OG Twitter time – who are you and what do you do (in under 140 characters):
My name is Satoshi. I manage and bartend at Grapes and soda in South Granville
How did you get into bartending?
A night club bartending job in Kyoto, Japan
Do you have a definitive cocktail style?
Cocktail pairing with food and savoury drinks.
Where do you look for inspiration when designing new drinks?
It is very fortunate to work next door to Farmer’s apprentice restaurant. I take a sneak peak of their walk-in fridge for my daily cocktail and often ask cooks if they have anything fun they are working on. Most importantly, we are trying to minimize our food waste by saving trims of fruits or mint stems to make syrups and soda.
Any local products you are particularly excited about?
Odd society spirits Mia Amata Amaro, Okanagan spirits poire williams
Worst drink you’ve ever created?
Onion consommé martini with cheddar infused gin and amontillado sherry. I’d like to come back to it some time for improvement but not any time soon.
What’s the best part of what you do? And what’s the most challenging part?
The flexibility to change menu and ingredients to use daily basis. The challenge is when seasonal ingredients are not available.
What is your favorite spirit to work with behind the bar?
Anything but Vodka
Do you have any notable “teachable moments” from behind the bar?
I like batching cocktail to some extent, at least alcoholic components for the items on the current menu. It improves efficiency and ensures consistency. You will have smoother operation and have more time to engage your customers and to think irregular dealer’s choice order. Not for everyone, but works very well in our working environment at Grapes and Soda.
What’s the most memorable moment you’ve ever had working behind a bar?
It is at the Elk Room at the Diamond when I was barbacking when tales of. cocktail was held in 2011.
What’s your go to drink to mix for someone who doesn’t typically drink cocktails?
Forager’s Gimlet. It is an archived cocktail at Grapes and Soda, made with gin, lime, Canadian hemlock syrup and juniper tincture. Very refreshing and citrusy.
Favorite local bar? Favorite bar abroad?
Local: Gringo, Diamond, Crowbar. Abroad: Bar Benfiddich, Rocking chair
On a night off, what are you doing?
Playing ping pong at Back and Forth
Your dream boilermaker? (Can be anything you like!)
Wild Turkey 101 & Brassneck Ambiguation