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 / Drink This May 19, 2016 It’s National Caesar Day – You Know You Want One “Celebrating Caesars: Canada’s Signature Cocktail” If you enjoy sipping on a caesar get ready to raise your glass on May 19th, to ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits March 31, 2016 27 BC Distilleries Showcase Their Craft at BC Distilled The local spirits industry is growing and if the showing at BC Distilled on Saturday is any indication, it’s growing in the right direction. ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits March 18, 2016 Meet Akvavit – the Obscure Nordic Spirit Akvavit is misunderstood, an obscure Nordic spirit where every country in the region has its own rules and standards on production, aging and ... Read More Cocktails February 26, 2016 Sherry in Cocktails Sherry in cocktails is not a new thing in any regard. Lorded a century ago in precursory drinks of the 1800’s; punches and cobblers listed sherries ... Read More Cocktails / Spirits January 12, 2016 5 Rums Worth Sipping If you’ve been following, we have been talking about rum quite a lot during summer in the Rambunctious Series of summer refreshing cocktails. But ... Read More Cocktails December 2, 2015 Rye Whisky is back in big way and nothing will stand in its way “Rye Whisky is back in big way and nothing will stand in its way” The trend for quality rye has never been more widespread. From the ... Read More Comments are closed.