Category Archives: Mixology

Hot off the heels of the “Made with Love Toronto Qualifiers,” meet Amy S. Amy is a bartender at Marche Restaurant in Downtown Toronto. Wanting to sharpen her skills and broaden her knowledge, Amy took the International Bar Chef Certification (IBC) in 2015. Speaking about the course, Amy says: “The class went way beyond my high expectations and gave me a new appreciation for the detailed aspects of Mixology. My instructor was engaging, knowledgeable and interactive. The material was not overwhelming, although some classes did require learning a bit of Chemistry which was actually a lot of fun! I really enjoyed the blind taste tests as well, and learning the history behind the main spirits groups. At the end of the course, we were required to put our new found knowledge to use, and were asked to create a cocktail menu. I enjoyed IBC so much, I picked up skills I use every day. Given the chance, I would definitely do it all over again!”

Amy’s signature cocktail is a “Longanesa Manhattan,” a Filipino inspired cocktail made with smoked Longanesa sausage.


Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 10.50.18 AM                                                                                             Amy competes with some of the city’s finest Bartenders at Made With Love

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The Allure of The Classic Cocktail

If your drink isn't up to your standards, send it back!


When I first started working in a bar, my first job was in a place that had a Speakeasy theme (back in the late 80s.)  I was in my late teens and it seemed very new and exciting and glamorous to be surrounded by all these fancy cocktails with names like: “Golden Cadillac,” “Iron Butterfly” and  “Mexican Ferrari.”  Thankfully you never really hear about those cocktails anymore. There were, however, certain drinks that seemed to have an almost hallowed status: the Rusty Nail, Manhattan or Old Fashioned.  Almost thirty years on,  just like the thirty years before, these cocktails still hold their place on cocktail menus around the globe.  Honestly, I think it was being exposed to this world of “fine drinking” that gave me the hospitality bug; the handsome Bartenders loved making these drinks because they appreciated the opportunity to employ their skill at making a perfect cocktail. 

With the reemergence of  Cocktail Culture, there are still lots of people who look down on “mixology”.  However, when you have worked alongside bartenders who can barely open a bottle of beer as I have, you really grow to appreciate the bartender who has an informed repertoire, who can modify an ingredient, or ingredients , ultimately creating something  special and memorable .

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Maybe you should just head straight to the bar for your next team-building event?


Click here to watch a team-building workshop in action:

Is your workday in need of more open communication, creativity and positive motivation?
Are you looking for new ways to spark innovation and strengthen team dynamics?
Would you like to know how to spread the happiness of happy hour throughout your whole organization?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re probably ready to introduce a little happy hour into your 9 to 5! 

Bar Chefs know that different spirits, liqueurs, sweeteners, and citrus combine to make a mouth-watering cocktail, just like different personalities, skill sets and expertise combine to make up a successful team.  Understanding these synergies, and how the ingredients in a cocktail (and a team) work harmoniously together have tremendous parallels when you consider why a well-made cocktail tastes so delicious, and how the strengths of each team member combine to achieve a common objective.

When you motivate people to pool their talents in a team environment, they will perform at their best individually and as team players.  So whether you’re launching a new product, tackling a difficult company transition or building a perfect martini waterfall, you’ll want to make sure the team is as strong as possible!  Here are some of the reasons that building and strengthening internal teams is so important to the success of an organization:


  1. Relationships are strengthened,
  2. Lines of communication are opened,
  3. Creativity is stimulated,
  4. New ways of strategizing and solving challenges are discovered,
  5. Whiners, complainers and hidden agendas are eliminated.


Working on the premise that happy staff are productive staff (and most everyone is happy when they’re enjoying a cocktail or even a mocktail), make sure that your team-building workshops are fun-filled as this is a common language the entire team will understand!


The BartenderOne team (founded by award-winning flair bartender and master mixologist Gavin MacMillan) are experts in bringing people together in a fun, engaging way, to build team dynamics and increase productivity – offering everything from general “Get Into the Spirit” and “Rockin’ Mocktails” workshops to events focused on specific beverage types (e.g. “Let’s Get Hopped Up” Beer workshops and “Buena Barista” Coffee Workshops).



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Build! Shake! Stir!




What can I get you?



Whether you’re at a bar to meet friends or to meet new ones, the drinks that are being served are either Built, Shaken or Stirred….. but what’s the difference and why does it make a difference?

Lets break it down….

Built drinks are things like a Rum and Coke or a Vodka with Club Soda – Glass-Ice-Alcohol-Mix-Garnish and Straw, EASY!!!

Stirred drinks are things like a Negroni or a Manhattan – Mixing Glass-Spirit-Ice-Stir-Strain into appropriate glass

Shaken drinks are things like a Cosmopolitan or a Whiskey Sour – Shaking glass-Mix-Spirit-Ice-Shake-Strain into appropriate glass

Built drinks are the easiest of the three and 60% of drinks in a busy nightclub are made like this. What about the other 40% of drinks?

20% of drinks would be BEER!!! After that everything else is either shaken or stirred.


