The Bauer Bakery may be one of Midtown’s hidden gems, but it sure knows how to make a big splash in the GTA cocktail scene. Early last week during the Cold Booze competition held by Propeller Coffee Co. in Toronto, ON, ten established cafés from across western and southern Ontario gathered to showcase their variations of a "cold booze" cocktail using Propeller’s Cold Brew as inspiration. The Bauer Bakery & Café was one of the contenders, so I caught up with Ginny Pintur, half of the Bauer team who crafted The Boozy Bauer cocktail, to hear about her experience.
Upon my arrival to The Bauer Bakery & Café, Ginny was so warm and welcoming. She insisted on making the drink right in front of my camera – I couldn’t say no to the opportunity!
Tell us a little bit about the competition?
Ginny: Propeller Coffee Co., our espresso provider, reached out to us to be part of their Cold Booze competition. The event was held at their lab in Toronto, called the “Great Space”. Once we were on board, I knew I had to work with Lindsay Shields, the Beverage Manager at The Bauer Kitchen. Her palette, when it comes to mixing drinks is incomparable – I knew she would be great at pairing coffee and alcohol together. She and I brainstormed for a couple of days on some of the flavours we wanted to incorporate. After a few ideas, we both decided on a “breakfasty”, creamy kind of drink, which is why we chose to add Baileys. We next added the sweetness of the orange, by adding Cointreau with its orange bitters and then the orange peel, to match with the bitterness of the Propeller cold brew. We also incorporated an incredible natural sweetener by adding the maple syrup! After all that, we named it the Boozy Bauer – we thought it was fitting!
We had a great time at the event, and there was such a great vibe about it all. The team at Propeller are super personable, and fun to work with (Shout out to Losel, Vanya, + Matthew) and I think that had a lot to do with it, everyone was just having a fantastic time. Overall, it was a super social evening, all the competitors were chill, and everyone was putting out their A game. Some cafes were lighting orange peels on fire, and our friends from Union Chicken in Etobicoke had a super creamy cocktail similar to ours. Our favourite cocktails were the ones that used more Propeller cold brew! Some places only used half an ounce of Cold Brew, unlike ours that had a massive coffee base. In our opinion, the use of the Propeller product made the drink smoother and easier to sip.
How many people were at the competition?
Ginny: There were ten cafes/restaurants from across the GTA. There was one from Hamilton and Bauer was the only cafe representing The Waterloo Region.
What was your pitch when event goers approached your station?
Ginny: Coffee, Baileys, and a little bit of orange – all part of a balanced breakfast. Simple as that!
We would also have the guest imagine themselves sitting on the patio (I always envision the Bauer Patio), on a Saturday afternoon in spring, hanging out with friends, nice breeze, while enjoying Bauer’s excellent brunch. Why wouldn’t you want to incorporate some coffee and a little bit of booze with that?
Our cocktail also paired extremely well with the pizza they had provided at the event, so it was another easy sell (Cold brew and pizza, it’s a thing). You must pair the Stone oven pizza at the Bauer Kitchen and cold brew, get into it!
Do you think combining coffee + alcohol is the future of cocktails?
Ginny: The future? I don’t know, but it’s something for brunch…
How did you feel when you won? What do you think brought you the victory?
Ginny: Sara (Head Barista), Katie (Full-Time Barista), and I were there together, representing The Bauer Kitchen and the cafe! They did the whole third, second, and first place thing. I thought we were going to come second for sure – that was my prediction. Union chicken came in third, and then they called the second place winners – wasn’t us – so I thought we were out of the running. Then the room went quiet, “by popular demand, The Bauer Bakery & Café is the winner!” everyone clapped, and we were asked up on stage; I am still buzzing from it!
I think we won because of our pitch, our mix of booze, and the fact we used half the cold brew. It was ultimately a cold brew drink. I wanted to showcase Propeller’s coffee properly and with Lindsay’s expertise in the cocktail creation, it was winning combination.
It’s not on the menu.. yet… but if it were how do you think the Bauer guests would react to the drink?
Ginny: Oh I hope it would be great. It is a bit of a sweeter cocktail, which is what I was hesitant about during the creation of the Boozy Bauer, the sweetness is a bit dangerous because it’s just so TASTY! So I hope it would do well. I know it’s what I would enjoy on the Bauer Patio.
We do sell Propeller Cold Brew in the Bakery so a guest can take some home with them if they wanted!
Special thanks to Ginny Pintur + Lindsay Shields
Photographer/Writer: Evin Lachance
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