This is Caledonia Wright, from Vancouver, Bacardi Portfolio Brand Ambassador.
Caledonia is 34 years old and is originally from Peterborough, Ontario. She moved to Scarborough, a borough of Toronto when she was 11 years old, lived there until she was 20 and then moved to Victoria, BC some 12 years ago. Caledonia was in the sea cadets growing up, and she would spend her summers learning how to work on the waters of the Pacific Ocean at a camp in Comox, BC, located on Vancouver Island. After she graduated in Anthropology back in Ontario, she packed her car with her belongings, drove across the country and moved to Vancouver Island.
Being twenty years old and starting a new life on the West Coast, Caledonia was working two parallel careers. On one hand, she was a whale watching tour guide and was driving zodiac boats out of Victoria. But this was seasonal work, so on the other hand, she would spend the rest of the year working in bars and restaurants. Eventually, she was poached from a restaurant she was working at and invited to join the team at Veneto, a famous cocktail destination in Victoria. She got the chance to work alongside some very knowledgeable and recognized bartenders, and that’s where she met Simon Ogden, who would soon become her mentor. This was the start of her career in cocktail bartending.
Then one day, Caledonia had a very inspiring encounter when a brand ambassador sat at her bar. She decided to go back to university to study communication with the goal in mind of working as brand ambassador herself. She left Veneto while she was still in school and started doing disco pop ups in a club with her partner at the time. It lasted for a while and when Caledonia was about to finish her communication degree, she promptly decided it was time for her to move to Vancouver. Within 15 days, she finished her degree, got a car driving license, closed the club down, packed all of her things and moved to Vancouver.
Two years later, we could say that moving to Vancouver was a great move. After working at a couple of bars that didn’t really fit her vibe, she got offered a part-time position as a St-Germain Brand Ambassador. Then during the early stages of covid, she had the opportunity to prove herself as a BA, which she did, and got offered a position as a Bacardi Portfolio Manager. This was a goal she had set herself five years before, so all in all, we could say that she landed pretty much exactly where she wanted to be.
For Caledonia Wright's cocktail recipe, click here.
A little bit more about Caledonia:
The three words that describe her best: tenacious – ambitious – Cale-motherfucking-donia
Most magical place she’s ever been: Soundwave. If you know, you know.
The first drink that made her fall in love with cocktails: A Last Word at Zig Zag Café.
How does she drink her martini: Pre-prohibition style. Obviously gin, maybe Plymouth. Noilly Prat extra dry. 2:1 ratio. A dash of orange bitters. An olive and a zest for garnish.
Or a 2:1 reversed, with an absinthe rinse.
The biggest lesson that working in hospitality taught her: Learn from your guests. There’s always something you can learn from people.