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The art of mixology with Xtian

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Mixology Masters with Christian ‘Xtian’ Mac Donald

Photography by Rainbow Visions BVI and courtesy of Xtian

He shakes. He pours! But those aren’t the only steps involved in the intricate art of crafting the perfect cocktail.

     BVI’s acclaimed award-winning mixologist, Christian MacDonald—aka ‘Xtian’—has shared his passion for cocktail innovation with the community since 2011, and has made a profile for himself as one the Territory’s most charismatic bartenders.

     Xtian takes pleasure in his work as bartending is his career, enabling his creativity while sharing the love of his passion with travellers from around the world.

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     A proud Canadian, Xtian grew up in Kitchener, Ontario, where his interests included hockey, basketball, and bass guitar in rock bands.

     “They say that people who don’t become rock stars become bartenders. So you can see how my path may have been pre-determined; however, I still yearn to be a game show host one day,” admitted Xtian.

     At the age of 19, Xtian began bartending at East Side Mario’s, a popular chain of casual Italian eateries in Canada, followed by serving and bartending in fine dining. Subsequently, he became a full time bartender at a popular nightclub.

     “People, screaming, music pumping, girls, girls, girls, cash, cash, cash. I firmly believe bartending chose to stick with me,” said Xtian.

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     Although Xtian had always taken a keen interest experimenting with cocktails, it wasn’t until he was hired at Origin in the BVI that he really perfected the craft of mixology.

     Many of his customers would agree that the modern day bartender who specialises in cocktails is a mixologist, yet Xtian modestly disagrees. “Haha. Mixologist…I hate that term. How about intoxocoligist? Yeah, let’s use that!”

     Last year, Xtian obtained a certification with BarSmarts, a programme sponsored by Pernod Ricard USA. “The programme was founded by some of the biggest names in the business. I plan on travelling to take my BarSmarts Advanced in the new year,” said the cocktail master.

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     The passion Xtian has for bartending and inventing the most unique creations is contagious. From Peanut Butter and Jelly Martinis to passionfruit cocktails pureed from fruits grown on the tree in his very own garden, a patron can be sure that when Xtian is behind the bar, the specialty cocktails will be original.

     “The most unique drink I make would be my ‘Celery Stalker.’ Celery, star anise, and cardamom syrup, lime juice, apple and lemon infused vodka with a celery/Prosecco foam and garnished with a celery stalk. The stalk is infused with the simple syrup with nitrogen dioxide through an iSi Gourmet Whip, and then charged with carbon dioxide so the garnish itself bubbles and pops like ‘Pop Rocks’ when you take a bite,” said Xtian with excitement.

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     Xtian continues to impress BVI locals and visitors with his expertise in the art of mixology, currently working at Scrub Island.

     Recently, Xtian hosted a private Cocktail Party for a friend’s birthday where he served cake infused with liquor, liqueur sauces, layered with sorbet, and served inside a glass of champagne.

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     “What gives me the most satisfaction from being a bartender, really, is anytime a guest returns. When that guest actually brings their friends or family members to meet me and talk, or sample my cocktails, that’s a pretty wicked feeling,” said Xtian.

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Lauren Charley

Lauren Charley

Writer at aLookingGlass
Lauren graduated with an Honours B.A. in Media Studies from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She has worked as a feature magazine writer, where many of her stories pertained to events, people, activities, and places in popular tourist destinations.

 

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