Shawn Soole at his book signing at Okanagan Spirits in Kelowna

Victoria’s cocktail king releases book on best bartenders in Canada

Four bartenders from Kelowna and one from Penticton are recognzied in Great Northern Coocktails

Internationally renowned for his work in the hospitality and marketing industry, Victoria resident Shawn Soole is once again recognizing the ever-growing cocktail scene.

Soole recently released his second book titled Great Northern Cocktails featuring the best-of-the-best bartenders in Canada.

His first book, Cocktail Culture, was based around Victoria B.C.’s cocktail scene and was released five years ago.

“This book I have been aching to write for a couple of years now, but obviously it is sometimes hard to talk publishers into releasing a cocktail book about the Canadian cocktail culture,” explained Soole. “So, after 14 publishers saying no I found a publisher that said yes.”

From there Soole took off across the country from Vancouver Island to Toronto collecting biographies of local bartenders.

“I wanted to showcase the big cities like Toronto and Vancouver because everyone gets that. But, there are also bartenders from Red Deer, Tofino and Saskatchewan,” he said. “Everyone is in here. It gives a good voice from the little markets to big cities.”

Four bartenders from Kelowna are noted in the book. Gerry Jobe and Dave Simpson are given a special kudos after the duo spent three years creating the perfect blend of ingredients for their first Simp’s Serious Caesar mix. Now the highly regarded bartenders have opened a storefront on High Road to sell their vegan, gluten-free and 100 per cent Canadian made product.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Simp’s Syrups finalist for Telus business contest

Also featured in Soole’s book is the award winning bartender of Skinny Duke’s Glorious Emporium Mark Veriker and founder of Bar Travelling Man cocktails Harry Dosanj.

To the south in Penticton Jonathan Cote of Craft Corner Kitchen also gets a nod.

Soole was in Kelowna for the launch of his new book as well as to guest judge at the Okanagan Spirits Distillery Mixoff earlier this month.

“After the night’s event I think I will be adding four or five new bartenders to this book,” Soole said. “The good thing is we have an opportunity for me to update this book on a regular basis and by August next year I could bring out a second edition, with another 50 or 60 bartenders.”

READ MORE: Okanagan Mixoff stirs up a new winner

He originally visited Kelowna more than four years ago and had said at the time the city seemed to plateau in the cocktail scene, losing a few bartenders to bigger centres.

“It’s nice to see that it has come full cycle, we are seeing some super talented bartenders and venues and managers, that are hospitality based and are backing the people,” said Soole. “I like what BNA is doing, they have a bowling alley which is just awesome and they also have Skinny Dukes. There are now enough older guys here to mentor the younger bartenders, which grows the cocktail culture.”

To make the cut for Soole’s book he must personally meet you or has to be a recommendation from an industry leader.

@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

Island riders conquering new heights

With no races, cyclists tackle Everest challenge to lift community

Saanich police search for suspect accused of using stolen credit, debit cards

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers says suspect made numerous fraudulent purchases

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read