All aboard, it’s time for a drink! One might not think about Mariposa Cruises – which have been sailing Toronto’s Harbourfront for over 25 years – as the perfect spot to snatch a perfect chipotle and scotch bonnet infused Caesar, but with Andrew Vilhena as the Head Bartender and Hospitality Manager, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Andrew’s love of a good cocktail is as intense as a parent’s love of a good child, and that’s exactly the dedication we like to hear about the fella mixing, shaking, and pouring up our cocktails. We caught up with Andrew to chat about everything from working on the water to working watermelon into a cocktail…
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
I’m a 25-year-old Gemini who is passionate about mixology, sports and travelling (my #1 source for cocktail inspiration).
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…of how multicultural it is. It’s possible to jump from one subway station to the next, trying out different drinks and food from so many different cultures along the way.
And finish this sentence: I love life with Mariposa Cruises because…
…as Confucius put it, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” The people, the environment, the beautiful views from the water and the constant excitement keeps us all coming back!
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
1)NHL Hockey; 2) Sunny days at the Toronto Harbourfront; 3) My bike.
Your signature drink is the The Captain’s Caesar. What are a few other drinks you love making?
My famous cucumber-infused vodka cocktail, a classic sangria and watermelon mojitos.
Do you have a favourite ingredient to use when creating cocktails?
Any kind of muddled fresh fruit.
When you’re not concocting cocktails, what are you up to?
I’m somewhere in Toronto trying a new restaurant and of course a new cocktail.
What’s your favourite drink/cocktail and where do you go to get it?
I always appreciate a really well done version of a classic. Sunnyside Restaurant has a near perfect mojito and Caesar.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
TRIO restaurant in Vaughan. Chef Brad Scully is an absolute whiz in the kitchen and the food is consistently amazing.
What’s a good Mariposa drink recipe that we can recreate at home and how do you make it?
Our Watermelon Mojito is perfect to sip during a cruise on the water…
Ingredients: 1.5oz Havana Club Dry 7 Year Old | 8 to12 Fresh Mint Leaves | 0.5oz Simple Syrup | 2 to 4 Ripe Watermelon Cubes | 2 Wedges of Lime | 2 Wedges of Lemon | Soda Water
Directions: In a highball, muddle 2 lime wedges, 2 lemon wedges, mint leaves and watermelon cubes. Add ice, simple syrup and Havana Club rum. Top with soda water (or Sprite for a sweeter taste). Garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and a watermelon ball.