Jason Frederick is a true student of the craft of bartending. The head barman behind the wood of Kelowna’s Micro Bar+Bites spends his evenings entertaining guests with his charm, but when he gets home from work, another shift begins...
Jason has put together a home bar that rivals any professional establishment in the world, and it is here, surrounded by several bar stations, that Jason goes to work in his off-duty hours, researching techniques, creating new ingredients, and truly “raising the bar” when it comes to self-improvement in the field of bartending. I stopped by Jason’s home recently (he was watching molecular mixology videos and clarifying lime juice when I showed up - no joke) and took a peek at how this talented bartender converted his living space into his bar-lab. Here’s a tour of what Jason has on the go.
Jason has a wide array of spirits, both common and rare from around the world. Vintage Glassware adorns several stations in his home, as do bitters and several barrels filled with many different styles of barrel aged cocktails. Jay collects spirits from all over, so if he finds a product he wants, you can bet he’ll either travel to get it, or order it for delivery.
(Close up shot of Jason’s Infusions)
Jason has built his own apothecary, full of various creations to play with. From smoked tequila to blueberry and quince infused brandy and whisky, his own bitters, tinctures and several styles of homemade Vermouth, Jay has a vast array of ingredients on the go (all labelled and dated of course).
BOTTLED COCKTAILS AND GLASSWARE
Jason saves all the mini bottles from work and utilizes them for his own bottled cocktails, this way, guests to his home can enjoy such cocktails as an Old Fashioned or a Negroni any time with ease. Jay has a bottling station set up with bottles, a crown-capper, funnels and caps, ready to prep a new batch of perfectly balanced bottled cocktails. Once again, Jason has his own system of labelling for all his different creations.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Just a small sample of some of the tools Jason has in his home. Jason utilizes everything from torches to smoking-guns, to Japanese Ice carving tools to get exactly the end result he is shooting for.
BARREL AGING STATIONS
Jason has around 4 separate barrel-aging stations set up throughout his house with around 10 barrels full of cocktails soaking in charred oak. These will of course be aged to taste, removed, and most likely go into individual bottles (if his house guests don’t get to them first.)
ICEWORK / CRAFT BEER / PUREES
Jason’s fridge has fallen victim to his passion as well, with water balloons freezing various sized ice-orbs to Craft beer in pigs and bottles, to his purees made from local fruit. Jason also keeps different styles of glassware frosting in his freezer alongside custom infused ice cubes and large blocks of ice for carving practice.
Jason Frederick is the penultimate student of the craft of bartending. Always striving to push his own boundaries, among the tools and ingredients in his home is a stack of books on cocktails and bartender theory, and it is rare to find him without his Ipad close by, with instructional videos loaded up, ready to learn the next technique to perfect at home before the finished product makes it to his bar or the next competition. We are lucky to have such a dedicated bartender within the Okanagan Cocktail Movement, constantly immersed in his craft, and always on the lookout for the next great cocktail idea. Thanks for having us over to visit Jay!
The Field Guide Cocktail Editor Reporting