Bittered Sling Bitters | About
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About

WHO WE ARE

Bittered Sling Bitters celebrates the unique life and business partnership of celebrated chef Jonathan Chovancek and award-winning mixologist/sommelier Lauren Mote, who together have contributed more than 30 years of professional experience, knowledge and innovation to the Canadian food and beverage industry.

Mote has been making bitters since 2008—over half her career. The sweetest partnership would launch on February 12, 2012—where Mote and Chovancek unveiled their Bittered Sling line up to the world —a retail line of high-quality, cocktail bitters and culinary extracts using exceptional ingredients providing the palate, plate and potion with a powerful and exciting fusion of flavours. Since that day —Bittered Sling quickly built a reputation in the international cocktail and culinary community as a premium, high quality cocktail bitters, celebrating stories of travel and terroir, utilizing the finest quality ingredients, stories of heritage and craftsmanship from domestic and international purveyors, with an expertise in blending botanicals and flavours right here in British Columbia, Canada. Bittered Sling continues to inspire creativity within the global drinks community, providing a sustainable, diverse and delicious product for excited cocktail enthusiasts, backed by a quality stamp of approval—Canada Brand. The world needs more Canada…

 

Originally marketed as a medicinal tonic, bitters are a concentration of select natural herbs, fruits and spices now used primarily as a flavouring agent for cocktail and culinary creations ranging from savoury to sweet. A common and indispensable tool of any bartender, bitters have increased in popularity thanks to the recent renaissance of classic cocktails.

 

The name Bittered Sling derives from the May 13, 1806 edition of The Balance, and Columbian Repository (Hudson, NY) that defines a cocktail as “A stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water and bitters. It is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head.” By the dash or the drop, each creation offers an intricate range of complex flavours that perfectly accentuates food, spirits and even sparkling water.

 

Since its inception, Bittered Sling has garnered local and international acclaim with aromatic labels such as Cascade Celery, Malagasy Chocolate and Kensington Dry Bitters —all of which were bestowed with gold medals at the Beverage Testing Institute’s 2014 International Review of Spirits.

FAQ

What differentiates us most?

Our production process, mindful ingredients, base spirit and experience with flavours and how to work with them.

 

The base spirit is 100% British Columbia grown fruit spirit, distilled at Okanagan Spirits in Vernon, BC. All of the botanicals, fruits, barks and herbs are ethically sourced. The citrus is peeled by hand using the best seasonal expressions. The product is macerated, naturally filtered, bottled and labeled at a government regulated facility in the Okanagan before being shipped to our global distributors. We do not use extracts or essences, only whole botanicals,. We do not use sugar or artificial colouring and manufactured in an allergen-free facility.

Flavour choices & selection process –
how you decide which flavours to put forth?

The 12 retail flavours in our portfolio are a distillation of both Jonathan’s palate as a chef, and Lauren’s experience as a bartender to provide a line of of bitters which are designed to work with a multitude of spirits and give the bartender unlimited creative freedom with products that are truly bitter.

 

We are currently distributed in Canada, USA, UK, Cayman Islands, Australia and New Zealand.
Cocktail with Dropper
Lauren

LAUREN MOTE

Co-proprietor

Lauren is a Mixologist. Sommelier. Architect of potions, tonics and elixirs. Accomplished emcee, writer and cocktail judge. International consultant and spirits diplomat.

Over the past 20 years in this industry, Lauren has worn many hats – she’s an award-winning bartender and consultant, sommelier, writer and spirits judge, program developer and business owner. Lauren’s best known today as the DIAGEO Reserve & World Class Global Cocktailian, and the co-founder of Bittered Sling Bitters — an internationally successful portfolio of award-winning cocktail bitters and culinary extracts. Lauren is also the owner of Canadian social enterprise, Minibar Canada.

 

Named the 2015 ‘Bartender of the Year’ by both the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and DIAGEO World Class Canada, Lauren is a well-respected speaker, educator, mentor and industry advocate, whose reach extends well beyond the bar. She has served as an Associate Director for the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association, and has been an event partner and keynote speaker with Tales of the Cocktail Foundation since 2011 and in 2016, Lauren was the first Canadian woman inducted into the “Dames Hall of Fame”, while nominated for “Best Bar Mentor” and “International Brand Ambassador of the Year” at the Spirited Awards Ceremony. Lauren is a Development Consultant for the World Class Program, including the global bartender contest, retail and commercial program, as well as the World Class Studios global educational platform. Recently, Lauren has been instrumental in global strategy development on such iconic brands as Ketel One Vodka, Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Zacapa Rum.

 

Lauren is an in-demand consultant over the past decade, and has assisted in reframing spirit brands, global and local drink strategies, on and off premise program development, and third space/events. In addition, Lauren has launched and redesigned bar programs at The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar in Calgary, Vancouver’s Café Medina and Burdock & Co.. Most recently Lauren developed and launched the beverage programs for Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Whistler and San Francisco locations, and Dublin’s one-michelin starred Greenhouse Restaurant. Lauren’s consulting work has always come as an additional outlet to the bars and restaurants she’s developed on site behind the bar, including Canadian establishments Le Select Bistro, Chow Restaurant, Hawksworth Catering, The Refinery, Goldfish Pacific Kitchen, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar and the Relais & Chateaux-awarded Lumiere.

 

Today, Lauren’s marketing, social media, ambassador development and PR strategy for spirit and hospitality brands still resonates throughout the consulting arm of Bittered Sling.

Jonathan

JONATHAN CHOVANCEK

Director of Operations & Co-Founder

For 20 years, celebrated chef Jonathan Chovancek has been a virtuoso of preparation, presentation and crafting the finest local, sustainably sourced fare for some of Canada’s most acclaimed establishments.

For more than 20 years, chef Jonathan Chovancek’s abundant enthusiasm, inspired creativity and commitment to healthy eating has provided a winning recipe for some of British Columbia’s most celebrated restaurants. A firm believer in the Slow Food movement, Chovancek’s culinary philosophy of sourcing the best fresh, local and sustainable ingredients has driven his menus from the time he anchored back-of-house teams at Vancouver Island’s Relais & Chateaux property “The Aerie Resort”, Sooke Harbour House and Zambri’s as well as Culinary Capers in Vancouver. He has cooked in China, Mexico, Italy, United States and Canada and consults on culinary programming and menu develop-ment throughout North America.

 

Jonathan, who was the chef/host of CBC TV’s groundbreaking documentary Village on a Diet in 2011, is also an in-demand speaker and instructor as well as a dedicated coach and mentor to up-and-coming kitchen talent. Jonathan is the co-founder of Canada’s Bittered Sling company – a pop-up restaurant that’s been in operation since 2010 – Bittered Sling Bistro – and Bittered Sling Bitters, a retail line of high-quality, small-batch cocktail and culinary bitters currently available in over 6 inter-national markets. Chovancek is also the former Opening/Executive Chef for the new Café Medina (780 Richards St) and most recently a culinary instructor for Cook Culture in Vancouver. After finish-ing a great contract with the Wentworth Hospitality Group as Executive Chef of Homer Street Café and Tableau Bar Bistro, Jonathan has returned full time to Bittered Sling as Director of Operations.