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.\r\n\r\nIn addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for ... Read More You may also like Books / Cocktails / Press Release September 22, 2019 An Expedition to the Land of Great Northern Cocktails Shawn Soole’s latest book swings open the doors to the world of Canadian cocktails CHIPPENHAM, UK, 20 September 2019—Hidden in the vast northern ... Read More Cocktails / Drink / Drink Academy / Drink This / Entertaining / Spirits / Victoria July 3, 2019 An Introduction to EAT’s New Columnists It’s all about cocktails, the home bar, what to buy, and what to serve. Founders Kyle and Nate launched their bar consultancy, The Nimble Bar ... Read More Cocktails / Drink / Drink This / Spirits May 3, 2019 Pink Peppercorn & Thyme Gin Twist featuring Sheringham’s Kazuki Gin It’s almost summertime. And in case you didn’t know, that means gin cocktails on the patio. Vancouver Island has a plethora (yes, I just said ... Read More Cocktails / Press Release / Restaurants February 19, 2019 Lauren Mote and Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler Launch a Multi-Sensory Cocktail Experience Press Release — Legendary mixologist Lauren Mote and Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler have joined forces again to elevate the Spirit of ... Read More Cocktails / Events January 25, 2019 The Complete Bartender Competition 2019 Little Jumbo played host to Nimble Bar Co.’s The Complete Bartender Competition, January 16, 2019 Last Wednesday, I judged my first cocktail ... Read More Cocktails / Victoria November 13, 2016 A Conversation With Super Caesar Fan: Liz McArthur Different cocktails have different philosophical traditions attached to them. At least this is how I see it. I still reject the notion that, just ... Read More Comments are closed.