Martin Corriveau contributes to justcocktails from his current home in Vancouver. He is the Head Bartender of La Pentola in the Opus Hotel
What was the first well made cocktail you recall loving?
I went out one night with my gal in a proper bar for drinks after work, looking forward to having a beer, but as I went through the menu, I saw “Negroni, 1920’s”. I wasn’t a cocktail drinker, I didn’t like gin and couldn’t care for Campari, yet the combination of ingredients intrigued me. What could it taste like? And I’m a history nerd, so the date thing had already won me over.
That was the one drink that got me into bartending.
If I could make a drink for anyone in the world it would be?
Most definitely Eeyore. Gosh, there’s gotta be a way to cheer up that old donkey! And I’d make sure he still had his tail on when he leaves the bar.
Describe the drink you want to make for yourself, with the dream ingredients you’d love to be able to make it with?
The 1930’s New Orléans classic, Vieux Carré.
I’d make my ultimate Vieux Carre with:
1/2 oz Bénédictine Single Cask
My Mom is proud of me because?
I eat my veggies. I actually eat pretty much anything that remotely looks like food. I used to be ridiculously picky when I was a kid…
If you had a t-shirt bearing your bartending philosophy on it, what would it say?
Drink less, drink better.
I mean, it makes sense, doesn’t it? As a bartender, our primary role is towards our guests and make sure they have a good time, so I never understood how so many in our industry make a living letting guests get completely obliterated without caring even a bit about whether they’re getting home safe or not. I’d feel gross taking a guy’s money when I know he’s already had too much to drink. This attitude did tons of damage to our industry, and today most people would rather chose quantity over quality when it comes to drinking. It’s our job as craft bartenders to change that.
If you could go anywhere in the world and order a drink, where would you go, what would you order?
What is your bartending pet peeve?
It’s gotta be cleanliness. I cannot work if the workspace is a mess. When it gets messy during a rush, it sometimes gets to a point it just bothers me so much I can’t focus on making drinks, so I have to stop and take 10-20 seconds to get everything back where it belongs. Crazy like that. My team loves it, and never fail to do their darndest to make me lose my mind.