The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Jenner Cormier’s Jimmy Dean

Jenner Cormier represented Canada at the World Class Bartender of the Year, 2013.

Noble opened in November 2012, beneath the Middle Spoon Desserterie and Bar, the sister venue which Jenner helped open two years before. Noble was designed and built with his architect and graphic designer brothers in the shell of an abandoned 1950s boiler room knocked through into a former photographic lab. Where the wall stood you’ll now find the bar, the concrete walls retain an underground, urban grittiness, though it’s dressed up with rich red velvet curtains, dark leathers, books and paintings. This underground 1920s/future-retro speakeasy, hidden behind a 50lb blast door with a huge handle, is an essential venue on any trip to Halifax – just knock with the password.

The Bartender

Jenner Cormier describes his style of creating cocktails as a ‘bit of a mad scientist mixed with a perfectionist. The most important thing is how you present and interact with the person sitting across the bar from you.’ He has bartended for five years, the latter half of that time spent crafting cocktails. The change was inspired by meeting Toronto-based barman Frankie Solarik of Barchef, whom Jenner, 27, credits with inspiring his new direction, and lists the bars of Louisville, Kentucky (The Silver Dollar, St Charles Exchange, Meat) and New Orleans (Napoleon House, French 75, Cure, The Carousel Bar, Bacchanal) as places that inform his taste.

The Drink

The Jimmy Dean, a tribute to the famed and ill-fated Hollywood star, is served on a cedar plank (chopped by Jenner himself) and accompanied by a bowl of smoked rosemary and hickory wood chips to engage smell as well as taste. It plays up to the image of the ‘outdoorsman’ with his scotch, and assumptions about single malts. ‘I took that tongue in cheek idea and amplified it with a whisky-on-whisky cocktail.’ He uses oak paper that has been rolled around cigars and then smoked to create the bitters, which complement the wild smoky flavours of the Johnnie Walker Blue Label.


The Technique

Johnnie Walker Blue Label • 45ml
Johnnie Walker Platinum Label• 10ml
Lillet Blanc • 20ml
Homemade spruce water • 1 dash
Pear oak bitters • 1 dash
Contains 21 grams of alcohol per serve

Stir all the ingredients together. Rinse a crystal Old Fashioned glass with spruce water. Serve in the glass over cracked ice.

The optimum occasion for this drink is a winter’s evening with the snow whirling outside. Get out of the cold and into this cosy lounge below stairs, listen to the mellow jazz, watch the wood smoke curl and warm up with this rich whisky-on-whisky concoction; a nostalgic drink and a conversation piece.

Images by Scotty Sherin

Jenner’s Insider’s Guide to Halifax

Place to stay
Prince George

Place to eat
The Press Gang Oyster Bar

Place to relax
Two if By Sea café

Place to lounge
Obladee wine bar

Place to Dance
Cheers or Halifax Alehouse

Place to shop
Seaport Farmers’ Market

Place to visit
Maritime Museum of the Atlantic

Place to see
Eastern Shore or Cabot Trail