Franz Swinton: Most Imaginative Bartender in Canada

Franz Swinton of Anejo (2116 4 Street SW) – and soon to be of Cube Lounge (yet to open on 1st Street) –  mixed his way to the top as Canada’s representative at Bombay Sapphire’s World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition. 

He proved that he has the taste, talent, inspiration and imagination to compete on the world stage, which happened to be in Florence, Italy. A four-day competition between the top mixologists in the world challenged them to create their most imaginative cocktail. They had to combine the cultural experience they had encountered throughout the trip; Franz was inspired by the rustic food, farms, fresh ricotta from the area and wildflowers. His cocktail was called the Paradiso (recipe below), which is the third and final part of Dante’s Divine Comedy after Part 1 (Inferno) and Part 2 (Purgatorio), and is the telling of Dante’s journey through Heaven. In the end, Matteo Vanzi of Italy took home the title with his cocktail, The Pastorini (Perfect Lady).

The competition was judged by a panel of international industry experts, including Canada’s David Wolowidnyk, the winner of the inaugural Bombay Sapphire World’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition (2012).


0.4oz Campari
1/3oz Roasted Fennel syrup
1oz Lemon juice
3 drops BOMBAY SAPPHIRE “Firenze Tincture” (salami, dried red chili, fennel seed) 


1. Build ingredients
2. Shake vigorously and double strain into chilled coupe glass
3. Garnish with fennel fronds 


Yellow field flowers, ricotta and salami-stuffed zucchini blossom in Juniper batter. 

If you’re looking for a simple summer drink using Bombay Sapphire, Franz suggests The Negroni, which consists of equal parts red vermouth, Bombay Sapphire and Campari bitters. Serve the cocktail on the rocks and garnished with orange peel.

Stop in at Anejo to congratulate Franz, peruse Canada’s biggest tequila selection, and try their chili coconut margarita and an order of guacamole. It also has one of the best patios in the city.