Twitter time – describe your job in under 140 characters:
Learning and experimenting with flavors, loving people for trying new things but also managing, teaching and presenting the best product I can.
How did you get into bartending? What was the inspiration for your career route?
‘You don’t chose the industry, the industry chooses you’ is the best way to describe it. I’d been working in restaurants and bars for years until I was introduced to the idea of creating your own drinks (by a dear friend of mine) and I just took it and ran. I haven’t looked back since.
Is it barrels, carbonation or cocktails on tap? What’s the latest trend you see in bartending?
Carbonation! I love the idea of carbonating your own drinks without adding anything extra that (essentially) waters a drink down or adds flavors that you may not need or want.
The latest trend I’m seeing is places making a LOT of their own ingredients and being super creative and poetic with their drink menus, which is great for the industry but is understandably intimidating to some customers. But I’m also seeing people who are willing to help and people who are willing to try things which is really amazing!
What’s the best part of what you do? And what’s the most challenging part?
The best is getting the chance to be creative and try things on other people. You get such a wide range of responses and then having to take all of that info and make something from it is really rewarding.
The most challenging thing has been what results from that, there are so many great and new places in Vancouver (and the world), that getting out there and making something that people will not only take notice of but also come back for is (I think) one of the toughest things for restauranteurs these days.
What is your favorite spirit to work with behind the bar?
Gin is my go to but a close second is cachaca and grappa. They have their own unique flavors and can be SO good when you pair them with the right ingredients.
Do you have a definitive cocktail style?
Noticeable flavor. Not in the sense of: in your face flavors, but in the sense that I want you to be able to taste every item that I put into a drink.
What’s the most memorable moment you’ve ever had working behind a bar?
It’s a weird one, I was closing up one of my old club jobs (when I was younger) and a rather large gentleman wanted another drink right when we were almost done for the night. I told him no, we were just about to move everyone out and close up so he took his bottle he was drinking out of, broke it on the bar and started waving it in my face threatening me unless he got another drink. Thankfully the bouncers stepped in and removed the guy before anything happened.
What’s the next step for you when it comes to tending bar?
Always learning, never getting complacent. Unfortunately I don’t really have a plan other than to keep getting better at what I do and pushing the envelope where I can. It’s such a great time to learn and try new things because the industry and the people are SO encouraging and SO supportive.
What’s your go to drink to drink?
Whatever the house is making that is their own unique drink, I love seeing what other people put together and I love seeing other peoples styles and themes. But if I have to pick something then a simple gin and tonic is my first go to.
What’s your go to drink to mix?
Im going to be selfish here and say: anything that’s on my menu, because while I will absolutely make you a great manhattan or old fashioned etc I love when people try new things because love it or not, that still opens up a conversation and an opportunity for everyone to learn and try something they may not have had.
Fernet, Mezcal or Chartreuse?
Mezcal, we are getting such great products coming out of Mexico right now in Vancouver and people are really receptive which helps and benefits everyone.
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