If you’re looking for a brand new cocktail to rock your summer, stop by Toronto’s Marben Restaurant and get acquainted with mixologist Casey Ryan. The man behind their fabulous cocktail list, watching him make you a drink is mesmerizing. A crowd favourite is the Royal Bermuda Polo Club made of Mount Gay Eclipse, Falernum, Honey Syrup and Lime – it’s a must-try if you’re in the mood for something fabulous. We caught up with Casey to get to know the man behind these cocktails….
Give us a snippet about you. What should people know?
My name’s Casey Ryan and I am currently behind the bar at Marben. I have a real passion for classic style cocktails as well as the classic style of bartending, placing a high focus on the guest and creating a great experience for them. I’ve been bartending in Toronto for just over three years, after moving here from Australia.
How do you create new cocktails for the Marben cocktail list?
When I create new cocktails, my first thing is to make sure it’s a season-appropriate drink with seasonal items. As well as that, I want to make sure that it balances with the rest of the list to keep diversity on my menu. After that, it just comes down to pairing flavours that work well together and trial and error to make sure the drink is where it should be.
Do you have a favourite ingredient to use when creating cocktails?
I don’t really have a favourite to use. I think each ingredient has its own time and place, but that being said, I always have a soft spot for rum and Cynar in my drinks.
What do you think will be the hottest (or coolest) drink this summer?
I think this will be one of the more exciting summers for drinks. The current tiki revival is going to lead to some great tiki classics making their way back onto people’s menus. The use of alternative ingredients such as wine, sherry, and shrubs made from vinegar are leading to some great concoctions, too. A drink that I’m predicting to be a hit on our patio all summer is The Inca Trail, a mezcal-pisco drink with lime juice, pineapple, thyme shrub, and tiki bitters.
When you’re not concocting cocktails, what are you up to?
Usually getting round on my bike, visiting my friends’ bars, and getting out and trying to enjoy all the fun things this city has to offer.
Finish this sentence: I love Toronto because…
…it’s such a fun and booming city where it seems there are more and more great places to go each week.
What are three things you simply cannot live without?
My bike, my friends, and a good home bar.
What’s your favourite restaurant and why?
That’s a tough one as there are so many amazing places in the city, but I’d have to say Geraldine in Parkdale because they do everything so well and it’s always a great experience.
Who’s your favourite designer/brand and why do you sport their fashions?
I don’t really have a favourite, but at the moment I’ve really been loving Gitman Bros. for their nice vibrant shirts, or Naked and Famous for pants.
Let’s get social for a mo’. How can people stay up-to-date with all your globe-trotting?
The best way is to follow me through Marben on Twitter. That’s always up to date with what I have going on.
Are you a Marben cocktail lover? Comment below or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.