Name: Jamison Cass
1. Where are you from?
I was born in Etobicoke general hospital but raised in Georgetown, Ontario.
2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
I’ve been bartending for just over 4 years getting my first gig at Hockley Valley resort. They were short a bartender for a wedding and I was supposed to serve when the manager asked me if « I could tend bar ». I obviously lied, said yes and was hooked after that!
3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
My first gig was Hockley Valley resort and I have worked at four other venues since. (BartenderOne, College Street Bar, R&D and Baro)
4. How did you get involved with your venue?
I learned about Baro through a friend of the industry. I was very excited about the thought of being involved in an opening of a venue so I knew I had to get involved and luckily I got the job.
5. What kind of cocktails do you serve at your bar/restaurant? What cocktails are your favorites?
At Baro, we focus on ensuring guests have a seamless experience every time. When It comes to the drink menu we do the classics really well and put a fun Latin spin on some originals or house cocktails. Personally, I love spirit forward cocktails like our Cavendish no. 2 but, I do also have a sweet tooth so you could definitely catch me sucking back a few Pisco sour’s on a night off.
6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
I’m a big fan of creating cocktails for a guest to their exact specifications. There’s nothing better than creating something that they were in visioning in their head. Low ABV cocktails seem to make a resurgence and I like it! They are fun to play with and can help your guest check average, which every bartender likes.
7.What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific style of making cocktails, but I do like making them fast and with a little flair. When it comes to my favorite cocktails to make, I enjoy making the cocktails that aren’t ordered often where I work. Cocktails like Sazerac’s, Vieux Carres, Between the sheets, Old Cubans etc.
8.What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
To be fair I think that all spirits are very attractive, but one of my favorites to work with and the one I enjoy the most would be Tequila.
9. What do you drink as a shot?
10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Kaffir, espresso. Pineapple, cassia bark and sherry just to name a few.
11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
Wes Galloway, Dale Degroff, Frankie Solarik and Jerry Thomas.
12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
A very tough question, but I think it would have to be PDT in New York.
13. Where do you head on your night off?
I follow where the great bartenders of Toronto work and go to those bars!
14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
Daiquiri is usually my first order if I don’t know the bartender. It’s hard to screw up and it’s always delicious!
15. Do you have a funny bar story to tell us?
Too many to count. If you’d like to hear one come by Baro and I’ll tell you a few.
16. What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
I had a teacher in elementary school that said there’s such thing as a stupid question, he was a liar. To that point, there has been more than one occasion if you can imagine that I’ve been asked a ridiculous request but I once had a guest ask for a splash for Clamato in their vodka soda… Enough said.
17. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
I attended MADE WITH LOVE 3 years ago as a guest and a rookie bartender and I knew I needed to compete one year. The concept is so unique by involving the guest which as competitive bartenders I think we forget about sometimes and who the drinks are for. So I’ve loved the idea ofMADE WITH LOVE from the first time I watched it. Winning the MADE WITH LOVE Nationals would be a huge moment in my career and would cherish it forever. There are some uber talented people competing so I will have my hands full, to say the least!