The Mind of a Mixologist – Interview with Christopher Cho

Christopher Cho is Calgary's newest mixologist and we are lucky to have him!

Christopher Cho is Calgary’s newest mixologist and we are lucky to have him!

Recently I had the chance to meet Chrisopher Cho, Calgary’s newest mixologist.  His cocktails are fresh, rustic and delicious and he is a really cool guy.  I was curious about his process and if he has “ownership” of his recipes since he has worked in several high-profile restaurants and is now the “Bar Guy” at Charcut in Calgary.

In case you are as curious as I am about the mixology scene, here is my interview with Christopher Cho:

LWWAAs a Bar Guy do you create cocktails specifically for restaurants & the food they serve?

Cho:  I create my cocktails to cater to and compliment the restaurants food and ambience just like a sommelier would with wines. I had a cocktail list prepped in mind before I headed out to Charcut from Vancouver, after observing for a couple of weeks I revamped what I had in mind to cater it more to the restaurant.

LWWA: I read an article stating that the Ginger Gimlet & the Basil Caiphirina (two drinks on the Charcut menu) were served at Ensemble, do you take all your creations with you or do any of the drinks ever stay with a specific restaurant?

Cho: The Basil Caiphirina and the Ginger Gimlet are my babies, I created them specifically for Ensemble.  I will most likely bring them with me where ever I go, as long as it fits the criteria of the restaurant. It`s a perfect match for Charcut and I plan to keep them here as well. It`s very suitable for the restaurant as it compliments freshness and urban rustic of John and Connie`s food.

LWWADiana Ng wrote in Up Magazine that your next stop is Dale MacKay’s new place in Saskatoon.  Does this mean you are only temporarily at Charcut?

Cho: I will be opening a restaurant with Dale Mackay in Saskatoon.  As far as time frame goes it’s still a little ways to go. Right now my main focus and priority is to revamp the bar program at Charcut.  I want Charcut to be known for it’s craft cocktails, great classics and the highest level of service.  John and Connie are great friends of mine so no matter where I end up I will always be a part of their bar program whether it’s for product knowledge, consulting, menu development, creative design or just being behind their bar. So, even though I’ll be moving onto new ventures my presence is always at their bar.

 LWWA:  What was the biggest draw Calgary held for you when you were deciding to come here?
Cho: The biggest draw for me to move to Calgary was the opportunity.  To work alongside John and Connie is a total treat. You can’t ask for nicer people to work for than that (Dale Mackay is on that list as well too! lol).  With such talented chefs you feed off their experience and knowledge.  They teach you so much about dilligence and hard work.  It makes you want to strive to be more like them.

I knew coming into Calgary that the cocktail scene had just started booming and I wanted to be a part of that.  To have the chance to renew the bar program in one of Canada’s best restaurants was a no-brainer for me.

After tasting just a few of Cho’s concoctions you will know that he is a rock star Bar Guy and we are lucky to have him in Calgary.  He also happens to be a sweetheart.  Check him out at Charcut and let me know if you agree!

Click here for a link to Cho’s Basil Caipirinha recipe.

Follow him!

Twitter – @Cho_Christopher

Instagram – Christopher_Cho

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