“And the wind cries, Mary”
The Monday Magazine cocktail tasters believe that master-of-songwriting Jimi Hendrix would indeed approve of Bastion Square’s coolest resident, Wind Cries Mary. The new bar and restaurant is named as an ode to the era and a 1967 hit song that Jimi was known for.
And talk about cocktail culture! This trendy downtown bar takes liquor enthusiasts to a whole new level. Even the bartenders (certified and more than properly trained) show distinct pride in their role, putting on a show worth watching. And you don’t even have to wait in line.
Wind Cries Mary is a mix of modern and rustic with brick alongside concrete, and sleek lines
accented by the wood floors and tables. And check out its big and trendy bar in the centre of the room, providing just the stage to catch the staff performance.
Bar manager Soren Schepkawski exemplifies a professional mixology master. He has a passion and knowledge for making craft cocktails and—get this—he has become a “certified spirits specialist,” which means he knows more about alcohol than we do. So, we just followed his lead.
Soren shared the bestsellers during the summer season: “Black & Yellow” is a complex mix of Stillhead Distillery blackberry gin, honey ginger syrup and fresh lemon. Really!? Sweet and acidic, this one blends together so well.
Then, he introduced us to the—wait for it—
“Ardbeg Strawberry Daq” and, wow, did it leave an impression. You’d never think of this yourself but the cocktail is made with Ardbeg Wee Beastie five-year peated scotch, strawberry agave and fresh lime. Some scotch enthusiasts may say to leave the good stuff alone, untouched, but Soren proved those hearty notes of wood and smoke could capture the essence of evening campfires…definitely without the s’mores.
We can tell you Wind Cries Mary has set the mood for the cooler months ahead but let’s hear from the pro himself, Soren…..
Your claim to fame/best up-the-sleeve trick
Blending a bit of limoncello and orange bitters in our house dry vermouth makes a good martini.
What’s hot right now?
Espresso martinis; they’re putting our new machine through the works.
What traits make a good bartender?
Mastering the basics: waters topped up, wine glasses full, work station tidy, empty glasses/plates cleared.
What’s your signature drink?
Black & Yellow, a simple combination of good flavours, fit for everyone (also great with a kicker
of peated scotch).
What are you drinking these days?
What we call at WCM a “West’s Special Treat:” a gin martini with a twist, and a can of lucky lager.
Best memory from behind the bar?
The night I met my partner, drinking mezcal and harassing me—nothing has changed.