Souhail is 30 years old and is originally from Ontario. He went to University in human kinetics at the University of Guelph and moved to British Colombia after he graduated. He lived in Langley for the first two years and moved to Vancouver three years ago.
Souhail started to work in hospitality at a place called Fionn MacCool in Guelph. He started as a host, then worked as a server to support himself through university. When he moved to BC, he got a job at Milestones, and that’s where he started bartending. If Milestones didn’t necessarily teach him how to be a good bartender, the second he started bartending he realized how much knowledge there was to learn and grasp. And so Souhail started teaching himself about cocktails and spirits.
He first got into bourbon, read a lot of books, and would order an Old Fashioned every time he would sit at a bar, observing and learning from other bartenders as well. When he would travel, he would explore the bar scene and that’s how he got exposed to some truly amazing cocktails. One night in San Francisco, he walked into a beautiful bar called Comstock Saloon, ordered an Old Fashioned that turned out to be delicious, was then guided for a bourbon dealer’s choice, and served a Brooklyn cocktail for the first time. The bar was all mahogany wood, the bartender was all dressed in white, the room had high ceilings and was lit by a huge chandelier, the overall experience was magnificent and that’s when Souhail realized that he had to pursue further into the world of cocktails.
When he came back to Langley, Milestones asked him to help open a new venue in Newfoundland. He accepted, full-filed his contract, and upon his return to BC, decided that it was time for him to move to Vancouver. Everything happened very fast, his first Monday in Vancouver he was competing at Bacardi Legacy, met a lot of people, and got into the community. Souhail is a very talented bartender with a competitive combat sports background that makes him quite an ideal candidate for cocktail competitions. If he sure enjoys the competitive side of things, he also loves to meet people and learn from everyone taking part in these types of events. Souhail has a deep love for hospitality and truly cares about sharing with people, whether it’s sharing stories, knowledge, cocktails, or more.
Today, Souhail has competed in a lot of competitions and is the assistant bar manager at Pourhouse, a staple when it comes to the cocktail scene in Vancouver. We are sure that the future holds a bright path for him and are very happy that our paths crossed in BC. We look forward to sitting at his bar again.
A little bit more about Souhail
The three words that describe him best: Dependable – ambitious – spontaneous
His favorite fruit: Mango.
One cocktail to bring on a desert island: A Piña Colada.
His life motto: Nothing worthwhile in life comes easy.
The biggest lesson that working in hospitality taught him: Patience. It’s important if you see something that’s a problem to question it, understand it and then be patient with the response. Being reactive is not the answer.