Bartender stories… Finding Toronto’s new talents: Henry Orkin


When you meet Henry Orkin, the first thing that comes to mind is that Henry is a really, really nice guy. With a big smile,  quiet attitude and a unique hat that makes you think of a cheerful Slash, Henry stands out from other mixologists precisely because he doesn’t stand out, he is quiet and smooth and lets his passion and creations do the talking.

With a passion for non-urban venues, Henry is perfecting his skills before jumping in his venue of choice, be it a fishing/skiing/hunting lodge, rural pub, or perhaps a cruise ship – any place where he can blend his new found bartending abilities with his career path in outdoor recreation and eco-tourism.

Henry is among the elite of bartenders in Canada that have taken the path of perfect their skills by a continuous education. Since graduating from the Bartenderone MasterClass, he has enhanced his knowledge with one specialized workshop after another: from Bourbon to Mezcal, Henry has learnt from some of the industry’s brightest minds. The International BarChef Certification (IBC) thus, was a logical step to take his bartending abilities to totally new levels.

As a proud disciple of Torontonian Master Mixologist Gavin Macmillan, Henry’s spirit of choice is Gin, which he finds to be the most pleasant spirit to work with as there are so many wildly different flavour profiles and aromas to choose from – meaning almost endless possibilities for any palate.

For Henry, the biggest surprise IBC revealed to him was the sheer amount of flavours, liqueurs, bitters, and other drink additives that you have at your disposal. Coming from a background of limited flavour experience, for Henry, this course was an eye opener to the incredible diversity in the world of flavours.
In Henry’s own words for those considering taking the IBC:

“Be confident in yourself  and keep an open mind. Even if you are inexperienced and unemployed, taking the class with experienced professional bartenders and perhaps your previous instructors, everyone is there because they have something to learn. Everyone is creative in their own way, and we are all in a constant learning process”
Here is Henry’s final creation to obtain his IBC diploma. Judge it by yourself and remember to enjoy it!

Apricot Slam by Henry Orkin:

  • 1.5oz Brandy
  • .75oz Apricot Liqueur (Bohls Apricot Brandy works quite well)
  • .75oz Cynar
  • Stirred with ice (as you would a Negroni) and strained over fresh ice into a rocks glass

Do you dream of travelling the world as a bartender,making money working overseas while meeting sexy people every night?

Then the IBC is for you. Check it here:


See you behind the bar!

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