor was also the person who entered Stewart in to her first bartending competition.
“I had no idea that world existed, ” the girl says. “He said, ‘Hey, you’re doing this’ and I actually said, ‘Oh, okay. ‘ And never really looked back after that. inches
At the time, Stewart didn’t know many bartenders in Vancouver but getting into competitions opened up the “crazy world associated with cocktail bartending. ”
Every subsequent competitors she went to she would meet more people plus form relationships until, on her nights of, she has been sitting in their bars and enjoying their cocktails. “It really started to open up that sense of community, ” the lady says. “I wasn’t just the person who was associated along with a bar, I was more looked at as a bartender. ”
The particular community continued to grow as she reached national and then international acclaim but Stewart states that the scene is actually a lot smaller than you’d expect. Stewart offers been recognized in Taipei and, most recently, at the whisky distillery in Scotland, something the girl says will be one associated with the most surreal moments of the girl career and it was TikTok that will really pushed that recognizability over the edge.
The girl turned to TikTok videos when COVID hit in order to help her continue to connect with individuals and keep that part of the particular industry that she loved so much like alive. “I couldn’t actually be behind a pub and interact with the guests coming in who would sit directly in front of me, it was a way in order to type of continue that yet obviously from a safe distance, ” she says.