Q & A with Cocktail Creators

Soren Schepkowski ~ Head Bartender of Wind Cries Mary

We had the chance to catch up with beverage consultant and head bartender, Soren Schepkowski, of Wind Cries Mary (WCM) in Victoria, to learn what drives his cocktail design process. Much like at DEVINE Distillery, WCM uses story, and local terroir to inform their creative process. There is a reason they are known to be one of the best cocktail bars in the city, so be sure to add Wind Cries Mary to your list of must-sips in Vic and taste his latest creation, the "Demolition Derby" featuring our Honey Shine Amber Honey 'Rum'.

Q. You've been known to tell stories through your cocktails. Talk us through your process when designing something new for your menu? 

A. My cocktail process is quite fluid and situational, but always follows a somewhat similar pattern. I always start with some sort of inspiration, whether that's an ingredient, a memory, a story, a taste, or anything in between, this is where it always begins. Next, I try to abstractly illustrate that inspiration, I jot down colours, flavours, thoughts, historic moments, emotions, whatever creative expression can help define that initial inspiration works for me. And finally I put those thoughts to the test, I taste and weigh the importance of each ingredient to make sure that the final product is just as significant as the initial inspiration was. 

Q. We notice you often use our Honey Shine Amber Honey 'Rum' in cocktails at WCM. Why?

A. We always want to use products from as close as possible, so long that they can stand up to their competing look-a-likes, as we believe in quality ingredients. The fact that we can make a great Barbados Style Daiquiri with a local product, and support the Pacific Northwest bee keeping efforts is a win-win-win. Kudos to DEVINE for being able to produce such an important and delicious product that nobody else is. 

Head Bartender at Wind Cries Mary mixing cocktail

Q. You've used most of our spirits at Wind Cries Mary, what's your personal favourite?

A. Ancient Grains, I love the story this 'young' whisky tells and it is inspiring to see a company put so much care and attention to the grains that they are using. Seeing that DEVINE puts this sort of attention to the base ingredient they are using, just speaks to how critical they are in every process of their spirit making. But by having a sip you could figure that out for yourself.