Written By Treve Ring Cocktails / Libations Aug 26, 2010 Veneto at Hotel Rialto The Serenity Cocktail SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest$14I think it’s pretty fair to generalize that the majority of hospitality industry people move away from Vancouver Island to find work. Vancouver, Toronto and beyond – many f&b pros at the top of their game, or well on their way, pack up and head out in search of brighter lights, bigger names and buzzier scenes and better cheques. Which is why I was surprised to hear that longtime and highly respected Vancouver bartender Simon Ogden was moving to Victoria. What? A young, popular, professional bartender was coming here? To live and WORK in Victoria? Turns out Simon and his wife have long loved the lifestyle and – like many non-Islanders – dreamed about putting down offshore roots. So when Hotel Rialto made Simon an offer he couldn’t refuse to come and run the bar at downtown’s newest cocktail hotspot Veneto, they jumped.Point Victoria. Vancouver’s loss is absolutely our gain. Simon is modest and humble, a classicist gentleman so expertly versed in cocktail culture and history that he is mentoring two young bartending Jedi at the Veneto. At once inherently old school (dress shirt, vest, sleeve garters) and new wave (Japanese ice molds, local gin), Simon’s deft hand with the bottle is echoed by his skilled way with the customer. He eschews the ‘scene’ and the snobs that fuel it, focusing his energy on taking care of the customer throughout their entire experience. A Playwright in his spare (?) time, he likens the bar to the stage – from the entrance to the exit and all the lines within, it’s the barkeep’s role to direct, produce and run the show for the guest.So put yourself in good hands and take in the show. Simon made me an original cocktail, inspired by his short time in Victoria. The Serenity features Silk Road Tea, elderflower, Cognac and fresh mint, all seamlessly melded together in a tall, slender slip of a glass. Cool and subtle lemongrass, citrus, delicate mint, with a lifted, effervescent finish, this mature and elegant cocktail evolved over our discussion. Floral notes, orange wood, minerality. Each sip lulls one deeper into serenity – even sitting at the bar amongst the post-work Friday night crowd. Well played Mr. Ogden – welcome to Victoria.THE SERENITY COCKTAIL – courtesy of Simon OgdenPhoto courtesy of Simon Ogden, VenetoYou’ll need4 leaves fresh Spearmint, lightly pressed in a highball glass to express the oils.2 oz Hennessy VS Cognac2 oz Chilled Philosopher’s Brew from Silk Road Tea1/2 oz Elderflower SyrupFlash chill and strain into glass over 3 whiskey cubes and mint, top with Champagne.Rating: (click here to see what our wine ratings mean)-Treve Ring, Online DRINK EditorAugust 12, 2010Cocktails SHARE VIA: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Written By: Treve Ring Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade. In addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for WineAlign, ... Read More You may also like Cocktails August 17, 2015 Ice, Ice Baby Ice is one of the most overlooked aspects of most cocktails. Ice nerds such as Camper English of San Francisco have made it a somewhat obsession to ... Read More Cocktails July 22, 2015 Rambunctious Pt 3: The Caipirinha Rum, it comes in many forms, ages and primary ingredients. Cachaça, the official rum of Brazil is made from raw sugar cane juice unlike molasses for ... Read More Cocktails May 1, 2015 Rambunctious Part 2 – Mojito In part one, we spoke about the classic Daiquiri, a cocktail with a unifying beginning, a historically, somewhat celebrity upbringing until its ... Read More Cocktails April 6, 2015 Rambunctious Pt . 1 – Daiquiri Spring is here and summer is making its presence felt every evening as the days gets warmer and longer. This is the perfect time to start thinking ... Read More Cocktails March 18, 2015 The Romantic Lokum Royale Cocktail Many years ago, working in a restaurant in Brisbane, I went to my chef with a quandary. As a child, I loved the confectionary Turkish Delight, but ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits March 6, 2015 Drink These Gins This Spring + An Easy, Refreshing Cocktail Recipe What are Spring Gins? While they aren’t really a gin category, we are going to examine a newer style of gin that use floral tones to break away ... Read More Comments are closed.