Richard Wolak | May 2012
A man with many years in the beverage industry behind him, Ryan Storey created the cocktail list for O Lounge and Coast Restaurant, where he has been the bar manager for the past two and a half years.
Ryan’s father owned restaurants for decades. At 12 years of age, Ryan started washing dishes in one of his father’s restaurants, later moving on to cooking and then running the front of the house. By the time he was 23, he started bartending.
Known as the ‘Martini Slinger’—it’s his twitter handle—Ryan told me where his nickname originated. He said he used to own a martini lounge in Nanaimo, where he had 27 martinis on the bar list. He worked the bar on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and all he did was shake drinks—and that is where the nickname came from.
I asked Ryan if he considered himself a bartender or a mixologist: he answered that he is a bartender—there to create an experience and put on a show. Since Ryan is in charge of creating all the cocktails in the bars where he works, I also asked him what goes into creating a great new cocktail—he said he always uses fresh ingredients and tries to keep it simple. If Ryan wasn’t a bartender he said he would be doing something in marketing, as he previously studied business and has a strong interest in the subject.
I asked Ryan what the most unique ingredients he had ever used to create a cocktail were, and he said he infused cardamom pumpkin spices into simple syrup for a Thanksgiving cocktail, making a pumpkin martini.
Here Ryan has provided us with a recipe for one of his most popular cocktails, the Coastini:
One to one and a half ounces vodka
Half ounce blue alize
Half ounce lemon juice
Dash of simple syrup
One ounce prosecco
Add all ingredients in a Boston shaker over ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass, top with prosseco and garnish with a lemon twist.
Ryan Storey is the bar manager at Coast Restaurant and O Lounge, located at 1054 Alberni Street.