With a commitment to quality ingredients and local products, Jason Redmond gives Bar Oso’s cocktails an edge
Bar Oso celebrates its one-year anniversary this ski season. In those scant twelve months, the Spanish-inspired tapas bar has become a must-visit destination in Whistler Village. Located around the corner from its sister restaurant Araxi, Bar Oso set out to give the mountain resort something completely different.
“It’s been a pretty successful year,” says Bar Manager Jason Redmond modestly, noting that from the design up, the intent was to create a welcoming, sophisticated hub.
Here, the chefs and bartenders are front and centre: with tapas as well as cocktails being prepared right behind the beautiful Black Jade onyx bar. Charged with designing a drinks menu to complement Chef Jorge Muñoz Santos’ delectable small plates, Redmond was quick to put the focus on quality ingredients.
“We use only freshly-squeezed juices, housemade syrups and shrubs,” he explains.
The best seller from day one has been the delicious Oso Sour, with its very Canadian-influenced bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup and candied bacon garnish. An avid skier, Redmond calls his twist on the Corpse Reviver No. 2 — where he subs Bison Grass Vodka for the gin and adds muddled ginger, reducing the sugar, and upping the freshness — Powder Day. His version of an Aperol Spritz employs Charme De L’ile sparkling wine from Vancouver Island and Surrey-based G&W Distilling’s Bitterhouse DaMAN.
“It’s exciting to have such great local products to showcase. It stimulates conversation, and our guests are just blown away.”
In keeping with the Spanish influence, Redmond has developed an impressive range of gin and tonics that include several small batch gins from B.C. While he’s used artisanal tonic waters from day one, Redmond is ready to raise the bar yet again.
“We’re making our own housemade tonics,” he reveals. “We’ve been working on reducing the sugar while creating something really good, and we think we’ve nailed it.”
It looks like Bar Oso’s second year is gearing up to be as impressive as the first.
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150-4222 Village Square, Whistler