Who | Jonathan Smolensky
Where | Vancouver, Canada
Current Bar | Owner at Sovereign Canada
Past Bar(s) | Hawksworth Restaurant, Brix Restaurant
Favourite Spirit | Mezcal
Favourite Juice | Fresh Grapefruit
Favourite Classic Cocktail | Attention
Favourite Part of the Job | Spending time with bartenders and hospitality professionals across Canada
Favourite After Work Drink | Anything I’ve never tasted before. Blind. Alongside other liquor nerds.
Favourite at Home Drink | Weird wine
Favourite bar in the world | At the moment? Sager & Wilde (London)
Best known for | Operating a by-the-bartender, for-the-bartender liquor agency
Best story from behind the wood | Not even a question. Making Sazeracs into the Stanley Cup when Willie Mitchell brought Lord Stanley into the room at Hawksworth in 2012
What do you collect? Food and drink experiences
Favourite thing about your city? The beaches in the summer
What was the last photo that you took? A picture of this submission. Oooh February Featured Post is MIXLDN Canada Winner Jason Griffin!
Where was your last vacation? Went a couple days early to Montreal in November and was hosted by the wonderful Kate Boushel. One of our suppliers is a really close friend of mine, so we spent a couple days trying to eat at every top restaurant in Montreal. Kate was up to the challenge. Hostess with the mostess – our time was incredible!
Any claims to fame? I’ve been very privileged and grateful in life to be a part of the organization and execution of many cocktail conferences and other bartender-focused activations around the world. It is something I truly enjoy doing. When I was growing up bartending our community did not have these sorts of luxuries. If there is a charitable way to pay it forward to the less opportune or the next generation of bartenders in Canada, I’m in. Other than that – in a former life I did a stand-up job sitting down and warming a bench for a semi-pro hockey team in Sweden. Sports is/will always be my first love.
Red or White? I’m Canadian. Both.
Cointreau or Grand Marnier? Apples and Oranges, chefs
London or Paris? I have a Parisian mother. She will probably read this at some point. Paris (love you mom!)
Glass or Tin? Tin
Are you available for freelance gigs? Yes
Find him: Instagram | Anything to do with Sovereign Canada on all platforms, as well as the incredible people who help support and consult for Sovereign nationwide. Hey listen, all these fun independent spirits showing up in liquor stores or on cocktail menus simply do not happen without all the support and love that we get without the national community at large. We know the formula and we live it. Getting cool products and doing educational things with them in Canada is an equation based on depletion and economies of scale. Full stop. Every iota of support we get makes it so that your fellow barfly, liquor aficionado and bartender in Canada has more access to the wonderful wares of the world.
Media:VANCOUVER MAGAZINE – Do Vancouver Bartenders Have Commitment Issues?