Martin Corriveau will be competing in the upcoming Angostura Global Cocktail Canadian Challenge. He is no stranger to crafting cocktails – this five-year veteran has a passion for mixing drinks. This former economics major took a break from the business world to pursue his real passion of bartending. You can find Corriveau behind the bar at Juniper.
House of Angostura: What is your favorite cocktail featuring Angostura Bitters or Angostura Rum?
Martin Corriveau: I love a Manhattan with Angostura Aromatic Bitters. Even more, I like sipping a Palmetto – a classic rum-based Manhattan – with Angostura 7ys and a dash each of Angostura Aromatic and Orange Bitters.
HOA: With so many new bitters flooding the market, where do you see Angostura Bitters in the mix?
MC: Aromatic Bitters is the good ole’ bottle of bitters you can always count on! The flavor isn’t going to overpower the drink. Instead, it will add that beautiful layer of spice in the background. It is so versatile, it’s almost unfair to the competition. It’s the benchmark other brands are measured up against.
HOA: What is the most unique or interesting application of Angostura Bitters that you have seen?
MC: I recently tried to make a steak marinade, and I must say I was impressed with how delicious it turned out. Although, I should have know there was no way it could have tasted bad! At another restaurant where I bartended, we used it for sorbets and lollipops. At the end of the day, though, I prefer my bitters in my drinks.
HOA: Where do you typically go for a cocktail in your city?
MC: Keefer Bar
HOA: How about for a beer and shot?
HOA: Outside of the daily grind, what are you passionate about that helps keep you a balanced bartender?
MC: I freelance for an online bartending magazine, covering mostly bartending publications. Every once in a while I’ll wake up to find unpublished books at my doorstep for me to review. But on a different note, I love hiking, cooking meals with friends and traveling.
HOA: Any advice for someone looking to get into bartending as a career?
MC: Be open-minded and willing to challenge yourself. Try your hardest to find work in busy, reputable bars even if it means starting at the bottom. Soak up everything they have to teach you. There’s so much more info online than there was only a few years ago, so look up who the best bartenders and what the best establishments are, and read what there is to say about their style and craft.
HOA: Do you have an original cocktail recipe (featuring Angostura Rum or Bitters) that you would like to share with us?
MC: Dr. Siegert’s Julep
1 oz Angostura 5yr rum
0.5 oz Amaro di Angostura
0.25 oz Angostura bitters
0.5 oz hibiscus syrup
0.5 oz lemon juice
Shake and strain into a Julep cup filled with crushed ice; garnish with a sprig of mint
HOA: What’s the strangest request that you’ve gotten during your time behind the bar?
MC: So many weird things. Sticking to drinks, the worst has got to be someone asking me to shake three packets of Sweet’N Low into his margarita.
HOA: That’s a new one. Now, if you had a theme song that played during your shift, what would it be?
MC: This is a tough one. “Game of Pricks” by Guided by Voices.
HOA: If you weren’t bartending, what do you think you would be doing?
MC: I studied economics, so maybe something with that. Then again, I did that for awhile, but decided I enjoy bartending more. If I had any drawing skills, I’d love to be an architect – something creative.
HOA: If you could have a cocktail with anyone in the world – dead or alive – who would it be?
MC: John Lennon. I heard he liked Angostura Bitters.