“I love Negroni’s“, relates Vancouver Canucks President Trevor Linden.
The 20 season star NHL hockey player and new President of the Vancouver Canucks qualifies it,
“When I host a party at my place, I like to batch up Negroni’s by the pitcher for my guests. They’re so good!”
This comes as a larger revelation when the pieces start to fit together.
The Canucks were recently acquired by the Aquilini family. The Aquilini family’s multi billion dollar empire started as a humble construction company 50 years ago. They’ve risen to acquire land in multiple countries, major office buildings, future wineries, 30 hotels, a renewable energy company, beverage companies and all 48 Pizza Huts in British Columbia.
The family, that got rich in construction and development, have added a few jewels to their crown as of late – notably in the purchase of the Top Table Group (for a reported $40 million)
Doing so they net the restaurants Blue Water Cafe, West Restaurant + Bar and Araxi. That brings with it a significant brain trust of top bartending skill and practice.
Aramark, the company providing beverage services within the now Aquilini owned Rogers Arena was promptly terminated.
From the inside, the Aquilini owned Canucks began to quietly approach new ideas for better beverage services. They are well aware of the craft cocktail movement, as are many of the guests at Canucks games. They’ve even reached out to some of their top bar-talent to discuss opportunities for offering bottled craft cocktails in some capacity at the Canucks games.
Maybe just a flight of fancy, time will tell what the real plan will be.
But they’ve hired someone very interesting to curate the Beverage Director role.
Jay Jones is the new Director of Wine & Beverage for Canucks Sports & Entertainment.
The same Jay Jones who won VanMag Bartender of the Year 2014. The Jay Jones that has already been inducted into the British Columbia Restaurant Hall Of Fame. The Jay Jones that has bled Canucks colors for years…
Jones will be the first influential craft bartender with an audience of 18, 000 every time he goes to work.
In a recent interview with The Straight, Jones told Michelle da Silva, “The Canucks fan base that goes to a game is incredibly diverse and I want to be able engage every level of interest, from pouring a beer properly and making it cold and fresh to get you back in your seat, to food and wine pairings with the chef in some of the suites or for special events, and absolutely everything in between,” Jones continued. “My responsibility covers every beverage that’s going to be served in there, so it’s incredibly exciting to know that I can try to affect the beverage experience of over 18,000 people on a nightly basis.”
The interesting part will be to see how the market responds. Jones knows that this dream job won’t be an overnight transition that sees people sipping on Four Horsemen cocktails near center ice. Right now Jones would like people to receive the freshest wine, beers or “well made basic highballs. A great gin and tonic or rum and cola”. And he’s hiring his team now, if you’d like to join him.
For those of you that have never been graciously hosted by Jones, here is one of his best known signature cocktails, The Four Horsemen:.75 oz Averna Amaro Siciliano6 dashes Angostura Aromatic bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice. Stir smoothly for 30 seconds. Fine strain into a cocktail glass or champagne saucer
The Four Horsemen: created by Jay Jones for New Year’s Eve – December 31st 2011, on the eve of the Apocalypse (Mayan calendar prediction) – each ingredient represents one of The Horsemen:
War – Maker’s 46 Bourbon – declares battle, then follows through.
Death – Amaro Averna, the bittersweet finish – a pull towards the Darkness.
Conquest – Abricot de Roussillon, the sweet, seduction of righteous victory.
Famine – Angostura Bitters – the eternal scent and taste of the end approaching…
If you love this custom cocktail, check out the recipe for Jones’ Quick Wick Cocktail in 10 Profound Bartender Observations (link).