Interview with Solomon Siegel

 Solomon Siegel | Victoria

I met up with Solomon Siegel who is the Food & Beverage Director at Hotel Rialto in Victoria. We chatted about bartending, cocktail culture and he mixed up some cocktails.

What drew you to bartending?

I worked at Pagliacci’s starting when I was 12 years old, in my teenage years I was interested in beverages and bartending it always seemed interesting. I started learning about wine and beer, I was also interested in coffee, started making espresso’s in our house when I was 6 years old.

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

The ingredients are the inspirations (the techniques) blended in a way that exemplifies them. Specific spirits, keep it simple, balanced and beautiful.

What was your training like?

Very much self-trained from a restaurant bartender stand point. My training was challenging the techniques.

Tell our readers where you have worked in the past 10 years?

For the past 1-1/2 years I have  been the Food & Beverage Manager at Hotel Rialto. Previously I had my own bar, “Solomon’s” on Herald Street for 1-1/2 years. Before that I worked for BC Ambulance as a Paramedic for 3 years, I also worked at Discovery Coffee and Café Fantastico and at the beginning at Pagliacci’s.

Who are your mentors?

1)    My dad who is the best host in the world

2)    Simon Ogden

3)    Shawn Soole

Tell us about Venetto Lounge, what type of drinks do you showcase?

Classic cocktails that are spirit forward, delicate alchemy of mixing spirits and fruit juices.

Solomon mixes up one of his signature cocktails

1)    Ghetto Punch

  • Don Juilio Bianco Tequila
  • Madeira
  • Ginger of the Indies
  • Brewed Tea
  • Regans Orange Bitters

What is your Favourite Drink right now?

Manhattan

If you weren’t a bartender, what would you be doing?

Going back to being a paramedic, working in a café, brew beer.

What is you cocktail program like at Venetto Lounge?

Pretty diverse – make everything, balanced and well made. Collaboration with other bartenders here.

How do Victoria cocktail competitions compare with those across Canada ?

Shawn Soole is doing a bartending competition which is cool, it’s about helping each other, building community and pushing the envelope, wanting to build a scene.

2)    The Heartland Cocktail

  • Plymoth Gin
  • Monjenegro
  • Giffard William Pear
  • Grapefruit bitters
  • Blue Mountain Brut

How do Victoria cocktail competitions compare with those across Canada ?

Shawn Soole is doing a bartending competition which is cool, it’s about helping each other, building community and pushing the envelope, wanting to build a scene.

Where was your last trip?

Cognac, France – for Givine Connosseurs program, a week long finals competition with 300 people from around the world and I was in the top 15.

Where was your 2nd last trip?

It was too Tales of Cocktail in New Orleans.


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