Who | Marta Ess
Where | Halifax, Canada
Current Bar | Dear Friend
Past Bar(s) | Le Phenix / Chantecler (Toronto), Annette Food Market , Luma, The Great Hall
Favourite Spirit | London dry gin, Armagnac when I’m feeling fancy.
Favourite Juice | Pineapple
Favourite Classic Cocktail | Gin martini with olives & a twist because I’m a Libra.
Favourite Part of the Job | When you and your team kill a smoking busy service and know all your guests walked away happy without ever seeing you sweat.
Favourite After Work Drink | 50/50 Martini or Boilermaker
Favourite at Home Drink | Lord help me, I love a low ABV RTD
Favourite bar in the world | Manolito (New Orleans), Horses & Divorces (New York), Coupette (London)
Best known for | A guest gave my amaretto sour five stars on Yelp once. Also, I’ve done a few cocktail comps here and there.
Best story from behind the wood | There was that night at Chantecler (RIP) where an entire wedding party came to us because their original venue had had a power outage that day. We cobbled together some tables and chairs and flung open the windows to the street and hosted the most impromptu wedding reception ever. Everyone — guests and staff included — had a rad time. The couple came back to celebrate their anniversary with us. God, I miss the “before times”.
What do you collect? Regrets. Just kidding. Mistakes. Just kidding. Memories? I don’t know, I have a small collection of little elephant figurines because they’re supposed bring good fortune — still waiting for the pay off, though.
Favourite thing about your city? It’s small, manageable, and I get to look at the Atlantic every single day.
What was the last photo that you took? A bag of chocolate candy (Daïm) from Ikea — that stuff slaps.
Where was your last vacation? Philly, PA
Any claims to fame? Patrón Perfectionists 2022 Canada winner; MIB 2020 Top 12; Speed Rack Canada 2019 Top 4; that five-star amaretto sour
Red or White? Red
Cointreau or Grand Marnier? Grand Marnier
London or Paris? London
Glass or Tin? Tin
Are you available for freelance gigs? Sure, man!
Find her: Instagram | Facebook
Media: PUNCH – Most Imaginative Bartender Canvas Project: Marta Ess
DIFFORD’S GUIDE – Patron Perfectionists
TORONTO LIFE – How to make Le Phénix bartender Marta Ess’s take on a classic New Orleans cocktail
THE COAST – Dartmouth bartender to represent Canada in international cocktail competition