Interview with Barry Jackson

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Bar Manager | Gotham| Vancouver

Barry has been the Bar Manager at Gotham Steakhouse for over 6 years, previously he was the Bar Manager at Umberto’s in Whistler for 4-1/2 years.

You can follow Barry on Instagram @baz_jackson

How did you end up becoming a Bartender?

I became a bartender when I was nineteen because I needed at job and it looked like fun.

Have you competed in any bartending competitions? If yes, then What are your top 5 Bartending competitions you have placed in the top 3?

No actually I’ve never competed in any competitions, just for fun when I challenge my bar team. The pressure helps me create ideas for our next season of cocktails for my list.

What are some of the unique cocktails your customers have asked you to make?

I feel like I’m constantly creating new and exciting drinks for our guests on a nightly bases. To name a few:

Doctor’s Orders gin, Jannico amaro, Apricot liqueur, house made cinnamon syrup, splash of lemon and served straight up. (my guest asked for something that tastes like fall)

Lavender infused Brokers gin, Grapefruit infused Punt e mes, Antica formula vermouth,

With and absinthe rinsed glass and a few drops of grapefruit bitters. Served on the rocks with a grapefruit ribbon. (Guest asked for a twist on a negroni)

What goes into creating a new cocktail? What inspires you?

I’m constantly tasting new things and seeing what works with what, even hitting the grocery store looking for seasonal fruit and spices to work with. I find the whole process fun and very interesting. Seeing our guests enjoying one my cocktails I find it very satisfying.

What is your philosophy on food and drinks?

I think it’s very important to put out great product whether its food, drink and or atmosphere, a good product means people are enjoying themselves and will probably revisit your restaurant. I love going out to new places to trying bits of they’re menu. I get great joy out of seeing what ideas other people are putting together.

What are some of your favourite foods/dishes?

Bone marrow and wildebeest, Duck confit benny at Yolks, Duck dish at Jules, I could go on and on. Our city has a fantastic variety of delicious food.

Where do you get your inspiration to create your cocktails at Gotham?

Having the freedom to explore behind the Gotham bar. And seeing the looks on the guests and my peers faces when I create something wonderful.

What type of drinks do you like personally?

I like trying new things all the time. Love the apiary at Clough club and the Sazerac over at l’abatiour. The diamond has a few great ones too. Love my whiskey as well

What are the most unique ingredients you have used to create a cocktail?

Tequila, amaro, Maple syrup, firewater bitters, with a Laphroaig washed glass

What is your favourite cocktail personally?

Boulevardier is my usual go to, subbing in a different things with the bartender

What is your favourite dish or dishes that you like to eat with a cocktail?

Love my tartar or carpaccio’s with a bitter or smoky cocktail. If they don’t have what I like on the cocktail list then i leave it in the hands of the bartender.

By: Richard Wolak