For our first #BarNone (a series of bartender spotlights, professional or amateur) of 2017, we ventured up to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia to catch up with the multi-faceted Alex Black aka @blacktending who, aside from running public relations at @BCBartender and is acting portfolio ambassador for @sovereigncanada is also the head bartender at @Nightingalerest.
Read more about his story below.
1. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, etc.
“I was born and raised in Winnipeg but have called Vancouver home for 6 years now. When I was in high school I worked at a Concert Hall and I started bartending there by the time I was 18. I picked up a couple of bar gigs when I was in university and fell in love with the lifestyle.
2. What’s your bartender story? How did you get into it?
When I moved to Vancouver, I figured I could make some easy money as a bartender while getting to know the city. It wasn’t my intention to make it a career but I lucked out working under Trevor Kallies. Working with TK was really the catalyst of me pursuing this as more than just a job and through him, I got set up with the CPBA and was introduced to the Pacific Northwest and international cocktail communities.”
3. What’s your favorite cocktail to serve and why? How do you usually match a cocktail to a person or setting?
“I try to listen to a guest, I feel that’s a bit of a lost art, I see a lot of people listening without the intent to genuinely understand what someone is saying or they try to fit a guest into a predetermined mold. People walk in and the bartenders gonna make them a daiquiri no matter what, I hate that, I like asking questions and giving the guest maybe 2 or 3 ideas back, and see how they respond to each one.
4. Why do you use Scrappy’s in your cocktails? Has Scrappy’s improved the drinks you make? Favorite Scrappy’s Flavor?
As far as ingredients go, I love things that have a good story and have some history behind them. Originally I would reach for Scrappy’s because it was the best option flavor-wise that I had access to but with the selection, we’re seeing these days we’ve got tons of great (and terrible) products out there. With Scrappy’s I really support the brand’s ideals and the people behind it. The ethics of using local and organic high-quality ingredients is something I wholly support. Plus they’ve really supported myself and the bar community having led some great educational sessions I’ve been lucky enough to attend over the years.”
“The Gallery Steps”
45ml Earl Grey infused Ford’s Gin*
10ml Buddha’s Hand Syrup**
4 dashes Scrappy’s Orange Bitters
Posted: Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 at 12:46 am