One of the beauties of operating in a bar inside a busy hotel, you’re pretty much assured a steady stream of visitors.
Lure at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa across the Johnson Street Bridge is blessed with such a situation. And thanks to professionals like Adam Wang and his fellow bartenders, this classy lounge attached to the popular restaurant of the same name has cultivated a strong local following.
Part of that comes from the longevity of the staff and the personal connections they’ve made with patrons, Adam says, but also from keeping their beverage menu relatively simple – sticking to what they do well.
When it comes to cocktails, he adds, “We don’t try to follow what’s trendy or chase what other bars are doing, we just try to create what we think our patrons would enjoy.”
A good example is the Tango, one of Wang’s personal concoctions, a refreshing combination of Absolut vodka and Southern Comfort, nicely sweetened with mango purée and finished with pineapple juice and lime. Yummy.
Monday publisher Ruby Della Siega selects a Cocojito, a cocktail she characterizes as a “great poolside drink.” This combo of Havana Club Anejo rum, coconut cream, fresh lime and soda, garnished with mint leaves, is the bar’s most popular cocktail, Adam says.
Monday contributor and longtime Black Press staffer Jen Blyth picks the Limoncello-based Lemonado, Adam’s first cocktail invention in the days after he started here 12 years ago. Having drank them in Italy last year on holiday, Jen says this one is “not too tart, with just the right amount of lemon.”
As we relax and enjoy our drinks, we’ll let Adam take centre stage, sharing his thoughts and experiences in the industry:
Claim to fame/best up the sleeve trick: A sense of humour has been my biggest one to be honest. Everybody likes to laugh.
What’s hot right now: Sustainability and approachability. We’ve got an ongoing commitment to being as environmentally friendly as we can, and you see a lot of bars doing the same, and also keeping things approachable enough that our guests aren’t intimidated to ask questions about our drinks and try new things.
What traits make a good bartender? Building relationships is key, especially in our environment at the hotel where you see a lot of repeat business. And being a good listener. It helps you be the bartender each guest is looking for.
What’s your signature drink? Our house cocktail list is a collaborative effort here, my signature one is probably the Tango, though. It’s in line with our concept of keeping things simple and accessible. Vodka, southern comfort, mango, pineapple and fresh lime.
Your best memory behind the bar? They’re happening constantly in a place like this, but a standout is the day a nearly 100 year old couple finished lunch and were walking out of the restaurant and on their way, the woman stopped and plucked a French fry off a young man’s plate with a big grin. When he looked up she just said “what are you gonna do? I’m nearly 100.” And he just started laughing and shrugged and said, “… you are absolutely right. I got nuthin.’”
What are you drinking these days? 2 Gingers whisky, Auchentoshin American Oak scotch and Misthorn Winter IPA.
Read previous Behind Bars features:
Tales of the Cocktail unveiled
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