Tell us about the first cocktail you ever created?
What spirit do you most enjoy working with?
I don’t think I have a favourite one. I love everything for different reasons – Akvavit and gin in the summer months, bourbon and scotch in the winter.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to a young bartender?
Self Educate – take the initiative to learn everything yourself.
This industry is great and open about sharing knowledge, but you need to take the first few steps to it.
What do you do to ensure that you have a good life work balance?
This is something I have only just started to work on. My wife ensures that I keep in mind more than ever.
What’s your all-time favorite cocktail?
Old Pal! I love Negronis but the Old Pal is that underdog that delivers on so many levels.
Where do you find inspiration when creating cocktails?
Everyday life, the ride to work, my morning coffee, a flavour that I may experience for the first time and want to recreate.
I think inspiration comes in the weirdest spots and times.
What one cocktail book would you recommend to new bartenders?
Difford’s Guide! Recipes keep getting added but never taken away so it is a totem of information.
What’s your most essential bar tool?
A good peeler… Weird, I know! But it’s the last tool that you use before the cocktail is served to the guest, so it should be a good one!
If you could change anything in the hospitality industry, what would it be?
The mentality. It seems like it is a stepping stone for a lot of people, but that’s not true for all.
What do you most admire about the bartending profession?
The community! We are like a big family.
Like every family we are tight but have our issues as well. I think we always have each others backs regardless of the past and that means a lot.
What three trends do you see shaping the cocktail world over the next year?
No more trends, let’s just make great cocktails!
If they happen to be barrel aged, bottled, on tap, molecular or otherwise, sure! But let’s make sure that at the end, the drink is a solid drink.
Tell us about something we haven’t asked. Anything!
Shoutout to my industry peeps in Victoria, BC and the loves of my life – my wife Jill and daughter Mila.