Bartenders all over the world have their own method of shaking and stirring with their own style and panache. With proper training you learn that although Ice is your friend in a lot of cocktails one doesn’t want to OVER dilute drinks with improper use of our frozen friend H2O. Whether stirring or shaking a cocktail ice should always be added to the mixing glass AFTER the ingredients have been added, this will minimize the dilution and result in a better cocktail. Stirring is a technique, usually reserved for ‘Spirit-forward’ cocktails (cocktails without any non-alcoholic ingredients) and is all about preparing a drink with ice to both chill and dilute the drink without bruising the spirit. Shaking is the most fun way of making a cocktail and has been taken to unbelievable levels of style by bartenders who want to impress their guests. A good shake can be the difference between a great drink and a happy guest or a bad one and a disappointed guest. Shaking not only chills a cocktail, dilutes it and mixes the ingredients together but it can also introduce air, texture or ‘mouth-feel’ to a libation. With the addition of egg whites to a cocktail like an Amaretto sour, when shaken can dramatically change the dynamic of the feeling that is experienced when sipping on it.


Question: Whats the best method to use?

Answer: It all depends on what drink you’re making.


So, grab your shaking tins and bar spoons and figure out how you are going to build, shake and stir with passion, style and your own little twist.


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Last call before Halloween: A Zombie Tini that will bring you back from death

Keeping on top of the ever-changing market is a challenge for the best of bartenders. Many establishments have come up with a list of tantalizing cocktails, fashionably served up in a stylish martini glasses with beautiful fresh fruit garnishes. For the bartender who can serve up these creations with efficiency and style, the sky’s the limit.

After the summer cocktail frenzy is over, cocktail savvy party goers will find that everything old is new again. This implies a resurgence of classic cocktails, like the Manhattan that can be found everywhere, from your local Irish pubs to ultra swanky lounges.  This gives you unlimited options to experiment with some of the classics, add your personal touch and cement your place in history with your creations.

This being said, today we are gonna put together a basic cocktail to welcome the Halloween. This marks the beginning of a whole new season for cocktail makers, summer is gone and long cold months lay ahead. So, unless you are among the 1% of Canadians who can escape from this coming snowy panorama in a ocean view villa in Florida or Mexico we suggest you grab your bartender kit, stop by the liqueur store and provide yourself with the ingredients to prepare our renowed Zombie-tini and start the cold season on the right foot (after drinking this if you can start this season in your feet at all you are on the right path )

Try it, enjoy it and more importantly yet: share it with the world

See you behind the bar!



- 3/4 oz. Dark Rum

- 3/4 oz. Vanilla Rum

- 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier

- 2 oz.     Orange Juice

- 1 oz.     Pineapple Juice

- 1 oz.     Lime Juice


- Combine Dark Rum, Light Rum, Grand Marnier, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice with ice to your cocktail shaker.

- Shake vigorously for five seconds.

- Serve in a martini glass.

- Garnish with a skewered cherry and an orange slice



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The Zombie Cocktail, powerful and deadly!


Certain cocktails are not meant but for those with a strong heart and purpose to experience the effects of alcohol. This one in particular is rumoured to have  the power to bring people back from the dead.

The reason?

3 types of rum, 2 types of brandy combined with delicious fresh juice. Ladies and gentlemen, this will make a memorable Halloween experience for you: The Cocktail Zombie.

Created by the ultra famous bartender Ernest Raymond a.k.a Don Beach in the 30′s , this cocktail gained a reputation for being devastating to the point where its consumption was limited to a maximum of two glasses per person.

The original recipe died with Don Beach but here we humbly present you with our Zombie Cocktail recipe, try it and let us know how you liked it (if you survive)


-          Ice

-          1 ounce white rum

-          1 ounce dark rum

-          1 ounce aged rum

-          ½ ounce apricot brandy

-          ½ ounce cherry brandy

-          2 ounces orange juice

-          ½ ounce lime juice


-          Add in the following order: – Lime juice, liqueurs and juice.

-          Shake

-          Pour in a Highball glass

-          Garnish with a slice of fresh fruit


-          Highball



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The best bartender in the world destroys five myths about bartending

After being chosen as the best among  10 of the finest Canadian bartenders for his bartending knowledge, skills and showmanship behind the bar, BartenderOne graduate and DIAGEO World Class Canada Bartender of the Year, Jenner Cormier gave an interview to the Toronto Star where he shared his perspective on some of the myths that surround the bartending profession.

Check the five myths around bartending Jenner wants to destroy here:

1- Bartenders do it for money

“Depending on your job and the location of your bar, there is certainly money to be made in the service industry. However, most cocktail bartenders do it for the love and passion of the craft, not the paycheque. Most cocktail bartenders will work multiple jobs on the side to supplement their passion for bartending.”

2- Bartenders have short, glamorous shifts.

“The part of cocktail bartending that no one sees is the preparation that happens before the doors open. Most times, tasks like pressing fresh juices, and making syrups, shrubs and bitters are shared among staff, but it can vary. Big cocktail bars will go through dozens of liters of fresh citrus in a week and that juice has to come from somewhere. …Once all the smoke settles and last call has happened, it is time to clean up and break down the bar. We’re still cleaning up long after our customers have gone to sleep.”

3- Bartenders are dropouts

“Unfortunately, there is an assumption that most service industry staff are high school or university dropouts. Over the past few years however, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many brilliant people, most of whom completed post-secondary education.”

4- Bartenders are lazy

“Sleeping until noon does not make bartenders lazy — especially when they were working at full tilt until four in the morning! We simply work on a shifted schedule than those working nine to five. But we work just as hard. Also, think about shaking a shake weight for eight hours a night. Depending on the volume that your bar is pumping out, bar shifts can be mentally and physically exhausting. Especially in a cocktail setting when each drink has three to six ingredients and you are putting out 200-plus cocktails in a night. It is critical to stay mentally sharp for very long periods of time.”

5- All bartenders do”flair”

“Tom Cruise has put an image in the public’s mind about what bartenders do at work. I personally do not know how to flip a bottle and I don’t think many of my colleagues do either. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a small amount of ‘working flair’ that is involved in keeping your guests interested in what is going on behind the bar, but it is nowhere close to what is depicted in the media”


Original Source:

Toronto Star Online. Life, Food & Wine Section. Five bartending myths from the best in the business. Available at:

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Taking a cocktail to a new level…. Wait a moment, Pizza Cocktail? This sounds interesting


As you may know, when you are talking about creativity for cocktails,sky is the limit.  Usually you can eat your pizza, now, thanks to the folks from Trattoria Neapolis, an Italian Bistro in California you can drink it too. The restaurant recently unveiled a pizza inspired cocktail that just makes you say mama mia!

This creation is made with tomato water, basil-infused vodka, ghost-pepper infused vodka, porcini powder, muddled basil and topped with a Parmesan and mozzarella foam.

Before expressing any judgement on such an odd combination, just remember that most cocktails these days follow this trend. With that in mind, we think this cocktails deserves you taking your bartending kit and bringing it to life, then you can let us know how it tastes.

But does it really taste like pizza? According to L.A. Weekly’s food blog, Squid Ink, it’s a “scarily accurate drink” that tastes as if your slice jumped into a Vitamix with a bottle of vodka.”

See you behind the bar!


Original Source: 

The Huffington Post Online. Pizza Cocktail At Trattoria Neapolis Might Actually Be Awesome

Available at:

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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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Getting ready for the cold nights with a Winter Warmer….


With autumn finally appearing and mother nature reminding us that we live in the great white north, that chill in the air can often be remedied by the comfort of a warm beverage, to warm both the hands and the insides of your guests and welcome them to your establishment.

It’s a great way to make a positive first impression in the frigid months of the year and there is nothing quite like the decadent aroma and taste of a warmer to warm the spirit.


Cocktail warmers are often an afterthought, something that your guests might indulge in if they have room in their belly and their wallet at the end of the meal, but in a climate like ours, there is no reason why warmers can’t step in for cocktails as a starter beverage or a drink with dinner. With freshness and exotic flavors in mind, warmers are as exciting as flavored martinis and bartenders across the country are coming up with tasty new ways to mix and serve warmers which offer guests that elusive “something different”


Consumers are more interested in quality and complexity of flavor than ever. With a coffee shop on every corner, even the most common coffee shop now offers gourmet hot beverages. Considering the popularity of coffee in our society and the fact that those same coffee shops are making millions on iced coffees in the summertime, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be making coffee warmers a cornerstone of your winter cocktail program, regardless of whether or not you already have one.


It’s important to note the most common difference between warmers and cocktails when you’re considering designing your menu. Most cocktails are built on a base spirit, and then modified with liqueur mixers and garnish. In the case of warmers, you’re most often going to start to a base mixer, and modify spirits and liqueurs accordingly.


When mixing coffees, you might try Tia Maria, Baileys, Kahlua, Grand Marnier, Amaretto and Frangelico. All are traditional mixers for coffee warmers and if you add to that repertoire Chambord and crème de menthe and Navan, a delicious vanilla liqueur made from Madagascar vanilla beans, there are literally dozens of flavor combinations.


Coffee is now so popular that it represents almost one out of every three beverages sold in Canada. Hot tea is also a growing market in North America, with increased public awareness to tea’s healthy antioxidant qualities, North Americans are discovering the wonders that make tea the planet’s most widely consumed beverage.


Tea warmers should not be ignored, nor should hot chocolate warmers and ciders. There are more than a few other options that you could include on your menu, and there is no reason that these drinks need to be warmed over versions of old favorites. Don’t be afraid to experiment, you are only limited by your imagination. If you find yourself staring at your back bar wondering what you can make with all those ingredients try entering your current inventory into the online cabinet at and watch the recipe wizard suggest new recipes based on the ingredients you have on hand.


Here, two delicious winter cocktails for you: try them, enjoy them and remember to spread the word!



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